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Anthony Russell Desiderio

1923 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Anthony Russell Desiderio Obituary
Anthony (Tony) was born in Buffalo, New York, to Dominic Desiderio and Maria Scolese, Italian immigrants, on April 4, 1923. He was born to a family of ten children, the middle of seven boys plus three sisters.
Tony was a gifted musician whose talent, capabilities, and open, friendly personality brought pleasure to all who knew him. He was an outstanding clarinetist and saxophonist and played professionally with many organizations throughout his career. He will also be remembered for his excellent teaching ability, for training and encouraging many professional musicians, and for his cheerful support and advice to musical students of all ages.
Tony won a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in 1946 and a Masters Degree a year later. He then embarked on a career of performing, studying and teaching. He taught first, with great success, at Procter High School in Utica, New York. Then accepted a teaching position in Kern County, California, another at Fullerton Community College, full professorship at Stanislaus State, and University of Southern California. While teaching full time he also took courses toward a Doctorate, and in January 1966 he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from USC (Music Education and Woodwind Specialist). Lastly, after 22 years at Citrus Community College, he retired.
In 1994 he and Diane married and chose residency in Leisure World, Laguna, and five years later Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside. In 2007 they moved to White Sands of La Jolla. He continued practicing his clarinet and saxophone and often performed for the residents. Woodworking with a scroll saw gave him great pleasure as he made many pieces which he gave to family and friends.
Tony died quietly April 22 in the arms of his loving wife of 20 years, Diane (Davison).
He is survived by his four children, Russell, Joyce (Von Buhler), Robert, and Janet (Wentling); former wife, Mary; five grandchildren, Chris, Lisa, Desmond, David and Angela; brother, Michael of Buffalo; and his niece, Annette (Pulido) and her family of La Jolla. Most of the relatives continue to live in the Buffalo area.
He will be deeply missed by all, but never forgotten.
Published in La Jolla Light on May 29, 2014
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