Marian (Ragard) DeSantis, 88, of Binghamton, passed away peacefully on September 16, surrounded by her family after a short illness. She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Angelo, her parents, Anthony and Anna Ragard, her brothers, Philip and Daniel Ragard, and her daughter-in-law, Linda DeSantis. She is survived by her sons, David DeSantis of Castle Creek, James (Robin) DeSantis of Port Crane, and Edward (Renee) DeSantis of Chenango Bridge, her sister, Concetta Tacci of Macungie, PA, sister-in-law, Anna Ragard of Binghamton, brother-in-law, Dominic DeSantis, Jr. of Cherry Grove, NY, and her favorite cousin, Catherine Cornell of Morgantown, WV. The light of her life were her grandchildren who she loved and cared about deeply and always thought about them before herself, Kimberly DeSantis of Johnson City, NY, Christina (Clayton) Sternberg of Mesa, AZ, Felicia DeSantis of Port Crane, NY, Anthony DeSantis of Buffalo, NY, and her great-grandchildren, Lucy and Hannah. Marian was a retiree of the City of Binghamton, serving as director of the First Ward Senior Citizens Center for many years, and then continued her service as the piano player for the many performances over the years of the First Ward Chorus. She organized and accompanied numerous bus trips for the seniors that traveled all over the United States and she invented the "Mystery Bus Trip", where the riders had no idea where they were going but were never disappointed with the destination. She brought a lot of joy and good times to those that were around her because she thought that seniors citizens deserved to be remembered and not forgotten. She was honored for her lifelong public service by the American Legion Hall of Fame Congress as Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1988. She was an active member of St. Paul's Church in Binghamton where she was baptized, received her first Holy Communion and was married. She was a former member of the choir for many years singing up in the loft while our dad took up the collection below. She was one of the founding members of the Cadence Dance Club and took many trips abroad with our dad and their many good friends. She loved to be able to spend time and have dinner with her close friends, Rose Serafini and Marcy Mansour, and was blessed to have lived next door almost her whole life to her good friends, Marilyn Maume and her family, and John Crowe. Our family also remembers and thanks Mokey and Liz Whalen for their many years of friendship. Our mom enjoyed watching TV, especially the Yankees, golf and tennis. She most enjoyed having her family get-together on Sunday afternoons for dinner, and talking on the phone to her friends and relatives out of town. She would always look forward to when our family made our yearly trip to Ocean City, MD and loved to be able to sit on the beach and put her feet in the ocean. After our dad passed away, she learned how to use the internet and became our family's first Wii bowling champion. Our family would like to thank Dr. Kloss and the staff of Broome Oncology and the nurses and caregivers of General Hospital Memorial 3 for their compassion in her final days. We also owe an unpayable debt of gratitude to Dr R. A. Ramanujan and Dr. Nancy Fehrenbach and the staff of Diabetic Care Associates of Binghamton for their excellent care for her and our family over the years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at St. Paul's Church in Binghamton. Fr. Francis Kocik will officiate. Burial will be in Chenango Valley Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 4 until 7 p.m. and on Thursday from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. at the Thomas J. Shea Funeral Home, Inc., 137 Robinson St., Binghamton. Donations in her name can be made to the First Ward Ladies Auxillary.