Obituaries
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Nelson J. DiGregorio

Nelson J. DiGregorio

1923 - 2017

Nelson J. DiGregorio passed away August 1, 2017, at his home in Pulaski, under the care of Oswego County Hospice and his family. He was 93 years old.  Calling hours will be held at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. on Friday, August 4, 2017, from 4-7pm.  A 9:15 am prayer service will be held Saturday at the funeral home, followed by a 10am funeral mass at St. Anthony’s Church with Monsignor Robert Aucoin officiating. Burial will follow in Pulaski Village Cemetery with military honors. 

Nelson was born in Watertown, NY on September 20, 1923, a son of Giuseppi  DiGregorio and Mary Cirrincione. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1941.  He was a M4 Sherman Tank welder at the New York Air Brake in 1942 and 1943.  He served in the Army Air Corps from 1944 until his honorable discharge on May 8, 1946.  Nelson earned his BFA degree from Syracuse University in 1950 and his MS degree at State University, Oswego in 1965.  He married Shirley I. Wade in 1946.  He was an Art teacher and administrator in the Oswego School District for 31 years and concessionaire at Fair Haven State Park for 58 years. 

Nelson was a communicant of St Anthony’s Church.  He was a member of the American Legion, Italian American Club and past president of the NYS Art Teacher’s Association.  He was widely known for his art pursuits, having won first prize in a national art poster contest in 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. He enjoyed breeding and racing standard and thoroughbred horses at Vernon Downs, Finger Lakes, Saratoga and Monticello Race Tracks. 

Along with his companion Rose Marie Gushue, Nelson is survived by his two sons Joseph G. DiGregorio of Oswego, and Mark L. DiGregorio and his wife Ann Marie, Pulaski; three grandsons, seven great grandchildren and one great great grandson; a brother Joseph and his wife Darlene, Watertown; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  He is predeceased by his wife Shirley I. DiGregorio in 2000, his son Nelson, Jr. in 2014 and a brother Frank in 2009.  The family wishes donations be made in his name to St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Arsenal St. Watertown, NY.  Condolences may be made to dlcalarco.com


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Which of thirteen, twenty four, 81, 94 or seventy seven is the lowest?

Condolences left by other guests:

Fond memories of Mr. d as my art teacher at KPS!  Sincere sympathies on your loss.

By JoAnn Wheeler on 09 02, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

Especially to Joe DGregorio - Thinking of you; didn’t know of your present location in Oswego.  I am here in Arizona - place called Buckeye near Phoenix.  God placed me here and I don’t miss the winters in Watertown.
Praying for you and family. May Sweet Peace of Jesus be with you.
Sure would like a “drop-in” from someone in NYS.  Just know that I do remember and having chance to visit your home when you were just outside Watertown.  Blessing to you in abundance.

By Elly Fyles Zimmer on 08 14, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

Joe D.

  There were many good memories playing poker with the guys, including Nelson.  You all welcomed me when I was a new teacher at Watertown.  I was so impressed with Nelson’s repertoire of experiences…. artist, educator, entrepreneur.  He appeared to have lived a full life.

By Ron and Sue Hochmuth on 08 04, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

I am very sorry for your loss, Nelson has been a customer of mine for many years at Perry’s Ice Cream, I have enjoyed talking with him and visiting him during the ice cream season, he was always a gentleman and will be missed.

By Mike Paglia on 08 03, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

Dear Joe, Mark, and the rest of Mr. D.‘s wonderful family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. D. was my first boss, and I worked for him for 6 or 7 summers in Fair Haven. I will always remember him fondly. He must have taught hundreds of Fair Haven kids how to use their minds to calculate totals and make change (because you shouldn’t rely on a cash register to do it for you; it was just there to keep the money safe); how to make a beachbum; and the secret to a good pot of chili. He gave us educational bonds as bonuses and carried his lifelong love for teaching with him always. Oh, and the art lessons on the metal counter at the concession stand on slow days - he made time fly. I will never forget him. Big hugs to all of you!

By Rebecca Schaffer on 08 02, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

Hello Joe and Darlene,
  We are sorry to read of your loss, even as you knew that hour was coming.  I suspect that those many good times together will be fine memories, even growing finer, as the years pass.

By Bob and Marsha H on 08 02, 2017


Condolences left by other guests:

Due to the passing on of Nelson DeGregorio on Aug. 1, 2017, the family of Joseph A. Netto Sr. wishes to express their sincere condolences to the family of Nelson.  I, Joseph A Netto, Sr, wishes to state my feelings to let you know I personally knew Nelson from high school days and followed his accomplishments during all these years and he was an unselfish and caring good citizen at every endeavor he accomplished and undertook.  You all can be very proud of your excellent Dad..

By Joseph A. Netto, Sr on 08 02, 2017


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