It is with great sadness that the family of Mr. Donald A. Durso Sr., age 71, announces his passing on December 6, 2019 at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
Born in Utica on April 12, 1948, Donald was the son of the late Donald (Dee) and Catherine (Kay) Durso. He was raised and locally educated at T.R. Proctor High School. A veteran of the US Army, Donald was proud to have served his country in Vietnam and was honorably discharged. During his working years he occupied a position at The Local Laborers Int. Union #35 for over 30 years until his retirement. At one time he was married to the former Karen (Summa) Mitchell and to that relationship came the blessing of their son, Donald Jr.; Donald Sr. and Karen remained a constant in each other’s lives with the common goal of keeping their family together, indeed a job well done.
Donald was a devoted father, always dedicating his life to giving his best to the needs of his son. His most cherished gift came on February 12, 2015, the birth of his precious granddaughter Adriana Marie (Addie). Donald’s greatest joy was spending every moment he could with her. He wholeheartedly embraced the responsibility of taking her to school daily and attended all her important events. Adriana was his everything and he will be her forever “Poppie". He was a passionate Boston Red Sox and Washington Redskins fan. He enjoyed handicapping horses at Saratoga and Vernon Downs, and never missed a day walking the park with his beloved canine companion, Minnie (The Min). Donald will be remembered for his selfless devotion to his family and his generosity to those who had the great privilege of knowing him. His sense of humor that brought his friends and family to tears will be missed immensely.
Donald is survived by his loving son, Donald A. Durso Jr. and his mother Karen Mitchell; his granddaughter Adriana Marie Durso; sister Dorothy Durso of Syracuse with whom he shared a close bond; and his aunt Carmella Dragotto. He leaves many cousins especially acknowledging Phyliss Gentile who was very supportive; also remembering Karen’s son Nicky Malagese, and her foster children Andrew Henderson, Thomas Meyers, Joshua Wilk, and Vernon Green. He will be remembered by his dearest childhood friend Paula Capirci Nasto and her children, Joseph Coco, Danielle Coco Brucker, and Christopher Coco (Fig); he loved them as his own and they respectfully called him “Uncle Don”. He also held dear the friendships of Francesco Capirci (Ciccio), and Rose Capirci Patene. He was predeceased by his in-laws Thomas and Ella Summa; aunts and uncles, Marion and Frank Rienzo, Antoinette and Don Raab, Adele (Santina) and Vincent Palazza, Dominick and Helen Durso, and Bernard (Benny) Dragotto; friends Richard Mitchell, Michele (Mickey) Kruppa, Marie Capirci, and his best bud USMC/MGySgt. Franco M. Capirci; adored pets, Taffy (Is Good), Tommy, Spunky, and Minnie (The Min).
A heartfelt thank you to Gerard Barberio and Michael Durso for their loving support to Big D and the family during this difficult time. The family extends their appreciation to the ICU staff at St. Elizabeth Medical Center for their professionalism and genuine care. Also, many thanks to the Palliative Care Nurse Arianna Giruzzi-Lupo for her exceptional kindness.
There will be no public visitation. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday at 12:00 noon in St. Anthony & St. Agnes Church, Utica, with Military Honors Conferred. The family will receive visitors at the conclusion of mass in church.