Visitation at Funeral Home
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, February 3, 2023
Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
1225 Montauk Hwy
West Islip, New York, United States
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church
455 Hunter Avenue
West Islip, New York, United States
John Paul DeGuardi passed away on January 24, 2023 surrounded by family at his home in Verona, New Jersey. John was born in New York City on August 12, 1932. The family moved to Flushing, Queens, where he spent his formative years in an apartment above his father’s Italian grocery store. Living in these small quarters, working alongside his father, caring for his sister and looking up to his older brothers, John developed his lifelong devotion and commitment to family. After graduating from Newtown High School in 1951, John became the first person in his family to attend college. At New York University his interest in art began to blossom and he graduated with a degree in Art Education in 1955. Five years later, John received an MFA from Columbia University. In the fall of 1955, John began his teaching career at Lee Avenue Elementary School where he met the love of his life, Antoinette. They were married two years later in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Together they purchased their first home in Levittown, where they started their own beautiful family. In 1971 they moved with their four children to their home in West Islip where they would spend the next 50 years. In West Islip they became vital members of the Our Lady of Lourdes community and made lifelong friendships. In 1957, he joined the Bethpage High School Art Department as an art teacher and eventually became department chair. Under his leadership, the course offerings for students expanded in leaps and bounds. Puppetry, Photography, Ceramics, and Art History were just a few of the classes that John introduced into the Art Department’s course catalog.
A turning point in John’s career came in the summer of 1968 when he led a group of Bethpage High School students on a three-week trip to Europe. This became one of John’s passions throughout his life as he led hundreds of high school students, college students, fellow parishioners, and friends to the great cities and museums of Europe. John retired from Bethpage High School in 1987, but his passion for art and for teaching led him to St. Joseph’s University in Patchogue where he continued to inspire art students for thirty years. As a professionally trained artist, John’s oil, acrylic, and water-color paintings were often on exhibit across Long Island. However, most of his work is now proudly displayed in the homes of family and friends. The capstone of John’s career came in May of 2000 when he became an ordained Deacon in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center. His classroom for the next 15 years shifted from the art room to the pulpit of Our Lady of Lourdes. However, John never stopped sharing his love of art, as his “art students” became his nine grandchildren. Together they painted countless watercolors of sunsets, skylines and seascapes. John is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Antoinette; his four beloved children and their spouses, Mary Federowicz (Steve), John (Melanie), Elizabeth Sniatkowski (Jay), and Christina (David Rayner); nine grandchildren, Catherine Young (Brian), Therese, Stephen, Alex, Johnny, Maria, Luke, Julianne, and Eliza; four great-grandchildren Brian, Clara, Noelle and Nicholas; brother in-law and sister in-law, Paul and Doris Badamo. He is predeceased by his parents John and Katherine, his brothers Paul and Andrew, and his sister Grace.
The DeGuardi family would like to express their sincere and heartfelt thanks to his loving and devoted caregivers Tracy, Enid, Sonia, Michalea, Majlinda, Beverly, Debbie, Deacon Paul, and the nurses at Grace Hospice. In lieu of flowers the DeGuardi family respectfully requested donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Outreach. https://www.stjude.org/ Our Lady of Lourdes 455 Hunter Avenue West Islip, NY 11795