Andrew L. (Andy) Cisternino, 95, passed peacefully on Aug. 24, 2017 in his King Ferry, N.Y. home where he had lived for 11 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Michele and Filomena (Canonieri) Cisternino; his wife of 65 years, Julia (Jordan) Cisternino; and his seven siblings, Leonard Anthony, James, Pauline, John, Francis, Grazielle, and Maria.
He will be dearly missed by his five children, Diane (Billy) Lennon, of Benson, N.C., Teri (Peter) Barbato, of Orlando, Fla., Tom (Marion) Cisternino, of Sarasota, Fla., Linda (Dana) Mandel, of King Ferry, N.Y., and Mark (Suzy) Cisternino, of Nesconset, N.Y.; his six grandchildren, Jacqueline Cisternino, of Bloomfield, Mich., Greg Cisternino, of Boston, Mass., Aliza (Peter) MacClellan, of Summerville, S.C., Adam (Rachel) Mandel, of Albany, N.Y., Rose Mandel, of New York, N.Y., and Emily Cisternino, of Macon, Ga.; and two great-grandchildren, Sadie and Evelyn MacClellan, with a third expected in October to Adam and Rachel.
Born Dec. 3, 1921 in Syracuse, N.Y., Andy attended Delaware Grammar School and Blodgett Vocational High School before enlisting in the United States Coast Guard in 1942, serving the majority of his three and one-half years aboard the Destroyer Escort, USS Pride, as a Petty Officer – Communications in the American, European, and Mediterranean theaters of operation. In December 1942, during a fierce winter storm on Lake Ontario, he heroically attempted to save the life of his shipmate who had been swept overboard, as their vessel smashed into the Oswego Harbor Lighthouse, by tying a rope around himself and selflessly diving into the frigid waters. He was honorably discharged in November 1945 with a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Andy attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill where he earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration in 1949 (receiving honors in Beta Alpha Psi) and Juris Doctor from the Law School in 1951 (receiving honors in Phi Delta Phi and holding the position of Associate Editor of the Syracuse Law Review), all while working jobs to support his growing family. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1952.
A dedicated 53-year employee of Allstate Insurance Co., he joined the company right out of Law School serving in various capacities within the Claim Department from 1951-1966. For the remainder of his career, he served as Attorney of Record in Allstate’s law office in Huntington, Lake Success and Garden City on Long Island. A long-time member of the New York State, Suffolk County and Nassau County Bar Associations where he served in various leadership positions, he was recognized in 2012 for his 60 years of distinguished membership. As a very proud Italian American, Andy was honored to serve as President of the Suffolk County Columbian Lawyers’ Association in 1970-71, an organization for lawyers, judges, and law students of Italian American descent.
A 40-year resident of Huntington, N.Y., he was very active in local government, political, and community organizations. He served on the Huntington Town Planning Board for 21 years, rising to the position of Deputy Chairman, while also being elected as Regional Director of the New York State Planning Federation during his tenure. Over the years, he was also a member of Toastmasters International, the American Arbitration Association and a long-time Democratic Town Committeeman.
Arrangements entrusted to Thomas J. Pirro, Jr. Funeral Home.
A private family gathering will take place immediately preceding a Mass of Christian burial and a celebration of Andy’s life will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Good Shephard Catholic Community in Our Lady of the Lake Church, Route 90, King Ferry, NY 13081. Graveside prayers and burial, including military honors, will take place the same day at 1:30 p.m. in Assumption Cemetery, 2401 Court St., Syracuse.
Contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Lake Church or Hospice of the Finger Lakes, 1130 Corporate Drive, Auburn, NY 13021.