Anne DeStefano of Shelter Island passed away unexpectedly in her sleep in the early hours of Thursday, August 17, 2017 at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset where she was awaiting heart surgery.
Born on March 9, 1939 and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey, Anne met her future husband, Bob, in kindergarten. Thirteen years later, on graduation day they went on their first date. Soon after they were married and moved to Cape May, New Jersey where Bob was stationed in the Coast Guard and Anne worked at Marine Bank.
They later moved to Southampton where she worked as a secretary for local attorney Tom Burke.
Anne has been a resident of Shelter Island for over 50 years. She worked at the golf shop at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, as a real estate broker at Hallock Realty and later became a partner in its successor, Georgiana B. Ketcham Real Estate.
Anne will be remembered, her family said, for her smile, her heart and her kindness, but mostly for her limitless love of family, both her own and countless others. She was on every school committee, her family recalled: she was a den mother, class mother, chaperone, cook, bus driver, entertainment committee, teacher, friend, confidant, confessor, protector and comforter.
She never missed a game, match, play or concert. She loved unconditionally and without judgment and accepted you as you were, her family recalled. She gave without any thought of reciprocation. Her door was always open, her table was always full and everyone was welcome. Anne’s greatest ambition in life was to be a mother and that is how she will be remembered — by many more people than she ever would have imagined.
Anne is survived by her husband of 58 years, Bob DeStefano, her son Bob DeStefano, Jr. (Elena), her son-in-law Kevin Byrne and his son Daniel, as well as her sister, Patricia Dennis. She will be missed by everyone, and especially the generations of Island children to whom she was a second mother. She is reunited with her daughter and best friend, Nancy Anne Byrne, who predeceased her.
Services were held on Monday, August 21, 2017 at Our Lady of the Isle Roman Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that anyone wishing to make a donation in Anne’s memory send a contribution to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation — PO Box 547, Shelter Island, New York 11964 — in appreciation for the times they have come to the family’s aid and their kindness and compassion at those trying times.