Obituaries for the Week of 11/14

Obituaries for the Week of 11/14

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Robert DeMaria

Robert DeMaria, author, professor and longtime resident of Port Jefferson, died peacefully at his home Sept. 2, shortly before his 91st birthday. 

DeMaria earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s and doctorate at Columbia University. He first taught at the University of Oregon, then at Hofstra University and later at Dowling College until he retired. DeMaria was academic dean at The New School for Social Research in New York, and worked as an editor at MacMillan Publishers, but his first love was writing.

The bulk of his creative work consisted of 25 published novels, including his 1991 “The College Handbook of Creative Writing” which is on its fourth edition. DeMaria also wrote an opera libretto, an off-Broadway play, poetry and short fiction published in various magazines.

He lived on and off in the artist colony of Deia, Mallorca, for 50 years. He set up and directed an overseas program for American students and writers-in-residence at The Mediterranean Institute and, together with his wife Ellen Hope Meyer, published Mediterranean Review, a literary review of artists and writers. His wife died in 1999.

In 1991, DeMaria started his own digital publishing company, The Vineyard Press, which has published more than 60 books.

“DeBob,” an affectionate name created by his students, was an affable man with a sense of humor and a keen wit. Family said he loved his family, his dogs, boating, social life, good food and wine, and living in Port Jefferson and Deia. 

DeMaria is survived by three sons: Robert DeMaria Jr., Nikolas and Michael; one daughter, Amanda; four grandchildren, Alex, David, Tygre and Emma; and his longtime partner, Fran Zak.

Mary Alice Serdock

Mary Alice Serdock, of Stony Brook, died July 2. She was 86.

She was born Nov. 26, 1932, in Queens, and was the daughter of Marie and Charles Fox.

Serdock was a retired real estate broker and member and active participant of the Lending Aids Society, Theatre Three, Rosary Altar Society, Three Village Meals on Wheels and Three Village Historical Society. She also enjoyed traveling, reading, watching television and gardening.

Left to cherish her memory is her son, Arthur; daughters, Catherine, Ann, Margaret and Ellen; six grandchildren; sisters, Elizabeth and Jane; brother, Robert; along with many other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur, and brother, Barry.

Services were held at the St. James R.C. Church, July 6. Interment was at the St. James R.C. Churchyard Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Sherwood Emerson Lewis Sr.

Sherwood Emerson Lewis Sr, of Marion, Massachusetts, died peacefully in the presence of his family members Oct. 31 at Sippican nursing home in Marion.

He fell ill in 2010 with a progressive and debilitating illness. He was 77 years old.

Sherwood was born in Port Jefferson to loving parents, Howard Sr. and Ethel DuVal Lewis. While employed in the late 1970s at Long Island Lighting Company, Sherwood attained a class-A welder rating. He received a LILCO award for designing an exhaust ash bearing protector.

He leaves behind his brother Robert Lewis, a family historian in Setauket (and wife Barbara). Sherwood is predeceased by his parents, and siblings Pearl Lewis Hart, Ethel Barbara Lewis Lee, Hazel Lewis and Howard Lewis Jr.

Sherwood is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie June Davis Lewis of Dennis Port, Massachusetts; and their children, Rolinda A. Lewis, Gwen M. Haddad, Arliena P. Feldmar (Peter R.), Nicole R. Lewis, Kim M. Lewis and Sherwood E. Lewis Jr. He is the loving granddad of 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held Nov. 7 at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Wareham, Massachusetts. Services were followed by a funeral procession to Centre Cemetery
in Wareham.

Sherwood’s most precious accomplishment was being a loving father. This warmhearted man of extraordinary talents will be greatly missed.

Bruce Hunt

Bruce Hunt, a retired Northport High School social teacher and department chair, passed away on Oct. 9 at the age of 86. Bruce is survived by his wife Marcia, his sons Christopher and Peter, daughter Eliza Furtado and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter Sarah.

At Northport High School Bruce was an educational innovator, designing and implementing unique classes and promoting novel teaching methods. Classes Bruce helped create are still being taught at Northport High School today.

From the early 1960s Bruce was an active civil rights leader, serving as head of the Fair Housing Association of Huntington and chair of the Huntington Human Relations Committee. In 1965 Bruce was awarded a John Hay Fellowship at Northwestern University, which took him to Chicago for a year, during which time he traveled to Alabama to take part in the march from Selma to Montgomery with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1970 Bruce temporarily left Northport and moved his family to Greece, teaching at the American Community School for six years

After retiring from Northport High School in 1993, Bruce and Marcia took positions at the American Embassy School in Damascus, Syria, where they lived for the next five years. In 1998 they permanently retired, moving to Skiathos, a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea. In 2014, Bruce and Marcia returned to the U.S. and settled in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, living in Grey Gull – a cottage on the water that has been in Bruce’s family for nearly a century.

Services for Bruce were private. Gifts in his memory may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union — by mail to ACLU Gift Processing Dept., 125 Broad St., 12th Floor, New York, NY 10004 or online at https://www.aclu.org/ — or to a charity of your choice.

Nicholas Economides 

Nicholas Economides of Centerport, formerly of Florida, died on Oct. 29 at 81 years of age. He was the beloved husband of Aspasia; loving father of Maria Markowski and her husband Christopher; beloved grandfather of Stephen, Aspasia and Nicholas; dear brother of Kalliope Papantoniou and her husband Antonios and the late Emanuel and his wife Julie. Nicholas was born in Nikeia, Nisyros, Greece. Visitation was held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. Funeral was celebrated at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Greenlawn. Burial followed at Northport Rural Cemetery. In Nicholas’ memory donations to www.americanbrainfoundation.org/ would be appreciated. 

Raymond Christopher Ficken

Raymond Christopher Ficken of Northport died on Nov. 3 at 56 years of age. Loving son of Evelyn (Arthur) C. Garcia and Frederick William Fickern; beloved brother of William (Victoria) R. Ficken, Michael (Monica) G. Ficken and Marc C. Ficken; dear uncle of Marc, Alexis, Kyla, Aidan and  William. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport on Nov. 8. Prayer service held during visitation. Private cremation followed.

Joseph V. Malfi

Joseph V. Malfi of Commack died on Nov. 2 at 89 years of age. He was the beloved husband of the late Frances; loving father of Louis Malfi, Christopher Malfi (Natalie) and Laura Colombo (Jeff Schneider); cherished grandfather of Samantha, Erin, Tony (Thomasina), Joe and Nick; fond brother of the late Nicholas Malfi. Visitation was held Nov. 4 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. Funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 5 at Christ the King Church in Commack. Burial followed at Calverton National Cemetery with Navy Honors.

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