Date of Birth August 3, 2021
Date Deceased December 15, 2021
Hometown Hornell
Home State N.Y.
Service Time 10 a.m.
Service Location St. Ann's Church, Hornell
Interment Location St. Ann's Cemetery, Hornell

Francis R. “Sonny” DeSanto

HORNELL-Francis R. “Sonny” DeSanto, 85, formerly of Hill Street, passed away Wednesday morning (Dec. 15, 2021) at Elderwood at Hornell.

Born in Hornell on Aug. 3, 1936, he was a son of the late Nicholas, Sr., and Catherine (Changose) DeSanto. Besides his parents, he was also predeceased by 10 sisters, Rose DiVincenzo, Mary Leto, Louise Fratercangelo, Lucy Chapman, Anna Datini, Catherine Smart, Dorothy DeSanto, Margaret “Marge” DeSanto, Theresa Napolione and Helen Pardi; two brothers, Joseph DeSanto and Nicholas DeSanto, Jr.

Sonny attended Hornell High School and he proudly served his country with the United States Army from 1955 to his honorable discharge in 1957. He was employed at the former Men Shop in Hornell before he became the owner and operator; after retiring he drove limousine. For several years he also served as an alderman for the City of Hornell.

He loved coaching and throughout the years he coached Midget football and Babe Ruth baseball. A fan of the Buffalo Bills and the NY Yankees, Sonny was also an avid Frank Sinatra fan. Most of all he especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

A member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish, he was a communicant of St. Ann’s Church in Hornell and was also a member of the Hornell Council No. 243 Knights of Columbus and the Arthur H. Cunningham American Legion Post No. 440.

His surviving family includes his wife of 62 years, Ellen (Read) DeSanto, who he married in Hornell on Aug. 9, 1959; three children, David (Lisa) DeSanto of Texas, Lynn (John) Di Martino of Rochester and Mary Ellen (Pat) Smith of Hornell; five grandchildren, Amber, Elyssa and Haydn Smith, Natalie, and Alex DiFiore; one brother, Richard (Josephine) DeSanto of Rochester; one sister-in-law, Donna DeSanto of Hornell; one brother-in-law, Joe Pardi of California; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Calling hours are 2-4 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 19, 2021) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Friends are invited to join his family at St. Ann’s Church, 31 Erie Ave., Hornell where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday (Dec. 20, 2021). Facemasks will be required at the funeral home and church. Committal prayers and interment, with military honors, will follow at St. Ann’s Cemetery, Hornell.

The United States flag and the Army flag will proudly fly at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in recognition of Sonny’s military service.

In lieu of flowers those wishing may contribute in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belforst Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 (woundedwarriorproject.org/donate.) Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc is honored to assist Sonny’s family with the arrangements.

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4 Responses

  1. I loved Uncle Sunny he was always so nice to me and I will miss him.My condolences and prayers to the family you are all in my heart ❤

  2. Sonny DeSanto was a class-act who kept generations of men looking their best whether it was for work, for a school dance, or for a wedding. Not only was Sonny classy on the outside in the way he dressed but he was even classier on the inside in the way he treated others with respect, with kindness and with generosity. His Italian family name is derived from the word that means “holy” or “saintly” and he certainly sought after and tried to live up to those qualities in his devotion to his family, his friends and his Christian faith. May his family find consolation in the faith he lived and in the example he set for them. Rest in peace Sonny. God bless your soul!

  3. Our deepest condolences to David, Lynn and Mary Ellen
    Your dad always took the time to talk to both of us as we grew up in Hornell; Sonny was the most dapper dresser in town and outfitted all who entered the Mens Shop the same,. His exquisitely starched shirts with French cuffs , initials and all the accessories as well as the best looking suits will always be in our memories… as well ad awesome conversations
    God bless you all!
    Mary Helen and Christopher Hogan

  4. Sorry to hear of Sonny’s passing. I worked at the Men’s Shop during my high school and college years with Sonny. He was such a nice man to be around. Helpful, funny, kind and patient teaching me working in the shop. I am just sorry I didn’t see him more over the years, I moved away after High School. My best to his family.

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