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Stephen A. DeBella

October 13, 2022


On Thursday, October 13, 2022, Stephen Anthony DeBella , 72, entered into the arms of our Lord peacefully surrounded by his family after a brief illness. Stephen began his journey in life on July 4, 1950, in Rome. He was the beloved son of Agatha May Marucci DeBella and the late Anthony Joseph DeBella. He was the eldest of 5 children and was born into a large Italian family consisting of many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Stephen was not only born into a large Italian family, but a very musical one as well. From an early age, Stephen expressed interest in playing the drums. Throughout his life, Stephen was a very gifted drummer having played in many venues along the Northeast coast. He also was gifted with a beautiful singing voice. Stephen was able to sing lead and backup vocals all the while maintaining perfect tempo. Stephen was the drummer for several area bands over the years, including but not limited to: The Galaxies and the popular group The Retro Rockers. Stephen, as well as some of his other bandmates, went on to several years of professional touring as performers in the groups: Magic, Holidaye, and Hungry Mother. While doing so, he had the occasion to share the stage with such artists as Chuck Berry and Sly and The Family Stone, as well as being a backup drummer for Linda Ronstadt. He played with numerous talented musicians and made many lifelong friendships along the way.

Stephen was educated in Rome, graduating from RFA in the class of 1968. He attended Utica College as an English major. After college, Stephen began working at Rome Manufacturing, then subsequently having a long career at MetLife, retiring in 2017. During those years, he made many friendships that continued until his passing. Stephen’s philosophy after retirement was “Every day is Saturday.” Stephen had many hobbies and interests in his life. He was an avid NY Yankees fan, enjoyed Syracuse University basketball and football, and followed Michigan Wolverines football. He was a Buffalo Bills, NY Giants, Detroit Lions, and Red Wings fan. He enjoyed playing golf with his family and friends and going to classical car shows. He was also a voracious reader, reading anything from spy novels to politics, as well as being a news “Junkie“.

Stephen is survived by his mother Agatha May Marucci DeBella; his siblings Sandra (Albert) Frankey Santamour, Matthew (Karen) DeBella, Milana (Gabriel) Ciotti and Donna (Todd) Hoffman. He leaves many nieces and nephews; Anthony (Melissa) Frankey, Paula (David) Bush, Deaven Frankey, Dustin Frankey, Jonathan (Taylor) Frankey, Venessa (Robert) Bell, Gabriel (Kirsten) Ciotti, Marcello Ciotti, Sandina Ciotti, Athena Hoffman, Karli (Brad) Wilson, Hannah (Todd Butters) Hoffman, Jordon Hoffman; and many great nieces and nephews. Stephen loved and cherished each and every one. Stephen was predeceased by his father, Anthony J. DeBella, his paternal and maternal grandparents, Steven and Sandina DeBella, Matthew and Philomena Marucci; and brother-in-law Howard John Frankey.

Stephen will be greatly loved, remembered and missed. He will always be remembered for the special note that he wrote in every card he sent to his nieces and nephews.

Stephen, may God bless you and grant you love, faith, hope, health, happiness, peace and prosperity always. XOXO. May he grant you peace and everlasting life and keep you in his tender loving care. We love you very much Stephen.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Adam Berg, the nursing staff of Upstate University Hospital, 10th floor, ICU, and 4th Floor nursing staff at Oneida Healthcare.

Visiting hours will be from 4 to 7 pm on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at the Bottini Funeral Home, 120 W. Embargo St. A Mass of Christian Burial with the Rev. Paul Angelicchio as celebrant will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at St. John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick St. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to St. Jude’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester NY 14642.

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