John Joseph DiGesare, 85, was surrounded at his passing on January 1st, 2023, by his wife and two daughters as his energy returned to the universe. John was born on September 22, 1937, in Schenectady, New York to Johanna and Joseph DiGesare. He graduated from Mont Pleasant High School in 1955 and received a National Merit Scholarship to attend Syracuse University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and ultimately earned a Master of Science in Art Education. As an educator for over 37 years at Roxboro Road Middle School, North Syracuse High School, and Cicero-North Syracuse High School, John touched the lives of countless students and colleagues. He taught art in many mediums, but the most valuable instruction came in the form of jokes, gentle encouragement, and the belief that wavy lines were much more interesting than straight ones. He saw the value in each student who entered his classroom, which became a safe space for so many.
John was an observer and creator who left things more beautiful than how he found them. He was a voracious reader who loved Science Fiction, model cars, and the Grateful Dead. He found joy and connection spending time with people who felt unseen, making his volunteer work with the Franciscan Northside Ministries, and the Q Center so important to him. Some of his happiest times were spent with his wife Marilyn visiting museums the world over and sitting on the beach in Cape Cod. He had tremendous pride in his grandchildren and loved his daughters dearly.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Marilyn Ringwood; daughters, Kathleen (Gerard) Davis, and Christine DiGesare; grandchildren, Cortney, Addison, Griffin, and Ellery; Marilyn’s daughters, Molly (Jason) Venditti, Caitlin (Christopher) Ringwood Auferio, and grandchildren, Mikael and Charlotte; his first wife, Mary Jane DiGesare, also survives him.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in John’s name to the Northern Onondaga Public (NOPL) Library, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero, NY 13039. Please indicate that the donations go specifically to North Syracuse Library Branch. Or simply read or share a book!
A Celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 2-4 pm at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 East Genesee St. Syracuse