Julius Boccia (1930-2023)
Julius Boccia, 92, a former Beacon city judge, died Feb. 2.
He was born in Beacon on March 3, 1930, the son of Gaetano and Brigida (Ammorati) Boccia. After attending St. John’s School and Beacon High School, he earned his law degree from St. John’s University. He also earned a master’s degree at New York University and was admitted to the bar in 1954.
Julius practiced law from 1956 until his retirement and was principal of Phillips, Heaney & Schofield since 1963. Julius was a member of the Beacon Republican Committee, the Dutchess County and New York State bar associations and the Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce (including as past president). He also was a life member of the Elks Club, St. Rocco’s Society and the Knights of Columbus.
Julius served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1955 and was stationed in Germany with the 2nd Armored Infantry Division (Hell on Wheels). He was a lifelong registered Republican, ran for the county Legislature in 1967 (losing by two votes!) and served as assistant district attorney in Dutchess County from 1959 to 1963 and Beacon city judge from 1992 to 2000.
He is survived by his wife, the former Marian Parisi; his stepchildren, Michael Fisher and Rene Coughlin; his siblings, Mary Thomas and Michael Boccia; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Brooks Funeral Home in Newburgh on Monday (Feb. 6) from 4 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Francis Church in Newburgh on Tuesday at 1 p.m., followed by interment at Cedar Hill Mausoleum.
Donna O’Neill (1936-2023)
Donna M. O’Neill, 86, of Wappingers Falls and formerly of Beacon, died Jan. 27.
She was born in Beacon on April 15, 1936, the daughter of Westwood and Harriett (Kittredge) Leek. On July 22, 1956, Donna married James O’Neill at St. John’s Church in Beacon.
Donna worked for many years as a volunteer at the Second Hand Rose in Poughkeepsie and was an active member of the Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir.
Born during the Depression, Donna learned at an early age not to waste anything unless it was completely consumed, notably demonstrated by a 30-year old can of oregano found in the spice cabinet. She was a talented seamstress who easily made everything, from clothing for her children, outfits for any occasion and leather vests to window treatments and furniture re-upholstery.
She enjoyed camping trips with family and “the gang,” crossword puzzles and Scrabble. Donna had a strong sense of humor and an easy laugh, and liked to convey her thoughts at times with a simple eye roll — “it is what it is” or “whatever!” Her family said she was greatly loved and will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her children, Patrick O’Neill (Kathryn), Thomas O’Neill (Sheila), Peggy Frace (PJ) and Kathleen Nowers (Mark); seven grandchildren (Kyle, Meghan, Sarah, Ryan, Lauren, Callie and Sean); and three great-grandchildren (Brianna, Aaliyah and Joshua). She is also survived by a sister, her Shirley Colabella. Her husband and two siblings, Doris Dedrick and Walter Leek, died before her.
Calling hours will be held on Feb. 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Delehanty Funeral Home, 64 E. Main St. in Wappingers Falls. A funeral service will be held on Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. at Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church, 2381 New Hackensack Road, and interment will follow at Wappingers Rural Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association (heart.org) or a charity of choice.