Emil "Jerry" Difede of Port Washington passed away on April 23, 2009 at the age of 85. The cause was cancer.
Jerry was born in Astoria, NY of two Italian immigrants, James and Gemma Difede. Raised in the apartment above his father's barber shop and dry goods store, he began a life of achievement beyond what he could have foreseen.
Jerry served in World War II, earning three Bronze Stars for service at Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Romagen Bridge. When not caring for wounded soldiers as a medic, he would entertain troops with his jazz trio. Music remained a big part of his life and his Sinatra-esque voice could be heard in many a local piano bar.
After the War, Jerry began a corporate career that led him to serve in several senior corporate positions, most notably at Black & Decker, where he directed the introduction of one of the most popular consumer products of the time, the "Dustbuster" vacuum. Taking early retirement in 1982, he spent the remaining years of his life singing, clamming and publishing his real estate magazine Portfolio of Homes, which allowed him to surround himself with one of his favorite things - the many wonderful women in the real estate industry.
Jerry Difede is survived by his beloved and devoted Anne Bowie Vavrinec, his three children, Joan, Jim and Jennifer, their mother Doris Difede and his sisters Rose and Gloria. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 17, between 2 and 4 p.m. at Fairchilds Funeral Home in Manhasset.
Joan Dorothy Hopkins Whipple, 88, of Manhasset and Norwalk, CT peacefully passed away on March 11, 2009 at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn.
Joan was born March 18, 1920 in Maidenhead, England. She was the daughter of Frank and Beatrice Hopkins. Frank was the equine director to the royal family at Windsor castle.
Joan came over to America in 1940 to avoid the German blitz that threatened Britain during WWII and lived with a local Long Island family. It was during this stay that she met and then later married Dr. Ralph U. Whipple (urologist) in 1948. They settled in Manhasset where Ralph headed the Urology Department at the Manhasset Medical Center while Joan raised five children. They remained in their original home in Manhasset for 48 years before moving to a condominium overlooking the Norwalk River in Connecticut. They both enjoyed their retirement years living by the water with frequent visits from children (two daughters live close by) and grandchildren.
After Dr. Whipple's death Joan moved back to Long Island to an assisted living facility in Great Neck.
There is no question that Joan was a wonderful wife and mother. She was fully devoted to her children's well-being and active lifestyle. Joan spent much of her time either poolside, at the beach or on the bleachers at uncountable athletic events.
Joan is survived by her loving sister Marjorie Prestyly of Garden City was predeceased by her brother Frank who lived in England and a granddaughter Diane Whipple. She will be fondly remembered by her five children; Pamela, Patricia, Ralph Jr. (Chip), Richard, and Roberta and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Congregational Church in Manhasset on May 8 at 4:30 p.m. For further information call 627-4634.