Cover photo for Michael John DeStefano's Obituary
Michael John DeStefano Profile Photo
1942 Michael 2023

Michael John DeStefano

April 29, 1942 — June 12, 2023


Michael John DeStefano, 81, of 31 Metoxet Street, Ridgway, died on Sunday, June 11, 2023, at his home with his loving family at his side after a long illness.

He was born on April 29, 1942, a son of the late Michael Paul and Helen Del Pozzo DeStefano. He was the fifth of six children born to the DeStefano family.

In 1963, in Dayton, OH, he married Mary Lee Swift. In 1964, his first son Michael Lee arrived, and his second son, Christopher Adam was born in 1968.

Michael attended St. Leo’s School all 12 grades and was in the last class to graduate before the went to just 8th grade. He then obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, OH and a master’s degree of social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 1966.

Michael came back to his hometown in 1966 and went to work for Ridgway Psychiatric Center, later named Dickinson Mental Health, where he worked happily for 46 years. He received the Sis Simon award in 2002 for excellence of service and in 2008; he received the NASW Northwest PA Social Worker of the year award in Edinboro, PA with many social workers from the area in attendance. Michael was a member of the social workers board of PA for 8 years and President for 2 years. Michael loved his work and was dedicated to the people of Elk County.

Michael and Mary Lee were happily married for 58 years. They loved traveling to the Caribbean and entertaining their family and friends. Michael was one of the first members of the Footlighters and performed in several shows before and after his return to Ridgway. He had a unique sense of humor and was a clever conversationalist. He was also a great piano player and he and Mary Lee enjoyed playing and singing at social gatherings. Michael was an avid Steelers fan and enjoyed watching the games with his sons.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Lee, 2 sons; Mike and his wife Julie DeStefano of Troy, OH, and Chris DeStefano and his partner Cheryl Oknefski of Lake City, PA, 2 granddaughters; Jessica (Luke) Sideras of Huber Heights, OH, and Ashlynn Pettit of Huber Heights, OH. He is also survived by 3 sisters: Sister Lucille of the sisters of St. Joseph of Erie, Angela DeStefano of Ridgway, and Loretta Olson and her husband Bob of Hollidaysburg, as well as many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 2 sisters, Susan DeStefano and Mary Jo Stephenson.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Michael John DeStefano will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 11:00 AM at St. Leo Catholic Church, 111 Depot Street, Ridgway, PA 15853, with Fr. Justin P. Pino officiating.

Burial will follow at St. Leo Cemetery.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at Krise Funeral Home from 2:00 PM until 4:00PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Dickinson Mental Health or Penn Highlands Hospice.

Krise Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 130 Center Street, Ridgway, PA 15853 is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be offered to the family at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael John DeStefano, please visit our flower store.


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