Antoinette “Toni” DeMeo passed away peacefully Feb. 27, just days before her 96th birthday.
She had many roles, including dedicated wife, mom, grandma, businesswoman and volunteer. She loved her community and always wanted to help others.
Toni was woman ahead of her time in so many ways as a feminist, a super achiever and the valedictorian of her high school class. She strongly believed in education and had a desire to go to college to become a doctor. Despite her drive, her family could not afford to send her to school.
In typical fashion, Toni went to the local parish priest and asked him for a scholarship, which funded her time in a pre-med program at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. One year later, World War II was approaching and she was unable to continue due to family obligations. She eventually completed her studies to become a certified financial planner, though not finishing college was the great regret of her life.
In 1946 Toni met the love of her life on a blind date and married him only three months later. Her marriage to Roy E. DeMeo lasted nearly 70 years. They remained much in love until the very end. The couple lived in Franklin Square, Long Island, where they raised two children, Peri and Roy Jr.
Together, Toni and Roy started Island Visuals, a visual graphics business where he did the creative work and she ran the business. They spent 15 years boating the Long Island bays with family and friends. In 1981 they bought a home in Cutchogue and moved there permanently in 1986.
Toni reluctantly retired and vowed that she needed something to do with her time. Her retirement began her remarkable full-time career as a volunteer. For 31 years, or 23,000 volunteer hours, she served in the auxiliary of Eastern Long Island Hospital, eventually becoming the chairperson of Volunteer Services. She was the recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award and, in 2012, was named a Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate for her volunteer services. She was considered the “mom” of the hospital and reluctantly retired at 95.
Toni was warm, quietly funny, very smart, blunt (one never had to guess what she was thinking!) and quick with a joke or a hug. She made a mean apple pie, made friends easily, was extremely generous and loved to be the boss. She was loved by her many friends, her community, her family and especially her grandchildren.
Visitors will be received Saturday, March 16, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. Religious services will be held at 2:15 p.m.
This is a paid notice.