Antoinette “Toni” DeMeo passed away peacefully on February 27, 2019, 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.
She was woman ahead of her time in so many ways: 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, she 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, WWII 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 she 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. They lived in Franklin Square, Long Island, where they raised two children, Peri and Roy Jr. Together, they started Island Visuals, a visual graphics business, where he did the creative work, and she ran the business. They spent fifteen 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, vowing she needed something to do with her time. Her retirement began a remarkable, full-time, career as a volunteer. For thirty-one years, or 23,000 volunteer hours, she served in the Auxiliary of the Eastern Long Island Hospital, eventually becoming the Chairperson of the Volunteer Services. She was the recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award and, in 2012, was named a Women 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. She was also involved in Malverne Merchants Association, Our Lady of Lourdes Rosary Society, Cutchogue/New Suffolk Historical Council, and Cutchogue/ New Suffolk Library board.
Toni was warm, quietly funny, very smart, blunt (one never had to guess what she was thinking!), and was quick with a joke or 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 by her grandchildren.
She is survived by her daughter, Peri Karkheck and son in law, Russell Karkheck of Nanuet, NY, son, Roy DeMeo Jr. and daughter in law, Linda, of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is also survived by her three grandchildren, Katie Karkheck, Nyack, NY, Jesse (Leslie) Karkheck, Ida, Michigan, and Robert DeMeo, Charlotte, North Carolina; two great grandchildren, Melanie and Tara. Toni is predeceased by husband, Roy Demeo, her parents, Mary and Perry Verrone, brothers, Robert Verrone (1984), Perry Verrone (2018) and her sister, Dorothy Hatfield (2002).
Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Coster Heppner Funeral Home 32470 Main Rd. Cutchogue, NY 11935.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Eastern Long Island Hospital Auxiliary, 201 Manor Place, Greenport, NY 11944
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