Nicholas A. DeFelice obituary photo
In Memory of

Nicholas A. DeFelice

May 7, 1943 - June 17, 2017


We are here today to honor the life and memory of Nick DeFelice. With his passing, our hearts are heavy because he is no longer physically with us. Although we are grateful for the positive impact he had on our lives, we will sorely miss him. Nick was a loving husband, father, son, brother, grandfather and uncle to the members of his family. To the rest of us, Nick was a friend, co-worker, leader, confidant, mentor and hero. As Nick always had a strong faith in God, he was also a very willing spiritual advisor...

We are here today to honor the life and memory of Nick DeFelice. With his passing, our hearts are heavy because he is no longer physically with us. Although we are grateful for the positive impact he had on our lives, we will sorely miss him. Nick was a loving husband, father, son, brother, grandfather and uncle to the members of his family. To the rest of us, Nick was a friend, co-worker, leader, confidant, mentor and hero. As Nick always had a strong faith in God, he was also a very willing spiritual advisor to any that needed it.

Each us here has special memories of our time with Nick. He was one of a kind that we will never forget. For me, he was and always will be a once in a lifetime best friend. I know there are others that would say the same thing. He was always someone I could turn to when I needed help with something, anything. It didn't matter if it was work or personal, he was always there. And he always listened. He always made me feel like I was the only one in the building, no matter where we were or what was going on.

He believed in me and encouraged me. He helped me to believe in myself. I know that my life has been better for having Nick in it.
Many of us will remember that when we sought guidance from Nick, he always came up with a helpful, timely, and heartfelt response that you just knew was going to help. To me, it was his strong faith in God and His loving Son Jesus Christ that permeated all facets of his life and allowed Nick to be such a constant help to others.

Nick was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. His Father, Nicola, was an Italian immigrant who came to America when he was 16. He came from the town of Vacri, the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. The town is about 125 miles due east of Rome. Nick's Mother was born in America from parents who had recently immigrated from Italy. Nick was the oldest of five children. He had two brothers, Mike and Gary and two sisters, Liz and Marie. I know from stories he would tell me about his upbringing that he was extremely proud of and in awe of his hard working
parents and the job they did of raising their five children in their new country.

Being a male and the oldest, as Nick observed his parent's strong work ethic, devotion to the family and their faith in God, he took responsibility for helping his parents and being supportive of his siblings and especially protective of his sisters. I think the taking on these duties as a young person, of being held accountable for the welfare of his siblings, instilled in Nick the traits that would later serve him well and make him highly successful in his adult life.
As Nick finished up his teenage years and moved on to college, one night while out at the Anchor Bar, a popular night spot in Niagara Falls, Nick first laid eyes on Virginia Harwood, a beautiful Canadian girl from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who, on that night, just happen to be wearing the often recounted pink hot pants. On multiple occasions, Nick confirmed that he told his Niagara Falls buddies that night that he would marry that girl.

As we now know, his prediction was accurate. Nick and Ginni recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
As many of us have heard him say over the years, marrying Ginni was the best decision he ever made. His love for her was complete and unwavering.

Early evidence of the wisdom of his good decision regarding Ginni occurred when, shortly after their marriage and birth of their first child, Kara, Nick's Air National Guard unit was deployed to Korea. During this trying time, Ginni courageously kept their home and family together, while supporting Nick from afar. While he did not talk about it a lot, I know Nick was proud of his service to our country.

I first met Nick when I took a job working as a commercial real estate lender for Marine Midland Realty Credit Corp. in Buffalo, NY. The company primarily provided construction loans nationally and Nick, who had been with Marine Midland for 15+ years, was a Senior Manager with the company. I had interviewed with him and others before being hired and, during the interview, we discovered we had something in common. We both had graduated from Niagara University, a small Catholic college located in Niagara Falls, NY where Nick grew up. While Nick was not my boss, I did see him around the office nearly every day and we got to know each other quite well.
After about three years with Marine Midland, in late 1979, I left and moved to Baltimore to work for what was then Maryland National Bank. In mid 1980, I heard from Nick. He was considering leaving Marine Midland and taking a job with what was then First National Bank of Maryland in Baltimore. He ended up taking the job and soon there after, he hired me at First National.

Over time, Nick became the Manager of all real estate lending and did a spectacular job of making First National a very prominent regional real estate lender, both residential and commercial. During that time, Nick was a very active, hand's on manager that created the structure, and instilled the discipline and focus needed for us to thrive. We enjoyed strong relationships with many prominent, highly successful real estate developers and Nick was key to maintaining them.

I know it was not unusual for a developer/customer of ours to ask Nick for his input before undertaking their next development project. Many times he gave such advice and many times it was incorporated into the project, making it easier to get everyone on the same page when it came to putting the financing together.
In addition to having the confidence of our customers, he also had the confidence of Bank Senior Management. Up and down the line, inside and outside of the bank, everyone involved, knew that Nick had a passion for getting it right and you better have the same passion and expectation of success if you were going to remain on the team. As a result, he made everyone involved better. From where I sat, borrowers were proud to have Nick and First National as their lender, Senior Management and the Board of Directors were very happy to have Nick as their chief real estate lender and we were all proud and happy to have Nick as our boss. Some of his proudest professional moments were celebrating the successes of his teams at the bank.

Nick retired in 2000 due to health issues. Eventually, in April of 2002, Nick received a lung transplant and he started on a 15year journey of fighting for his health. During this time he devoted many volunteer hours as a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Transplant Resource Center. Without the demands of his former professional life, Nick now had a different focus and it became his priority to spend as much time as he could with his growing family, which now includes 7 beautiful grandchildren.

Because of her humility, Ginni would not like me saying this but, her love and devotion to Nick on the best of days and the worst of days has been an inspiration to us all. She quietly conducted the affairs of their lives with strength and grace. It was Nick's good fortune to have her at his side. She was a nurturing partner and mother to their children. As a nurse, she helped to financially support their growing family in the early days.
Ginni was quietly behind the scenes in all of Nick's successes, always raising him up and pushing him to the front so that her efforts and good counsel remained their intimate secret. She is responsible, in no small way, for the legacy Nick leaves behind. And there is of course Nick's good luck that he just happened to marry a very intelligent RN. Nick lived 15 productive years after receiving a lung transplant. This is thanks to having nursing care 24/7 from his devoted friend and wife Ginni. For those of us on the outside looking in, the love story of Nick and Ginni has amazed us and given us hope and strength in our own lives.

Kara is Nicks first born child and his only daughter. Nicks princess. He gained immense joy watching her grow and become the bright, perceptive, kind woman, mother and professional that she is. There was always a softness; a tenderness that would come across Nicks face when he was talking about his daughter. He rejoiced at her successes and was a fierce protector if he thought she was being unappreciated. You remain, as he often said, his favorite and only daughter!

Scott it could not have been easy to be the first born son to Nick DeFelice, the Italian Stallion, but obviously, you were up for the challenge. I'm not sure you are aware of how proud your Dad was of you as a son, husband, father and man and how many times I listened to his stories regarding your police heroics. I think he would have secretly loved to have been right by your side, fighting the bad guys and keeping the world a little safer. Your Dad loved you very much.

On a lighter side I'd like to share a Scott and Nick police story. I heard Nick tell this story with a big proud smile on his face on multiple occasions over the years. One evening, as Nick and Ginni, in their car, approached an intersection in Baltimore County, Nick was planning to make a right turn on a red light. He slowed and looked and the coast was clear, so he whipped around the corner without coming to a full stop. A few seconds later he saw police lights in his rear mirror and was momentarily regretful as he saw a police officer approaching the car. There was Scott, tapping on Nick's driver side window, asking for Nick's registration and drivers license for failing to stop at the light. Both Nick and Ginni breathed a sigh of relief when they realized it was Scott and of course Nick was glad to only get a warning.

Nick Jr. The gentle son. Tender hearted in your strength, just like your Mom taught you to be. Strong and perceptive like your Dad; the negotiator, the mediator. You played these roles with such expertise that you didn't even notice you were doing it but your Father did and he appreciated you for this and for so much more. You have been a strong and loving son, father and husband and your Father was very proud of you. Nick, you and your Dad shared a very special love.

As their father before them, Nick's sons choose well when they married. Tammy and Sandy are important members of the DeFelice Family and they were very much LOVED by their father-in-law. They each shared a unique, mutually respectful relationship with Nick, who they lovingly called "Dad".

Grandchildren: Ashley, Megan, Mark, Sara, John, Nico, Enzo.
You are the rewards! The treasures! The Blessings of a life well lived by your grandparents! Your Grandfather loved you to the moon and back! You were his reason for living these past challenging years! He gained so much pleasure and pride in watching you each grow and achieve and figure out life in your own unique ways! Your Grandfather lives on in each one of you. If you listen to your heart you will hear him and the life lessons he has for you. Remember to continue to make decisions that would make him proud. You will never go wrong if you continue to consider what he would advise you to do in the life circumstances that will challenge you. Ask your self "What would Grand Dad say?" Or, as Nico and Enzo, Nick's two youngest grandsons, would ask: what would Dan Grad, their name for their loving grandfather Nick, say? You grandchildren are your grandfather's living Monuments!

Nick DeFelice LOVED his family and this love was mutual. This was never more evident than the past 10 days. I have been truly humbled by the love and care these children, children in law and grandchildren gave to their Dad / Grandfather. They gathered around Nick, listened, comforted, prayed, maintained his dignity and advocated for him as a unified force, quietly, calmly and lovingly guided by Ginni. I am forever grateful for the privilege of being allowed to share in this very private family time with them. Thank you!

While we are all deeply saddened by our loss, I do have a sense of relief for Nick in that he will no longer be suffering. His courageous battle is over. He fought an unbelievable fight. He was a true warrior, the likes of which we may never see again. We are here today heartbroken and grieving. But as we leave here, we recall Nick as a person who genuinely cared for and loved those around him each day. I have great comfort from knowing that part of Nick lives on in each and every one of us. God teaches us, and we believe, that LOVE NEVER DIES.

Notice that was placed in the Baltimore Sun:

On June 17, 2017 Nicholas A. DeFelice, 74; Loving husband of Virginia "Ginni" DeFelice; beloved father of Kara B. DeFelice Oliver, Scott N. DeFelice and his wife Tammy, and Nicholas F. DeFelice and his wife Sandy; dear brother of Gary DeFelice, Marie Amerose, Elizabeth Johns, and the late Michael DeFelice; cherished grandfather of Ashley, Megan and Mark Oliver, Sara and John DeFelice, Nico and Enzo DeFelice.

The family will receive friends at the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, Inc., 10 W. Padonia Road (at York Road) Timonium, Maryland 21093 on Wednesday, June 21 from 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville, MD 21030 on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 11am. Interment Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy may be directed in Mr. DeFelice's memory to Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, 1730 Twin Springs Rd # 200, Halethorpe, MD 21227 and/or The Frank J. Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1524 Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1524.

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