John J. DeFranco, 59, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — John J. DeFranco, 59, a native of Watertown, died May 23, 2020 at the Samaritan Medical Center.

He is the son of Joseph N. and Rose Marra DeFranco.  John graduated from Immaculate Heart Central High School. After graduation he attended Hobart College in Geneve, NY, where he became active in communications.  He eventually became a radio announcer involved with the managerial operations of the college radio station WEOS-FW.  After two years he transferred to SUNY Oneonta where he continued his involvement in communications by becoming a columnist for the college newspaper, Oneonta State Times.  He graduated in 1983with a B.A. in Psychology.  John continued on with his education, earning a M.Ed. on Counseling and Human Development from St. Lawrence University, NY in 1988.

John had careers in the fields of law enforcement/human services, hotel/ restaurant and retail, holding various positions within New York State.  A student of martial arts since high school, he studied numerous styles throughout his life.  He was promoted to black belt in 1997 in the style of Goju-Ryu, after achieving lower ranks in other styles.

He had a brief marriage to Jessica L. Oller and had a daughter, Jillian.  He became disabled in 2007 and devoted his time to parenting and his other main passion writing.  He was a member of North Country Arts Council, a member and former officer of the Italian American Civic Association, and former member of the Watertown YMCA.

John is survived by his daughter, Jillian DeFranco, his mother, Rose Mara DeFranco, sister and brother-in-law, Francine and Richard Coryea, and nephews Brian and Nicholas.

Arrangements are with the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home.

A graveside service at Glenwood Cemetery will be announced at a later date.

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