Joseph F. Dephtereos, 97, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Joseph Francis Dephtereos, 97, passed away peacefully at his home on May 10, 2022, surrounded by his family.

Joe graduated in 1943 from Watertown High School and spent his life devoted to his wife, Margaret, his six children, and his numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

With his brother Leo, he owned and operated the Crystal Restaurant, which was originally his father Otto’s.

After Leo’s passing in 1999, Joe continued to own and operate the restaurant with his sons. Over the last 80 years, the Dephtereos family has brought joy, sustenance, and lasting traditions to the Watertown community.

He was a member of the Watertown Airport Commission and a member of the Elks Club and the VFW. He served in the Army Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Bungay, England. He flew thirty-five missions as a radio gunner on the Patriotic Patty (a B-24 Liberator).  He earned an Air Medal with Five Oak-Leaf Clusters, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with Four Bronze Stars, and a Good Conduct Medal.

After the war, he developed a love for flying. He often took his kids for flights in his Cessna or flew over their schools at dismissal so they could see him.

Joe was predeceased by his parents, Otto and Mary Dephtereos, his brothers Leo Dephtereos and Spero Dephtereos, his son-in-law David Pirro, and his grandson Lance.

He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Margaret, his children Joe (Maureen), Stephen, Peter (Libby), Ellen Pirro, Daniel, and Mark (Sarah Morgan); grandchildren Joe (Laura), Christopher (Patience), Nick, Nellie, Trevor Frasher, Jessica Pirro (Mitchell Jones), Emily Pirro, Elizabeth, and Katherine; great-grandchildren Joey, Sophia, Logan, and Alyssa.

The Dephtereos family sincerely thanks the dedicated caregiving staff who have taken care of him with kindness and dignity these last several years.

Calling hours will be 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. The funeral service and burial will be at the convenance of the family. At the family request, please wear a mask and social distance.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County ( or Cystic Fibrosis of Central New York – Syracuse (