John D. Stenard, 83, native of Watertown


John D. Stenard, 83, passed from life peacefully on 25 November 2013, surrounded by his loving family at Leo Hospice in Rochester.

Attorney John Stenard, a native of Watertown, was a longtime benefactor for the people of the north country.

John graduated from Watertown High School, and was president of the famed class of 1948. He graduated from St Lawrence University and Albany Law School. He served in the Navy Reserve and the Army during the Korean era.

On 12 October 1957, John married Nancy Heath in St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Albany, NY. They parented seven children: John K. (Amy) of St. Petersburg, FL; Karen Irwin (Mark) of Medina, NY; William (Suzanne) of Watertown; Kathy Burns (Richard) of Potsdam; Mary Beth Chen (David) of Superior, CO; Joseph (Alicia) of Albany, NY and Krista Muszak (Steven) of Hilton, NY.

John practiced law with compassion and moxie. He was affectionately known as the “Silver Fox” by judges and prosecutors and will be remembered by his clients as a man who helped them in their darkest hour. He was a country lawyer with many great stories that were often amusing and always insightful into human nature. He considered himself to be a counselor and would often give generously of his time without any more payment than to serve Christ by serving God’s children.

John was passionate about life and encouraging to all people. He was a Knight of Columbus, a member of the Brownville Lions Club, was active in the local Right to Life Chapter as well as Covenant House, Catholic Worker, and the Catholic League. John was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Brownville, NY. Other organizations John participated in were the Gourmet Club, Christian Family Movement, Cosmopolitan Club, and Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario. John and Nancy were members of the first group of commissioned lay ministers in the Ogdensburg diocese.

John was a voracious reader, lover of crossword puzzles, and bread baker; he is now baking in heaven for the heavenly feast.

That same passion for life was found in John's zest for travel. Together, John and Nancy traveled to visit family and friends across this country and embarked on pilgrimages to Europe, Greece, and Turkey. While in Rome, they had the fortune to be blessed personally by Pope John Paul II. They were constantly looking for fun and adventure as seen by their white water rafting down the Colorado River and taking a snow cat to observe polar bears in Hudson Bay.

John is predeceased by his wonderful wife Nancy and by his parents, John and Irene, also of Watertown. Survivors include his brother, Charles of Princeton, NJ; all seven children, 20 grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LifeRight of Watertown, Inc., 312 Sherman St Watertown, NY 13601.

Calling hours will be held at the DL Calarco Funeral Home, Watertown, on Friday, November 29, from 4 to 8 PM.

A prayer service will be held Saturday at 9:15 am at the funeral home with the mass of the resurrection celebrated at 10 am at St. Patrick’s Church, with Rev. Michael Gaffney officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Glenwood Cemetery, town of Watertown.

Condolences may be made to


Sunday, October 4, 2015
, Watertown, NY
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