Philip M. Varanese


CANASTOTA — Philip M. “Philly” Varanese, 79, Lake Breeze Avenue, died Monday morning, July 1, 2019, in Oneida Health, surrounded in the comfort of his family, where he had been a patient for the past week.

Born in Oneida, on January 15, 1940, he was the son of Philip and Louise Patricia Varanese. A lifelong resident of the area, Phil was a graduate of Oneida High School, Class of 1957, Utica College, Class of 1962, Brockport State College for his Master’s in CAS guidance in 1973 and his CAS in administration in 1975.

Prior to his retirement in 2001, Phil was the Director of the Guidance Department for the Rome City Schools. He was a communicant of St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church in Verona Beach, a member of the New York State Counselors Association, a founding member of Kanon Valley Country Club and a member of the New York State Retired Teachers Association, a member of the boards of St. Patrick’s Cemetery Association and the City of Oneida Recreation Commission and a former member of the Oneida Elks Lodge # 767 B.P.O.E. and Rotary.

Phil’s passions in life were golfing, gambling and gabbing.Those who knew Phil were entertained by his many jokes and silly sense of humor.

Surviving is the love of his life, Mary Janet Ginter Merrill of Canastota; her son and his wife, John and Alicia Merrill of Greensville, South Carolina; three sisters, Mary Louise “Pepper” Behr of Oneida, Daria and Timothy Mc Elheran of Victor and AnnSchillaci of Niskayuna; nieces and nephews, Erin and Mark LaMonaco, Megan and Brian Carberry,Tricia and Brent Warzocha and Joseph and Sarah Schillaci; special cousin and golf partner, MaryJo Kennedy; six great nieces and nephews; special friends, Cathy Scott, Diane Lindsey and Cindy Fraser and numerous cousins. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother-in-law, Joseph Schillaci, Jr, on July 29, 2016.

The family would like to express their thanks to the staff of the fourth floor and ICU of Oneida Health.Special thanks to Dr. Matthew McKay for guiding Phil and the family through the past week with such compassion.

Funeral services will be held 9:30 a.m. Saturday from the Campbell-Dean Funeral Home, Inc., 260 Main Street, Oneida and 10:30 a.m., from St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Reverend Stephen Wirkes, pastor. Interment will be made in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home, 3-7 p.m. Friday. Contributions, in his memory, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude’s Place, Memphis, TN 38015, St. Joseph’s Church, 121 St. Joseph’s Place, Oneida, NY13421 or St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, Route 13, Verona Beach, NY13157. To leave a message of condolence, visit


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