Dennis G. Paternoster, 79, of Syracuse, passed away of natural causes on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.
Dennis, known to his friends as “The Big Kahuna,” was born on Feb. 11, 1944, to Joseph and Gertrude in Tampa, Fla. His mother took him to live in Long Island while his father served nobly in World War II. After graduating from Carl Place High School in 1961, he began a long and illustrious sales career that began in Long Island, N.Y., took him to Dunedin, Fla., and later to Syracuse, where he became a partner at Clark and Osborne.
In 1980, Dennis met Lee Ann, and they wed in 1981, going on to have two children, Lyle and James.
One of Dennis’ favorite songs to karaoke was “The Wanderer” by Dion DiMucci. After retiring in 2009, he was able to roam from town to town, traveling with his wife, visiting his family and friends and wintering in Safety Harbor, Fla. One of his favorite activities was to fire up a cigar and captain his pontoon around Lake Wawasee to see the new and old houses and entertain the entire boat with his knowledge of the lake’s history. Many knew him as the “Mayor” of any establishment he visited. As a member of the Cromwell Lodge No. 705, he really enjoyed volunteering and would help anyone in need. He got the most fulfillment from volunteering as a Shriner, with his focus being transporting sick children to their doctor’s appointments at the Shriners Children’s Hospital.
Dennis was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his sister, Deborah, and his brother Douglas and his wife, Gloria, and their two children; his loving wife and their two dutiful sons, along with his beloved daughters, Elaine, Denise and Christine, along with their mother, Lorraine. Dennis had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Eastlund Funeral Home, Syracuse. A Celebration of Life will be held from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Syracuse Eagles.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital of Chicago.