October 17, 2019
Born in Catskill, NY
Resided in Catskill, NY
Family was everything to Michael and received his faith and inspiration from his late grandmother Margaret De Benedictus. With his passing to eternal life, Michael leaves behind his extended family and friends, including his only surviving aunts Jeanne De Benedictus and Marjorie (Edward) DelVecchio, numerous first cousins, John Antonelli, Anthony (Maxine) Luvera, Thomas (Rosanne) De Benedictus, Margaret (Robert) Stabile, Mary Ann Kordich, Dominic (Marie) De Benedictus, Joan Scott, Nicholas (Paula) Kordich, Frances Scott, Mary Luvera, Gene Antonelli, Diane De Benedictus, Debra De Benedictus, Michelle DelVecchio, Patricia De Benedictus, Craig (Kelly) De Benedictus, Mark (Doreen) De Benedictus, Bryan De Benedictus, Paul (Janet) DelVecchio, Jan (Thomas) DelVecchio Koenig, Daria (Edward) Marafioti Kostek, Joseph (Kelly) Marafioti, Lisa Marafioti and several generations of other cousins, Danny Sierra who was mentored by Michael, and several close friends including Michele Saunders, David DePino, Edie Bentley, Rosemary Graham, Judy Caucase, Annie Poole, and all of the Franciscan Friars including Fr. Brennan Egan who visited Michael every day on his final journey. His other best friends were his dogs Spookey and Bennie who were at his bedside during his illness.
Michael was a graduate of Guilderland High School and attended SUNY Albany. He managed the Market & Bakery on Brandow’s Alley in Catskill with his father and Doubles II in Catskill with Sam. Michael has been the Town of Catskill Receiver of Taxes for 16 years and was seeking re-election this November. He was also the director of the Robert C. Antonelli Senior Center and an advocate for the seniors. During his time as director, he created the Senior Choir who sang in the area.
Michael was a dedicated public servant of the Town of Catskill. He took service to community and others as part of his mission in life. He will be remembered by his activism for seniors and the taxpayers. You would always see Sam, Michael and his cousins, the late Robert Antonelli, Matthew Luvera, and Gene Antonelli at local breakfast places in Catskill every Saturday morning. The topic of conversation was always family, Catskill, and ways to make Catskill and Greene County a better place to live.
Michael was known for his music. He played the pipe organ and sang in many churches throughout New York State, including organist at Saint John’s Church in New York City from 1973 to 1989, organist at Saint Pius X in Loudonville and he was a parishioner and organist at St Patrick’s Church in Catskill. His love for that St. Patrick’s poured out in the music he sang there for many years. Michael was the current organist at St Anthony’s Friary in Catskill for the last 25 years and was also the current organist at the First Reformed Church first in Hudson for 15 years. Michael played the organ and sang for many funerals and weddings throughout the area and state.
His talents in the music industry are known worldwide. Michael created the first electronic hand clap and it is installed in the Redbull Music Hall of Fame. Michael played many of the first electronic keyboards as written up in Billboard. He produced and co- wrote “Don’t Make Me Wait,” “On a Journey,” and “Life is Something Special.”
There were many other sounds on a vast amount of records used today in the music industry that Michael instituted. He was partnered with Larry Levan a producer and musician in City Peach Productions. His best friend is David Depino, one of the fathers of house music. Other friends include the late Keith Harring and many other 1980s artists.
Michael will lie in state at St. Anthony’s Friary, Harrison St., Catskill on Sunday, October 20 from 2:00 to 8:00 pm with a Vigil for the Deceased conducted at 7:00 pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Monday, October 21 at St. Anthony Friary with committal services to follow at the Town of Catskill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Greene County Women’s League Cancer Patient Aid, PO Box 341, Round Top, NY 12473 or Animalkind, PO Box 902, Hudson, NY 12534.
Catskill, NY US 12414
Catskill, NY US 12414
Catskill, NY USA 12414
Round Top, NY 12473
Hudson, NY 12534