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May 25, 1917 – Oct. 12, 2013

NIAGARA FALLS – Philip J. Paonessa, an accountant who worked for Niagara Frontier Milk Marketing for many years, died Saturday at his Niagara Falls home. He was 96.

Born in Peekskill, he moved to Niagara Falls with his family when he was a child, and attended local schools. He graduated from Bryant & Stratton Business Institute in Buffalo in 1937, and from Niagara University in 1951.

He worked as an auditor for the Niagara Frontier Milk Marketing Area, now known as Western New York Milk Marketing, for nearly 40 years, retiring as its market administrator. He also was a licensed public accountant, and enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. He was a member of the Independent Association of Accountants of New York, and the National Society of Accountants.

Mr. Paonessa was a third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and an active member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church since 1955, where he served as an usher spokesman and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

He was a volunteer tax aide with AARP for more than 25 years.

He was awarded the “Cittadini Speciali” – Special Citizen – award by the Pine Avenue Business Association, and in 2009 he was honored at the St. Vincent de Paul Society District Jubilee.

Survivors include his wife, the former Florence Presti; and two sons, Joseph and Philip.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 27th Street and Independence Avenue.