Obituary: Edward A. de Sciora

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Edward A. de Sciora, a 50 year resident of Baxter Estates, and a former Director of the Port Washington Public Library (1959-94), passed away on March 18, with his wife, children and granddaughter at his side. Born in Chicago in 1928, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bethany College in West Virginia in 1951, and a Master of Science degree in Library Science from Columbia University in 1954.

His early professional career included working at the Brooklyn Public Library, where he eventually became the first Administrative Assistant to the Library Director,  a position he held before becoming Library Director in Port Washington.  During his term as Library Director in Port, he oversaw the move from the library’s location on Belleview Ave. to its current site,  developing the program for the original 1970 building and executing that program in collaboration with Curtis and Davis, the internationally prominent architectural firm.  From the beginning he encouraged community participation, working closely with the Friends of Library;   the Art Advisory and Music Advisory Council were formed and flourished with his support and participation;  the Library’s Local History Collection and Oral History Project, both under the supervision of Elly Shodell, gained national recognition.  This recognition continues to this day.

Perhaps one of his personal favorite activities was to bring jazz into the Library.  Working with the Music Advisory Council’s Ruth Feingold and Jackie Wood, Ed was always excited to host some of the nation’s greatest jazz artists.  Among them were Marian McPartland, Dick Hyman, Dill Jones, Ray Bryant, Gene Bertocini, Bucky Pizzarelli, Derek Smith and Johnny Hartman.  (The Library’s archives will have a more complete listing.)

While deeply involved with these local activities,  de Sciora also had terms as President of the Public Library Section of the New York Library Association, President of the Nassau County Library Association, and a founding board member of the Long Island Library Resources Council.  He became a member of the Long Island Advisory Council of the State Commission for Human Rights in 1965, served on the National Board of the Gray Panthers, and was a member of the Board of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County in 1983.  None of these activities limited his personal interest in mid-century art, architecture and design, or in reading and gardening.

He is survived by Susan (nee Organ), his wife of 37 years, and predeceased by his wife, Anne (nee Romano) of 17 years.  He is also survived by his children Edward (Petra), Peter (Alana), and Christine Paquette (Thomas), as well as his adored grandchildren, Edward, Julia, Emily, Harper and James.

His interment was private, with the family hoping to have a memorial and celebration of his life in the future.  For those who wish to honor his memory the family asks that contributions be made to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research,  Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, the Port Washington Library Foundation, or the Ministers’ Fund of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock.

 

 

 

 

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