In Memoriam 2018

The Onondaga County Bar Association recognizes the dedicated service of its members. We’re very sorry to see any member of the law community pass away and would like to offer our condolences to their families, colleagues, clients and friends.


December 28 – Gaetano L. Colozzi

Mr. Colozzi, or Guy as he was known, was a longtime legal practitioner in Syracuse. A city native, he was a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, University of Buffalo, and the Syracuse University College of Law.

December 18 – Hon. William J. Burke

Judge Burke served both Onondaga County and Syracuse City Courts in his judicial service. An Onondaga County native, he was a graduate of Syracuse University and the Syracuse University College of Law (1955). He was a member of the American Bar Association and the Onondaga County Bar Association.

December 2Robert J. Lis

A native of New Jersey, Mr. Lis practiced law in Syracuse and Baldwinsville for more than 40 years. He was a Vietnam War veteran, having served several tours of combat duty before heading off to college and law school. He was an avid gardener and golfer.


October 31 – Daniel B. “Danno” Altwarg

Since 1991, Mr. Altwarg spent his entire legal career with the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc., and was its Senior Managing Attorney. An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Altwarg enjoyed golfing, fishing, and especially skiing with his daughters. He leaves his wife Angel, two daughters, and three stepsons.

October 18Hon. Verner Richard Love

A partner with the McKenzie Hughes Law Firm before entering into private practice, Judge Love concluded his legal career as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration.


August 20 – Gregory B. Flynn

Having spent his childhood in Onondaga County, Mr. Flynn received his juris doctorate from the Western New England School of Law and practiced, for a period of time, with the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.


July 20 – John J. Dee

A legal giant in the Central New York legal community, Mr. Dee, a trial attorney, committed more than 50 years to the Bond, Schoeneck & King law firm. A past president of the Onondaga County Bar Association (1997), he was recognized as the 1993 Distinguished Lawyer of the year. He served his country in the Korean Conflict and was a lifelong resident of Syracuse.


June 26 – Gordon MacArthur

A native of New York State, having spent his childhood in Buffalo, Mr. MacArthur was a longtime resident of Syracuse, where he obtained his law degree at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is a veteran of the U. S. Military and served his country in the Korean War.


May 30 – John Anthony LoFaro

A lifetime resident of Syracuse, Mr. Lofaro practiced law in his community for 30 years at the LoFaro Law Office. He was an avid outdoorsman and was also a member of the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA. He was a graduate of SUNY Cortland and the Syracuse University College of Law.

May 20 – James N. Lutz

A member of the Syracuse University College of Law Class of 1961, Mr. Lutz was a 50-year member of the Onondaga County Bar Association. He was an instructor of the Police Academy at Onondaga Community College and was a past presdient of the Rotary Club – Syracuse. He retired from the practice of law in 2010.


March 9 – Michael R. Canestrano

This Syracuse native spent his more than 50-year career practicing Family Law. He was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran who earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law. He valued his family, the game of golf and his longtime commitment to board membership of the Fairmount Community Library.


February 8 – Hon. Sandra L. Townes

Revered by so many for her fairness and grace, this jurist was appointed to the U.S. Eastern District by former President George W. Bush after serving on the New York State Supreme, the Appellate Court, and the Syracuse City Court.

February 1 – John M. Shannon

A native of Syracuse who grew up in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood, Mr. Shannon graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, and enjoyed a career as a Chief ADA in the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office before becoming partner at Milford, Lynch & Shannon in Skaneateles.


January 14 –  John Bartholomew Vita

A longtime Syracuse resident and practicing attorney for more than 50 years, Mr. Vita graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, LeMoyne College, and the Syracuse University College of Law.