Mark O. Cerosaletti, 60, of the Town of Spafford, Onondaga County, died on December 12, 2018, after a courageous multi-year cancer illness.
Mark was born June 19, 1958, the son of the late Charles and Marilyn (Briggs) Cerosaletti of State Rte. 23 near Oneonta, NY, where he grew up on the Cerosaletti family dairy farm. A graduate of Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport, NY, Mark earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, and a Master of Education degree in Foreign & Second Language Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In the 1980's, prior to entering the field of education, Mark worked for four years for Senior Service Centers of the Albany Area, Inc., where he served for three years as program director and site supervisor of that agency's Second Avenue Center.
Mark spent the great majority of his professional career in education at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he was a cherished colleague and friend. From 1989 to 2015, he was a full-time instructor of Spanish and later of Italian, attaining the rank of Lecturer IV. Beginning in the fall of 2015, Mark continued to teach Italian part-time for 2 years. He was instrumental in the introduction of Italian to the Modern Languages Department offerings in 2005, and created the beginning and intermediate Italian courses. Mark was honored by SUNY Cortland in 2002 as one of the first two recipients of the college's newly-created Non-Tenure Track Excellence in Teaching Award. He was also tapped for faculty membership in the Cortland Zeta Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for international scholars. During his career at SUNY Cortland, Mark served for some 10 years on the College's Study Abroad Committee, and was closely involved with the College's winter session program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He also served the Cortland Chapter of United University Professions for five years, first as the Contingent Faculty Representative on the Cortland Chapter Executive Board, and then as UUP Team Leader for the SUNY Cortland joint Part-Time Labor-Management Committee. For three years, Mark served as a faculty group facilitator at SUNY Cortland's Student Leadership weekend retreat. A lifelong film enthusiast, Mark was also a regular participant in the informal faculty Friday film group at the College. In 2013, he organized and hosted a public film series at the College, "Wartime Italy".
Locally, Mark was a parishioner and communicant of the former St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Syracuse, and more recently of All Saints Catholic Church, also in Syracuse, where he served on the parish's LGBT Task Force. Throughout his adult life, Mark was an involved LGBT Catholic. In the 1980's, in both Albany and Buffalo, he was an active member of the local chapter of Dignity USA, the national lay-run organization for LGBT Catholics. In Central New York, Mark was a founding member and leader of the Syracuse Gay/Lesbian Catholics & Friends, in which he served as coordinator of liturgies and music leader for the 22 years of the organization's existence. Mark touched many lives, and through his ministries brought many LGBT Catholics back to the church.
Mark is survived by his beloved partner of 32 years, Mark E. Morris, whom he married in 2011 on the occasion of their celebration of 25 years together. He is also survived by his dear siblings: Karen, and husband Paul Smith, of Seattle, WA; Paul, and wife Amy Rhinehart, of Oneonta; and Glenn, and wife Cathy Daniels, of Rochester, NY. He is survived by eight nephews and nieces to whom he was especially devoted: Patrick and Ian Smith; Christopher, Daniel, Theresa and Angela Cerosaletti; and Anna and Leo Cerosaletti. Mark was very dedicated to his family, and greatly enjoyed visiting his sister's family in Seattle and hosting the family's annual holiday gatherings.
Mark is also survived by his late aunt's husband, Francis Montgomery, and his late uncle's wife, Vernadine Briggs, both of the Oneonta area, as well by a number of first cousins and their families, including his extended family in Italy with whom he had close contact. Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Marilyn, in 1992, and Charles, in 2006, as well as by his paternal aunt, Martha Chambers, and her husband Howard, and by his maternal uncle, Bernald Briggs, and maternal aunt, Joyce Montgomery, all of the Oneonta area.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on December 17, 2018 at All Saints Church, 1342 Lancaster Ave, in Syracuse, with All Saints' pastor, the Rev. Fred Daley, officiating. Burial will be in Cortland Rural Cemetery, in Cortland, NY, at a later date.
Friends may call at the Wright-Beard Funeral Home, 9 Lincoln Ave., in Cortland on Saturday December 15, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 PM, and at All Saints Parish in Syracuse on Sunday December 16, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations: Francis House (hospice care home) 108 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, NY; or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at Giving.MSKCC.org.
Funeral arrangements are by the Wright-Beard Funeral Home, Cortland, NY.