Thomas M. Cannistra

November 2, 1946 - April 17, 2014

COOPERSTOWN - Thomas M. Cannistra, a teacher and coach, died early Thursday morning, April 17, 2014, at his winter home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A resident of Fork Shop Road in Cooperstown, he was 67.

Born November 2, 1946, Tom was a son of Thomas and Louise (Matthews) Cannistra. Raised in Oneonta, he graduated from Oneonta High School and then attended the State University of New York College at Oneonta (SUCO), graduating in 1970. During his high school and college years Tom was a standout basketball player and in 2008 was inducted into the SUNY Oneonta Athletic Hall of Fame.

Throughout his career as a history teacher he taught in Charlotte Valley, Wyandanch on Long Island, and Cooperstown, retiring in 2003. In his over 30 years in the Cooperstown School District, he earned honors for his teaching, and also coaching softball, basketball, soccer and baseball at all levels. Under his direction, his basketball teams won multiple league and sectional titles. 

Tom is survived by his wife, Suzette, whom he married on June 21, 1969, in Oneonta. He is further survived by their sons, Steven Cannistra of Cooperstown and Michael Cannistra of Queens; three brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Marie Cannistra of North Carolina, Douglas and Alice Cannistra of Oneonta and David and Jodi Cannistra of Binghamton; two sisters, Maria Bard and her husband, Ted, of Boston, MA and Susan of California; a half brother, Ron Staton of England; a brother-in-law, Jack Giordano and his wife, Debbie, of Titusville, FL; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by one brother, Phillip Cannistra.  

At the request of the family, there will be no calling hours and services will be private.

For those who wish to make a memorial gift, please consider the American Cancer Society, 13 Beech Street, Johnson City, NY 13790 or the American Heart Association, P. O. Box 3049, Syracuse, NY 13220-3049.

The Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown is assisting the Cannistra family.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.