Dominick Thomas Testa, 96, passed away with his loving family by his side on Thursday, February 4, 2021, at The Abraham House in Rome, NY.
Dominick was born in Utica, April 27, 1924, a son of the late Antonio and Tomasina Testa. He was educated in local schools and was a graduate of TR Proctor High School. During WWII, he served our Country in the US Army Air Corp, as a Second Lieutenant and served stateside as a bombardier tactics instructor.
On April 11, 1953, Dominick was joined in marriage to the former Filomena “Fannie” Sciorilli, of Rome NY. They shared twenty-one loving years of marriage and raised their five children in Utica. Sadly, Fannie passed away at a young age on December 19, 1974. In their short time, they made a family and a great legacy for their children. Always on some adventure somewhere whether camping, boating, the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York City, trips to New Jersey and Kansas City to visit Army buddies, and Disney World, they always put their family first. The Blandina Street neighborhood coffee and card nights were of fondest memories. Their doors were always unlocked, the coffee was always on and they never needed a reason to gather, it was what they did.
On August 30, 1986, Dominick was married to Shirley (Bush) Shilling, and they have shared over thirty-four loving years. They enjoyed bus trips to Atlantic City and other local casinos. They also made and sold many crafts together over the years.
Dominick held the title of head heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic at Bendix Corporation on Seward Ave in Utica, for over thirty-five years, until his retirement in 1986.
Known as a jack of all trades specializing in carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and electrical, Dominick could do it all. He designed and built several homes, camps and additions for himself, and others over the years. If he wasn’t working, he was spending time at his children’s camps in Old Forge and the 1000 Islands.
A very family and church-oriented man, Dominick, was a proud Cub Scout Leader of St. Anthony’s Pack 66, for over fifty years. He was a devoted parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Church and active in all church functions. Dominick was the go-to fix it guy, building booths for the church festivals, as well as writing, directing, and building the sets for church plays. He was a member of the Knights of St. John and the Holy Name Society. A true renaissance man, he wrote poetry, music, and two books about his family. His talented ability to make anything was truly remarkable, in his later years to keep himself occupied, he made several dollhouses for his grandchildren and donated many to various fundraisers to help others.
Above all his activities and interests, he loved being at home with family, working in his garden, and tinkering in his workshop, and always would say, “you could always improvise”. He passed on many of his construction skills, first to his nephews and then his children and finally on to his grandsons. He was especially proud of his son’s talents and was with them every step of the way if not working then directing. He was even prouder when he seen the work of his grandsons and they couldn’t wait to show him what they have learned from their Papa. His love of card games, like scat, pitch or rummy and nightly dominos were some of his favorites, and always being jokingly called a “cheater” by his children and grandchildren will always be remembered. Dominick enjoyed an occasional glass of wine, as long as a splash of ginger ale or sprite was added. He loved desserts especially white cake and pusties.
Dominick is survived by his four sons and daughters-in-law, and one daughter and son-in-law, Mello and Cynthia Testa, Anthony and Judy Testa, Dominick Jr. and Sandy Testa, Donald and Debbie Testa, Michele and Robert Taylor; grandchildren, Mena and Matt LoMedico, Mello Jr. and Samantha Testa, Domenica Testa and Mike Panzer; Tanya and Lon Thrasher, Anthony and Justine Testa; Chelsea Testa, Dominick Testa III, Hilary Kieler and Jason Olender, Amy and Justin Barringer; DJ Testa and Sarah Petrie, David Testa; Alicia and Mark Guarascio, Bobby and Robin Taylor, and Shelby Taylor. He so adored his great-grandchildren Mello III (MT3), Michael, Antonella, Antonio, Josephine; Demi, Jaden, Lon III (little man), Giada, Zayna; Zoey, Noah; Amelia, Markie, Adriana, Aliana, Dominick, Cami, Lucas, Wes; Hunter, Jonas, Sydney, Stella, Liam, Michele. He is also survived by his wife Shirley; his stepchildren, Richard and Linda Shilling, Ushi Shilling, Jim and Cheryl Shilling, Carlene and John Klumbach; and grandchildren that he loved as his own, triplets, Jason, Ronald, and Sandor Shilling, Daniel Shilling; Jessica and Kevin Getti, Jamie Shilling; Kyle and Christina Klumbach, Ashley and Christina Klumbach; his great grandchildren, Zowie, Brandon; Jackson, Deacon, Carson, Callie; Ashton, Annabelle, Gracie, Ronald III, Sandor, Ava, Aiden, Ryder. He is also survived by sister in-law Amelia Sciorilli, and many nieces and nephews that worshiped him dearly. He was predeceased by his four loving sisters and their husbands, Felicia and Leo DelDuca, Rose and Dave Barnaba, Jean and Sam Guiliano, and Pauline and Sal Guiliano; and his three brothers and wives Mello and Lena Testa, John and Mary Testa, and Donald and Rose Testa; and also his stepson, Ronald Shilling.
Dominick was known to his family first as a son, then brother, uncle, dad, pop, and most lovingly known as papa or “nice” papa to all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. One of his most cherished memories was at his 90th birthday party with hundreds of people in attendance, given by his niece Tomasina, with all his family, who came from all over the country to be with him to celebrate.
Dominick’s family will honor him at a private time, and he will be laid to rest with Military Honors at Calvary Cemetery. The family will have a Memorial Mass honoring their dad in the future at his beloved St. Anthony’s Church, when we can all be together.
Thank you to all the family members that have helped support Dominick these past few years. A very special thank you to Dominick’s granddaughter, Tanya, and her husband, Lon Thrasher, for taking him in their home for the last few months. And finally our deepest gratitude to the nurses and staff of the Abraham House, in Rome, for the loving care shown to Dominick and his family in his final days. Please consider donations in his memory to the Abraham House, 417 N. Washington Street, Rome, NY 13440 or at www.theabrahamhouse.org
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