2009-09-24 / Obituaries

Tragic Death in Garrison Home

by Eric Gross

Donald Lefari Donald Lefari Black bunting is on display at Garrison Fire Department headquarters this week in memory of a long-time member whose body was found in his Garrison residence.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department reported the death last week of Donald Lefari, 63, of Manitou Woods in Garrison.

Lefari was a prominent Manhattan attorney who moved to Garrison 19 years ago.

Sheriff’s Department Captain William McNamara said Lefari’s wife was at her place of employment in New York City and became concerned when her husband failed to answer several telephone calls made to the home: “She called a neighbor and requested that he check on her husband. The neighbor walked over to the Lefari’s property and found Donald Lefari floating face down in the hot tub located in the rear of their property.”

Capt. McNamara said the neighbor called 911, and sheriff’s department personnel along with members of the Garrison FD and Garrison Volunteer Ambulance Corps rushed to the scene. The victim was unresponsive despite attempts to revive him.

Putnam County Coroner Dr. William Stahl responded to the residence and pronounced Lefari dead.

An autopsy performed at Putnam Hospital Center determined the cause of death as drowning subject to the results of toxicology testing.

Lefari was past-president of the fire department and was also captain of the Garrison FD Fire Police Unit as well as a member of the Putnam County Fire Police Response Team.

John Bodor of Patterson, a lieutenant with the county team, recalled how Lefari’s department hosted the last meeting of the Putnam-Northern Westchester Fire Police Association in May. Bodor called Lefari “quite a host. He was a dedicated member of the emergency services who will be missed.”

Bodor and many of his colleagues traveled to Peekskill last Friday for a memorial service held at the Clinton Funeral Home.

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