Faith T. DeStefano

June 23, 1964November 12, 2012

With her loving family at her side, Faith DeStefano, 48, went to be with her Lord on Monday Nov.12, 2012 .

Loving wife of Mark, devoted mother of Joey, Nicole and David, daughter of Nell Leffel and Fred Johnson, and sister of Kurt and Jack.

Faith’s courage, determination and dedication to her family were an inspiration to all who knew her. A lover of life Faith loved to celebrate with family and friends. She will be remembered as the one who made you laugh and loved to be surrounded by friends. She had a unique way of making you feel like the only person in the room and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of being a part of her life.

Born on June 23, 1964 in Chattanooga, TN and raised in Vineland New Jersey she moved to Sarasota in 1973 and graduated from Sarasota High School and graduated with honors from State College of Florida with a degree in nursing. Faith loved her career as a Registered Nurse on the open heart team at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where she warmly cared for her patients for more than 16years. Here she formed life-long relationships with dear friends who supported Faith through her long valiant battle with cancer.

Visitation takes place at Palms-Robarts Funeral Chapel at Honore and Fruitville Road. from 6pm to 9pm on Friday Nov. 16th. The church service will be at 12 noon on Sat. Nov. 17th at First Baptist Church, 1661 Main St. A graveside service will follow at Palms-Robarts Funeral Home.

A memorial fund honouring Faith’s life has been established. Donations may be made at any Fifth Third Branch to the Faith de Stefano Children’s Educational Fund.

The family would like to thank everyone for kindness and prayers as Faith fought a long and valiant fight against advance stage breast cancer.


  • Visitation Friday, November 16, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, November 17, 2012

Faith T. DeStefano

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Jan Ryan

December 1, 2012

Please accept my sincere condolences and the delay in getting a note to you. I just read the news (sent to me by me friend Julie Mahle) & could not believe what I was reading. Faith was taken from you way too soon and for that I am truly sorry. May we all believe we have yet another angel looking over all of us. The angel's name is FAITH. Sincerely, Jan Ryan

Dr. H. Fred Johnson

November 27, 2012

“Go Down Death”
By James Weldon Johnson
Revisions By Dr. H. Fred Johnson

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus
Hart broke husband–weep no more
Grief-stricken sons—weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter—weep no more;
She only just gone home

Day before yesterday morning.
God was looking down from His great, high heaven,
Looking down on all His children,
And His eye fell on Sister Faith
Tossing on her bed in pain.
And God's big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on His throne,
And He commanded that tall, bright angel standing at His right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!—Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back in that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they did make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God's command.

And God said: “Go down Death, go down”,
Go down to Sarasota, Florida,
Down in the beach coast,
And find Sister Faith.
She's borne the burden and the heat of the day.

She's labored long in my vineyard,
And she is tired—
She's weary—
Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn't say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Though heaven's pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
On Death rode,
Leaving the lighting's flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw old Death. She saw old death,
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn't frighten Sister Faith;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I'm going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn't feel no chill.
And Death began to ride again—
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Faith
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And jess took His own hand and wiped away her tears,
And He smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: “Take your rest, take your rest.

Weep not—weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Dr. H. Fred Johnson

November 27, 2012

You are always in my heart
even though you're far away
I can hear the music of
The song of love
I sang with you
You are always in my heart
And when skies above are grey
I remember that you care
And then and there
The sun breaks through

Just before I go to sleep
there's a rendezvous I keep
And a dream I always meet
Helps me forget were far apart
I don't know exactly when, dear,
But Im sure well meet again, dear,
And my darling, till we do
You are always in my

June Murley

November 24, 2012

Nell, Thinking of you and the family of Faith, and know you all have a Special Angel watching over you, June & Princess

November 24, 2012

Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.

Jan Hurst-Lichter

November 19, 2012

My dear Faith, I still cannot believe you are no longer here in the flesh, your spirit will be with all of us who love you so much, and we will gain the strength and courage that you exhibited through out your life. Miss you

Becky LaSpada

November 18, 2012

My Darling,Precious Niece:
I love you so much that, when you went to your Heavenly Home, you took my heart with you.I couldn't make the trip to say my final goodbye's to you. I know you understand.
I will miss our phone calls and our texting.I know you are finally "pain free" and that is my only consolation for you loss.
I hope to continue to be a part in the lives of your amazing children.
I hope your reunion with your lost loved ones especially, your baby boy, Nicholas,your BFF Jackie and Grandmom, was amazing.
I know I will see you again with that beautiful smile and those beautiful eyes.
I'll forever love you, my Faithers. And hold on to that heart until I come to you and claim it
Aunt Becky

Maria Macaul

November 18, 2012

My dearest friend, she would walk 100 miles just to be with you. She wanted nothing from you accept time with you to build incredible memories. She raised her children to be kind, engaging and invovled in life. Thanks to God I can enjoy Faith still through the wonderfullness of her children.

November 18, 2012

I was so blessed to have such a friend in Faith, a smart, funny shining light..... Her stories were the best and were true stories of her life experiences. What a battle you fought, I'm happy you're suffering is over. We will all miss you so much. Until we meet again. LOOOVVE!!!
Janae Bell

Ed Bongart

November 17, 2012

Faith will live forever in the hearts of all those she has touch. Her courage was an inspiration to me and I am sure many others. My thoughts and prayers are with her entire family and I extend to them my sincere sympathy.