Mario De Orchis

April 5, 1923November 11, 2019

Mario Enzo DeOrchis (born April 5, 1923), a longtime Greenwich resident, passed away peacefully at his home in Delray Beach Florida on November 11, 2019, at the age of 96. Mario is pre-deceased by his beloved wife, Frankie Juanita DeOrchis, whom he was blessed to have been married to for 59 years. Mario immigrated from Tora, Italy to the United States in 1930. He grew up in Providence (Federal Hill) Rhode Island, where he was fortunate to have a high school English teacher who encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to Columbia University. After he was admitted to Columbia, he paused his collegiate education to serve as a Sergeant in the 6th U.S. Army during WWII. He then became a Warrant Officer in the military administration of Garmisch-Partenkirchen during 1945-1946. Mario returned to Columbia University to attend Law School after the war. It was not until he was editor of the Columbia Law Review that he unexpectedly met the love of his life, a fellow Barnard student, Frankie, whom he married in 1948 at Columbia University’s Chapel in New York City. Mario began his legal career at Haight, Gartner, Poor & Havens, establishing a world-renowned reputation in the maritime industry. Mario eventually went on to create his own firm in New York City, DeOrchis & Partners, where he continued to practice law until his late 80s. Mario’s other greatest passions in life included: Sunday dinners with family, traveling the world, painting, boating and gardening. Mario is lovingly remembered by his three children: Vincent (Maria) DeOrchis of New York City, Diane (Nils) Vogth-Eriksen of Stamford, Connecticut, and Douglas DeOrchis of Delray Beach, Florida. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren: Vincent (Valerie), Dana, Douglas, Christina and Daniel DeOrchis, Christine Negron, as well as Christopher (Erin), Robert (Lisa), Erik and Samantha (Aaron) Vogth-Eriksen. Mario’s pride and joy in family extended to include his 10 great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Nils, Penelope, Andrew, Claire, Piper, Katherine, Josephine, Charlotte and Elise. The visitation will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home 2900 Summer St., Stamford, CT, (203)-327-1313. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Greenwich. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Mario’s memory to Columbia Law School by visiting To send condolences to the family, please visit:


  • Visitation

    Friday, November 15, 2019

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, November 16, 2019


Mario De Orchis

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ron Ruggieri

March 9, 2021

A friend of both my mother and father was a brilliant guy-- who later became a lawyer-- MARIO DE ORCHIS. Mario has a poem in the student newspaper: FAREWELL , DEAR ALMA MATER. My father, Domenic , was class treasurer. My mother, Janet, was a finalist for Queen of Central High .
The Central High School student newspaper was published in June of 1941 just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mario was friends at Central with both my mother and father , Janet Engley and Domenic Ruggieri ( radio name " Don Rogers " WEAN ).
They were all " The Greatest Generation ".
I can give you the whole poem.
Best wishes from the Ruggieri family in Rhode Island.

Grace Denninger Kaehler

November 19, 2019

I was so fortunate to be the legal secretary for Mr. D. for almost six years, from 1951 to the end of 1956, at Haight Gardner. Mr. D was a wonderful boss who was always so kind and considerate to work for. I treasure those days and all the wonderful memories.
I share your sorrow at his passing but know your memories will help to ease the sadness you are feeling.
Grace (Denninger) Kaehler

Adele & William Boyle

November 15, 2019

Wishing our condolences to Vincent, Doug, Diane and their families at the passing of Mario. Uncle Mario, as he was fondly known to us was an exceptional, blessed man. His love of family, devotion to Franky his beloved wife, pride in his sons, daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren was exceptional. His life’s work was a testament to the American Dream. A self-made Italian American, WWII veteran, world famous lawyer and world-wide traveler is how many will remember him. But to us, he was just Uncle Mario. We remember him because he took great joy in keeping in touch with his immediate family and extended family. He loved receiving phone calls and knowing that we all loved him in a special way. We had the pleasure of spending some time with him last year at this time. He spent hours telling us stories about his youth and meager beginnings; time as a soldier; worldwide adventures and his fascinating career as a maritime lawyer. His stories about life in Providence, RI during the depression and time he spent with our father were so endearing. But the thing that struck us was that at 95, he was as sharp as a tack. His sense of humor (with that “impish” glint in his eyes) made each story a fascinating tale of a life well lived. Passing on Veteran’s day fulfills the circle of life for this wonderful man. Rest in peace. Love Adele & Bill Boyle & Family

Freda Katunda

November 14, 2019

My deepest condolences to the family.
I met Mario when Samantha and I were in college some years ago now. When I visiting Samantha over summer break she and I traveled to Mario's home in Greenwich. He was a kind, funny and charming man. One moment I will never forget was his interest in my African roots and the variety of dishes we cook in my tribe. I told him the recipe to my favorite dish 'Pondu" and he expressed great excitement in trying it one day. This made my heart warm because it spoke to his openness character. Many years later I saw him again at Samantha's wedding and he was as sweet as ever and I told him "I will make Pondu for you soon!". It breaks my heart that I will not be able to share that experience with him now. Mario will be greatly missed but his loving memory will remain in our hearts forever.