Nicholas A. DeFelice
Nicholas A. DeFelice
  • May 7, 1943 - June 17, 2017
  • Hunt Valley, Maryland

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We are here today to honor the life and memory of Nick DeFelice. With his passing, our hearts are heavy because he is no longer physically with us. Although we are grateful for the positive impact he had on our lives, we will sorely miss him. Nick was a loving husband, father, son, brother, grandfather and uncle to the members of his family. To the rest of us, Nick was a friend, co-worker, leader, confidant, mentor and hero. As Nick always had a strong faith in God, he was also a very willing spiritual advisor to any that needed it.

Each us here has special memories of our time with Nick. He was one of a kind that we will never forget. For me, he was and always will be a once in a lifetime best friend. I know there are others that would say the same thing. He was always someone I could turn to when I needed help with something, anything. It didn't matter if it was work or personal, he was always there. And he always listened. He always made me feel like I was the only one in the building, no matter where we were or what was going on.

He believed in me and encouraged me. He helped me to believe in myself. I know that my life has been better for having Nick in it.
Many of us will remember that when we sought guidance from Nick, he always came up with a helpful, timely, and heartfelt response that you just knew was going to help. To me, it was his strong faith in God and His loving Son Jesus Christ that permeated all facets of his life and allowed Nick to be such a constant help to others.

Nick was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. His Father, Nicola, was an Italian immigrant who came to America when he was 16. He came from the town of Vacri, the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. The town is about 125 miles due east of Rome. Nick's Mother was born in America from parents who had recently immigrated from Italy. Nick was the oldest of five children. He had two brothers, Mike and Gary and two sisters, Liz and Marie. I know from stories he would tell me about his upbringing that he was extremely proud of and in awe of his hard working
parents and the job they did of raising their five children in their new country.

Being a male and the oldest, as Nick observed his parent's strong work ethic, devotion to the family and their faith in God, he took responsibility for helping his parents and being supportive of his siblings and especially protective of his sisters. I think the taking on these duties as a young person, of being held accountable for the welfare of his siblings, instilled in Nick the traits that would later serve him well and make him highly successful in his adult life.
As Nick finished up his teenage years and moved on to college, one night while out at the Anchor Bar, a popular night spot in Niagara Falls, Nick first laid eyes on Virginia Harwood, a beautiful Canadian girl from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who, on that night, just happen to be wearing the often recounted pink hot pants. On multiple occasions, Nick confirmed that he told his Niagara Falls buddies that night that he would marry that girl.

As we now know, his prediction was accurate. Nick and Ginni recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
As many of us have heard him say over the years, marrying Ginni was the best decision he ever made. His love for her was complete and unwavering.

Early evidence of the wisdom of his good decision regarding Ginni occurred when, shortly after their marriage and birth of their first child, Kara, Nick's Air National Guard unit was deployed to Korea. During this trying time, Ginni courageously kept their home and family together, while supporting Nick from afar. While he did not talk about it a lot, I know Nick was proud of his service to our country.

I first met Nick when I took a job working as a commercial real estate lender for Marine Midland Realty Credit Corp. in Buffalo, NY. The company primarily provided construction loans nationally and Nick, who had been with Marine Midland for 15+ years, was a Senior Manager with the company. I had interviewed with him and others before being hired and, during the interview, we discovered we had something in common. We both had graduated from Niagara University, a small Catholic college located in Niagara Falls, NY where Nick grew up. While Nick was not my boss, I did see him around the office nearly every day and we got to know each other quite well.
After about three years with Marine Midland, in late 1979, I left and moved to Baltimore to work for what was then Maryland National Bank. In mid 1980, I heard from Nick. He was considering leaving Marine Midland and taking a job with what was then First National Bank of Maryland in Baltimore. He ended up taking the job and soon there after, he hired me at First National.

Over time, Nick became the Manager of all real estate lending and did a spectacular job of making First National a very prominent regional real estate lender, both residential and commercial. During that time, Nick was a very active, hand's on manager that created the structure, and instilled the discipline and focus needed for us to thrive. We enjoyed strong relationships with many prominent, highly successful real estate developers and Nick was key to maintaining them.

I know it was not unusual for a developer/customer of ours to ask Nick for his input before undertaking their next development project. Many times