Alfred E. Falcone, DDS, MD, of Jamesville, a maxillofacial and plastic surgeon whose career spanned forty years and touched tens of thousands of lives, passed away on December 29, 2021 at home. He was 96.
Dr. Falcone was born and raised in Syracuse, the son of Antonino and Cassandra Falcone, he graduated from Central High School and attended Syracuse University. By virtue of a wartime accelerated program he was admitted at age 18 to the University at Buffalo Dental School. Upon graduation from dental school in 1947, he was accepted into the University at Buffalo Medical School graduating in 1950. He then completed general surgery and plastic surgery residency training at Upstate Medical Center from 1951 to 1957, including a two-year stint as a Captain in the United States Air Force stationed as a flight surgeon in Europe. It was during his tour of duty that he met his future wife, Françoise Couvert-Castera, a native of Paris, France. After a long-distance courtship, they were married in Paris in 1956 and settled in Syracuse.
Dr. Falcone was in private practice in Syracuse and operated mainly at St. Joseph’s Hospital, only a short distance from where he grew up on Green Street. As one of the only plastic surgeons in Central New York with dental and surgical training, Dr. Falcone specialized in the surgical reconstruction of congenital facial deformities such as cleft lips and palates. He operated on over 800 infants with these deformities including the very first baby born on January 1, 1963 at the newly opened Community Hospital in Syracuse. He continued to serve those who needed his specialized skills even in another country by organizing volunteer plastic surgery teams, obtaining necessary supplies and equipment, and travelling six times over twenty years to the central and upper regions of the Amazon River in Brazil. Dr. Falcone, assisted by his wife Françoise who accompanied him on some of these trips, performed surgery in a converted hospital boat as they travelled from village to village along the river.
Dr. Falcone was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and member of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Society, New York State Medical Society and Onondaga County Medical Society. He was a clinical assistant instructor in plastic surgery at Upstate Medical Center for twenty years and also completed a master’s degree in Health Services Administration. Dr. Falcone was past president of the ARC of Onondaga, founder of the Friends of the Retarded, and with his wife, founded Parents of Retarded Adults and Youths (PRAY) and Spaulding Support Services which went on to establish multiple adult residential group homes in the Syracuse area for handicapped individuals. He served on the boards of Hospice of Central New York, the Landmark Theater and Spaulding Support Services (now part of Access CNY). Dr. Falcone was a very proud fifty-nine-year member of the Syracuse Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He mastered the video meeting format so that he could continue to participate in the weekly Rotary Club gatherings during the pandemic. He received the Community Service Award from the Onondaga County Medical Society, Family of the Year Award from Catholic Charities and the Service Award from Eldercare Foundation among others. He was a communicant of Holy Cross Church and a member of the Knights of Malta.
Dr. Falcone enjoyed genealogy, was an avid reader, and a prolific essayist who wrote about many episodes from his life for his children and grandchildren to read. His surgical missions to South America were the source material for his book “Amazon Surgeon” self-published in 2015. He and his wife Françoise enjoyed travelling all over Europe with special trips to Paris to see their extended family. They also returned yearly to their home on Cape Cod to enjoy time each summer with their children and grandchildren. Dr. Falcone was an enthusiastic sports fan happy to watch European soccer matches, any televised college football or basketball games, and was especially excited when Syracuse University was playing well.
Surviving are his wife of sixty-five years, Françoise Falcone of Jamesville, and their children Stephen Falcone of Syracuse, Dr. Philip (Barbara) of Syracuse, Nathalie Falcone of St. Remy, France, Lisa Falcone of Syracuse, Christine (Alan) Foster of Syracuse, Alexia Falcone of Prague, Czech Republic, Emmanuel(Sunny) of Lakeland, TN and Paul (Stephanie) of Huntington Beach, CA along with twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral mass in celebration of Dr. Falcone’s life will be held at 11 AM on Thursday January 6, 2022 at Holy Cross Church. Private burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Calling hours will be held from 9 -11 AM on Thursday January 6th at the Church 4112 East Genesee Street, Dewitt.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: “Access CNY, in memory of Dr. Falcone” (please include “in memory of Dr. Falcone” on your check to properly route the donation). Donations should be sent to 1603 Court Street, Syracuse, NY 13208.
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