Born January 21, 1937, in New York City to John F. Mariani Sr. and his wife Eva, Harry grew up in Garden City, New York with his elder siblings Joan and John Jr. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, graduated in 1955 from Garden City High School as center for the All-Scholastic Basketball Team of Long Island, NY, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University in 1959. Harry soon married his high school sweetheart Anne in December of 1959. They gave birth to daughter Ginny in late 1960, Katy in 1962, and James in 1965 and resided in Merrick, NY. They moved to Lloyd Harbor, NY in 1975 where son John was born.
Harry’s unbounded love and dedication to his wife and children, and later eight grandchildren, were his desired and proudest personal legacy. This great love of family combined with an unwavering faith in Christ created within him a lifelong steady moral compass to seek and know the goodness in all people he met. Harry’s remarkable inner strength and interpersonal skills navigated him to great success in private and public life, and he always remained the classic gentleman. Unwavering in tremendous support to those who contributed to his life’s journey, Harry volunteered and served on boards of communities in education, medicine and faith, and aided ones in great need following natural disasters. Kind Harry helped hundreds he would meet, and tens of thousands he would never know. Harry excelled at being a good man.
He started generating his resources for outreach by joining his father John Sr. and elder brother John Jr. in the family wine importing concern, Banfi Products Corp. in 1959. Harry immediately began coordinating the firm’s administrative, commercial and marketing activities in the US wine trade. Harry became President in 1964. After the passing of his father in 1972, he directed all United States activities with his brother John Jr., and together they transformed Banfi from a small New York City concern to a major United States wine importer and international firm with estates in Tuscany and Piedmont, Italy. The firm’s director of Italian operations and winemaking activities, Cavaliere del Lavoro Ezio Rivella, wrote in his published business career memoir: “Harry was always the great driving force behind Banfi USA. When I left the company he wrote me a lovely letter full of praise and gratitude. Harry Mariani is a fine, upstanding person!” In 2015, Harry was inducted into the Italian Trade Commission’s Distinguished Service Awards Hall of Fame.
He served as Trustee of Colgate University from 1987 to 1996, as Chairman of the Student Affairs Committee, and was honored with the designation Trustee Emeritus. Harry was an associate member of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen and served as a trustee of the Cornell Society’s Foundation. He served on the Board of Directors of Huntington Hospital.
Harry is survived by his beloved wife Anne M. Mariani; daughters Ginny M. Kitt and Katy M. Goodrich; sons James W. Mariani, and John C. Mariani; grandchildren, Bobby Goodrich, John Foster, Lizzy Goodrich, Katy Foster, Sarah Kitt, Julia Mariani, Michael Mariani and Christopher Mariani; sister Joan Whiting, and her sons Robert, Bruce, Timothy and William; and brother John and his daughters Diana and Cristina.
The family asks for memorial donations to Huntington Hospital in support of the new Emergency Department:
270 Park Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743
Attn.: Dominique Stanley