On June 25, 2019, Dan DeBardi passed away peacefully with his daughter Sherri at his side; he was 94.
Dan—also known as Armand—was born in Masontown, West Virginia, March 5, 1925, to Frank and Lucy DeBardi. Dan graduated from Masontown High School in May, 1943, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Clarksburg, WV in July 1943 as a Boatswains Mate. Following Boot Camp and training at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, he was assigned to the USS LST 477 serving in the Western Pacific in World War II. He saw combat action including the Battle of Saipan and Iwo Jima. He played a critical role in saving his ship following a Kamikaze attack prior to the landing at Iwo Jima. Dan also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
After the war, and with a talent for administration and organization, he trained as a Ship’s Storekeeper and continued to serve at sea aboard the USS McCard (DD-822); MSTS Goethals (T-AP-182); USS Everglades (AD-24); USS Cowell (DDS-47); Pre-Commissioning Unit USS Sanctuary (AH-17); and USS Jason (AR-8). Ashore Dan served on the staff of the Commander, Naval Forces Germany in Heidelberg. Dan continued his service at the Naval Aviation Preflight School, Pensacola, Florida. While stationed in Pensacola, he married Shirley G. Massingill. They had two daughters, Danita (Dani) DeBardi Cooper and Sherri DeBardi LaMartina. Shirley passed away April 24, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.
Dan’s military career advanced with postings to the NROTC Unit, Troy, New York; US Naval Station, Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada; and Commander, US Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Coronado, California.
For his service, Dan was awarded Six Navy Good Conduct Awards, and numerous other personal and unit awards and citations. Dan retired from the Navy as a Senior Chief Petty Officer transferring to the Fleet Reserve in February 1971, following twenty-six years of faithful service to the U.S. Navy.
Dan settled in Coronado, California working for the U.S. Postal Service in San Diego for the next fifteen years before fully retiring in March, 1987, after 41 years of U.S. Government Service.
An exceptional golfer, Dan was a long-time member of the Coronado Golf Course Men’s Club and Naval Air Station North Island Golf Club. He loved the ocean, the deserts, the mountains, America’s national parks and visiting new places. Some of Dan’s greatest joys were cross country trips to visit his daughters and family. He was also an avid photographer and took much pleasure in cataloguing his many journeys. Dan was a prolific reader and enjoyed talking about current events and politics. His unwavering sense of fairness, humor, and gentle nature will forever be missed.
After 51 years in Coronado, Dan moved to Pensacola, Florida in 2018 to be closer to family.
Dan is preceded in death by his parents Frank and Lucy; brothers, Joseph, Tony, Louis, Guido, Nicolas and his sister Anna.
He is survived by his daughters, Dani DeBardi and her husband Gary Cooper of Fairfax, Virginia, Sherri LaMartina of Pensacola, Florida, and numerous sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to: his favorite charity, Saint Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. www.stjude.org/donate
A Committal Service with full Military Honors will be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 10:30 am at Barrancas National Cemetery, 1 Cemetery Road, Pensacola, Florida 32508, procession will meet at 10:00 am at Olive Baptist Church-Warrington Campus, 103 West Winthrop Ave., Pensacola, Florida 32507.