I only knew Hank for just the last ten years or so, whether it was riding a bus to Harrisburg, or Washington, D.C, I always seemed to be on the same bus with Hank, so we often talked and I listened to his war stories with both the Police Department and his service days during WW.II, I was so amazed with him and as being a Veteran myself and my own war, there was so much we had in common, and although he missed a couple of the last bus trips, I can say without reservation that his absence was noticed and he was missed, Hank was an unforgettable man, and now I guess I'll just have to bring a book along on my future bus trips, RIP. Hank, you were a true hero and warrior.
Rest in peace badge#509. Hank was also my first Sgt in the 12th District in 1969 and with his gruff exterior it took me some time to see that Hank had a huge heart. It may seem strange to use the word nurtured in regards to Hank's way of supervision but that is exactly what he did. Hank wanted his rookies to learn the job and protect then from harm. He wanted them to know the dangers on the street and would jump all over you when you screwed up BUT all was forgotten five minutes later. I was lucky to meet Hank just before last Christmas at Lankenau Hospital and we talked for a few minutes and later he told me by phone how sick he was. We talked for a long time and he followed it up with a great Christmas card with a handwritten note that I will hold close. Hank was simple a good guy and we will miss you badge#509
It's been a little over a week since we laid you to rest, to rejoin your beloved parents, brothers John and Bob, and sister Olga here on Earth. We already miss you very much and hope you are at peace. I pray for the day when all of you are reunited in Heaven. Thanks again for showing us by your example how not to quit when the going gets tough, the value of maintaining personal standards when the rest of the world is content with "that's good enough" and for being a huge help to my Mom and Dad when we were little kids.
Robert Vannelli, Jr.
God Bless You and the Vannelli Family Hank. Hank was a great supervisor and a true friend always to Brother Bob & I.
Rest In Peace Hank. Bill McCarthy jr.
will miss you at the meetings and conventions. you always greeted me by name with some smart (wise crack) response.will miss the ribbing. FLY ON Hank.
So sorry to learn of Hanks passing. It's been said before, but in Hanks case it's true. They broke the mold after making Hank. He was truly one of a kind. He will be missed by many. RIP brother.
Why is in the passing of someone close and meaningful during a part of our lives we find just the right words to pay them homage. My relationship with Hank was at all times respectful and friendly even though at times we were politically at odds. The best compliment that I paid to Hank was to tell him I honored him for his military service and thanked him for his support as a dedicated member of the FOP. How I wish Hank could have read all the attached sentiments at a more celebratory moment in his distinguished career. Rest in peace Hank you leave a seat at the FOP table that cannot be filled.
Was saddened to see of your passing in the paper on Sunday. Enjoyed your company, friendship, and dry humor over many years while hanging out at Joe Millio's store, annual hunting trips to Huntingdon County, PA and freezing my buns off while flying in the back seat of your plane in December over Philadelphia without a radio, and trying not to put my feet through the canvas in your plane, while dodging planes landing at PHL. I will always remember your constant friendship even though we only kept touch infrequently in the past few years. Semper Fi old friend! I'll see you again later....
Two things about my Uncle Henry I will never forget. With most people, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. For Marines, there is the right way, wrong way and the Marine Corps way. For Uncle Henry, there was the right way, the wrong way, the Marine Corps way AND the Uncle Henry way. Guess which way usually prevailed.
With my Uncle Henry, you could never apply the term "Politically Correct" to anything he said or did. Be it a Christmas dinner with the family (e.g. the wine rack incident) or an event with a room full of strangers, he was not shy about sharing his opinions - usually unsolicited, on life, politics or the latest SNAFU coming out of D.C.
A character? Without question!! Someone who's inspired us with his physical and moral courage? No doubt!!
A man we will never forget and miss terribly? Absolutely!.
I suspect the angels have already assigned you your post in front of the Gates of Heaven, and knowing you, you won't quit your post until properly relieved.
Robert Vannelli, Jr.
To the Vannelli & Burdo Families,
I was so saddened by the news of Henry. I will never forget him, although it wasn't often I got to see him I will always remember this gentle giant. I have a letter he wrote to me several years ago that I will cherish the rest of my life. My Father, Richard Didario always told me stories of Henry, being a Philadelphia Beat Cop, Hunting, at all the Burdo Family gatherings. I am sad but also Proud to say he was a cousin to me and what he accomplished in his life. I will miss you Henry, look for my Mom & Dad when you get to Heaven.
As a 10 year old boy inside Bartram Sporting Goods with my father, I distinctly remember a 12th District Sergeant towering above me as he did his official duties inside a firearms store (and hanging out with the owner, his friend Joe De Emedio, no doubt). Years later I would become friends with Hank, while sitting at the FOP meetings with him and the crew. We could always count on Hank for lively conversations after the meeting. I had the pleasure of flying with Hank and that was a story, too. Henry was a big man in more ways than one, with a heart of gold. I will fondly remember the old soldier "salutes" that were part of his greetings. God bless you.
The best partner a Detective could have. I will always remember our days at SDD, and our friendship through the years. God bless.
Rest in peace, my loving big brother, Henry, who was always there as far back as memory serves. with love, your sister, Aurora
This photo of the young, strong Uncle Henry who fought in wars both abroad and at home, the soldier, the police officer, the brother, the uncle, it reminds us of who Uncle Henry was first and foremost: protector of family--his own and that of so many others. That is his legacy--a man of strength who stood for others. Rest in Peace, Uncle Henry--your niece, Maddy Gold & partner Victoria Brownworth
When you look at this handsome photo, you can see the strength Uncle Henry conveyed as a soldier, a police officer, a brother and an uncle. He survived years of combat abroad and at home,but always loved his family. His spirit watches over everyone. Rest in Peace.--your niece, Maddy Gold & partner Victoria Brownworth
Big Hank.Patriot.worrior.who served his country with honor the city of Phila.with honor the fop and retired police with honor.started out as a beat cop in the old 32 ed dist.now the 12th dist.walking woodland.chester.and baltmore ave.haveing coffee at lintons and jims restaurant.jokes and tall stores.all of this after shot in the line of duty as a pow in the marine corps.he was a big man with a big heart.rip my friend.
You were Semper Fi, Hank. Rest in Peace. Hope to see you again. Capt. Joe McMenamin
To the Vannelli Family, I met Henry through my job. He was a very nice person. I spoke to him on the phone many times. He always sent me a christmas card. He will be sadly missed. Kitty Scully Deeny retired Franklinville, n.j.
With love and respect for a very special American hero. Thanks for the times spent at our family's kitchen table sharing war stories, supper & strong coffee; and for the hour long flight over South Jersey in the back seat of your airplane as we flew without any instruments and followed the highways! Blessings to your family as you have traveled home to be with your mother.
Uncle Henry was a great man. He led a fascinating life and was always willing to help people. He gave many happy memories to his nieces and nephews. We miss you Uncle Henry. Rest in peace.
Hank was my first Sergeant in the 12th, we butted heads at first back then, eventually developed a friendship and stayed in contact over the years. Best pilot I ever flew with, Rest in Peace 12-A, you will be missed.
We will miss you Hank! You were like a real life "John Wayne" all American to me and a super great friend to my Dad, Valentino! God Bless!
To the Vannelli family, It is with great sadness to hear of Hanks passing. He was a true American in every sense of the word. I will never attend an FOP meeting without feeling his presence. And I will miss him at all the Police plaque dedications, Rest in peace my friend. Gus DiStefano Lodge #5 FOP
I am sure that Hank is flying and protecting the skies up in Heaven.
God Bless & God Speed brother!
Lt. Brian McBride (Active - 18th Dist.)
Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Fade Away!
Semper Fi !
Zeke, was great Knowing you, flying
, hunting and working on the Phila PD with You, Going to miss your wit, and Dry Humor. You were almost a Brother.. John Duffy, Lt. Retired
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. The members of our CopNET family would like to thank Henry J. Vannelli for his dedication and service to the citizens of Philadelphia. The passing of Hank will be broadcast to our 3,423 members shortly and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family. His absence from our ranks will be deeply missed by the remaining members of Philadelphia's Finest who were fortunate to have served with him during his police career. He will continue in our thoughts and prayers during our remaining days. "Until we meet again, may God Hold you in the palm of his hand. " . . .