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March 7, 1958- July 27, 2013
Bob's singular and solitary life ended this summer in the sunny California town of Vista, an area he loved and had become his second home. After that fateful diagnosis in June of 2012, he was given a full year of hope and resolution to continue the fight. He did this bravely thanks to the oncology group at the Scripps-Green Hospital in LaJolla. It was aggressive treatment, initially giving good results and much relief. However, there came the moment when he determined that enough was enough. 'Basta!' as we Italians are prone to say. Hospice services began at home with his final chapter being written, gently with his family close by, and always with Bob's humor intact.
Bob was preceded in death by his father, Robert DeChellis in January, 1987. He is survived by mother, Joan DeChellis; sisters, Chris Hanlon and Carina Ford; brother, Patrick (Kristen) DeChellis; nephews, Ryan and Graham Ford; nieces, Lizabeth Manini and Daniell Hanlon of Gainesville, Fla., and Madison and Sydney DeChellis. Favorites were Uncle Chuck and Aunt Joann DeChellis, who he met in Vegas yearly; cousin, Dave DeChellis, with whom he shared a childhood backyard and 'on the road' stories; and Michael Halkides, a lifelong friend whose memories sent them into hysterics every time they talked. A fellow Perryite, Chuck Harrison also a longtime resident of California visited and prayed over his friend, coincidentally, on that last day.
Bob served in the Navy, then continued to work as a civilian for the government at Camp Pendleton for 25 years. He was a plumber by profession and training, but proficient in many types of home maintenance. His commendations were numerous during those years, earning awards of achievement and monetary bonuses for dedication over and above his duties. His work brought countless personal letters of appreciation regarding services to the military families at Camp Pendleton.
As requested, his ashes were interred at the MIRAMAR NATIONAL CEMETERY in San Diego. A Memorial Mass to be Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Christ the Servant Catholic Church (Our Lady of Peace) 833 - 39th Street N.W., Canton, Ohio. Monsignor Lewis F. Gaetano, Pastor will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations to Scripps Hospice, 13053 Poway Road Suite A, Poway, CA 92064 Attn. Foundation.
God saw you were getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered 'Come to Me.'
With tearful eyes, we watched you and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay.
A tender heart stopped beating,
hard-working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.
Published in The Repository on Aug. 18, 2013