Peter W. Sococo
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Chesapeake - Many family members, friends and fellow submariners mourn the passing of Peter William Ungacta Sococo, SDC (SS) USN, Ret. "Pete", a loving husband and devoted family man passed away on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at the age of 92. He was born in Agana, Guam on June 29, 1921.
Following in his father's footsteps, Pete joined the United States Navy in August of 1939 and proudly served this country for thirty one years as a member of the United States Submarine Services. He received his submarine training in New London, CT and upon qualification, was immediately assigned to the USS STINGRAY (SS 186). While assigned to USS STINGRAY, he participated in sixteen war patrols during WWII, the most known submarine war patrols ever attributed to any submariner. He is mentioned in several books and publications including The Bolo Men by Dominador C. Javellana III, an historical account of the guerilla operations in the Philippines during WWII. After the war, Pete was attached to the Submarine Instruction Unit, American Naval Mission for aid to Turkey, followed by an assignment to the USS SARDA (SS 488). He also served aboard USS Brill (SS330). Upon its commissioning in 1958, Pete was assigned to the USS Skipjack (SSN 585) until his retirement in 1970. He was the last surviving Plank Owner of the USS Skipjack. The many awards, medals, commendations, heroic and patriotic details of Pete's Naval career would be far too numerous to outline here.
He was an active member of the U.S. Submariners World War II Tidewater Chapter, and the Hampton Roads Chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. He proudly participated in local parades, serving as the "commander of the flags" until he was no longer able to carry the standard, and prided himself on attending almost every annual SUBVET Memorial Ceremony held at Kingsbay Submarine Base, GA., except when illness prevented his participation. He was well known and respected by many within the Naval community throughout the country and looked forward to being in attendance at the annual Norfolk Submarine Birthday Ball where he would be invited, as the longest-qualified submariner present, to assist the most recently qualified submariner in cutting the birthday cake. He was also a long-standing member of Loyal Order of the Moose, Lodge 898 in Portsmouth.
Pete joined his wife, Carpathia, in becoming a proud member of the Nansemond Indian Tribe of Chesapeake, serving as Flag Team Leader and participating in annual POW WOWs, ceremonials and tribal gatherings. He was predeceased by Carpathia (Mayo Sococo), who was always by his side, pridefully and lovingly sharing her life in the celebration of Pete's long and memorable Naval career. Pete was also predeceased by his parents, Jose and Rosa Sococo, of Agana, Guam; brother Gregg Ungacta of Granite Bay, CA; godson, Tito Barbado of New London, CT; and son, Edgar "Buddy" Simmons of NC. He leaves behind to cherish fond memories a sister, Margaret Perez of Forest Heights, MD; daughters, Sharon Johnson and fiancé Tommy Glaneman of Suffolk, Linda Dilday of Chesapeake, and Theresa Edwards and husband Brian of Charlottesville; many family members who will miss him, his kindness and his dedication to life; his God-daughter Nellie Kirtley and husband Bruce of Charleston, SC.; and his long-time pal and former shipmate, Miles "Smiley" Cochran of Virginia Beach.
A funeral service will be conducted at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. As he wished, Pete's remains will be dedicated to the sea. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the
Pete's family wishes to express their gratitude to all the relatives, friends, neighbors and the staff at Churchland House Assisted Living who so willingly cared for Pete, providing loving camaraderie and a helping hand during his final days with us. As Pete would say, "OUTSTANDING!" www.SturtevantFuneralHome.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Sept. 12, 2013