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Salvatore Balestrieri Obituary
Balestrieri, Salvatore SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- Salvatore Balestrieri, 86, born in Buffalo, NY, entered into eternal rest on January 15, 2013, in Scottsdale, AZ, his home of over 40 years. He was a WWII veteran who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from Fort Benning, GA. He was a sergeant with the 11th Airborne Paratroopers in the Philippines where he was awarded the Purple Heart for military merit and the soldiers Medal for Valor. Returning home to San Diego, CA after WWII, he joined many family members fishing on the tuna trawlers off the coast of San Diego, eventually joining the crew of the Lucy Elena. He returned to his native Buffalo, NY, after the tuna industry started to fail in the U.S. He graduated from Cleveland State University in 1962 with a Marine Engineering Degree. While attending college, he worked on the tug trotters with the U.S. Corps of Engineers on the Great Lakes. In 1969 he joined the ranks of Global Marine, on the ship Glomar V, a Howard Hughes Corporation ship that explored and drilled for natural gas and oil around the world. After living in Italy, South America, Singapore, and Australia he returned to the U.S. and went to Texas to help build the ship Coral Sea after becoming a member of the Global Marine Hall of Fame. He became Chief Engineer of this ship. The Coral Sea drilled successfully in 1600 ft. of water, the first ship in the world to do this at that time. He retired from the oil industry and joined the American Maritime Officers engineering and navigation operation as a Merchant Marine Officer. Through a contract with the U.S. Navy his work took him to the North Sea and back to California. He helped build and operate the Glomar Explorer, the ship that retrieved a Russian submarine from the ocean floor. As one of his last assignments he was asked by the Pentagon to train the marine officers of the U.S. Naval ship Wilks, a submarine tracking ship. This ship was staffed by Tunisian officers that spoke little English. This was a natural fit because Sal spoke Italian and the officers had been trained in Italy. Before retiring in 1995, he achieved his lifelong dream of earning his H.P. License, a marine license with no restrictions, while working on the U.S. Dredge Markham. He is survived by his sisters Sara Kittleson of Los Angeles, CA; Angela DeCaro of San Diego, CA; Rosemary Earley (Lee) of Merritt Island, FL; daughter Cecile Dunn (Donald) of Laguna Vista, TX, and Albany, NY; his son David of San Diego, CA; his closest confidant ex-wife Bea Weber of Scottsdale, AZ, stepchildren, step- grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father Joseph, mother Carmella, brother Thomas, beloved wife of over 30 years Mary, and ex-wife Marie, mother of his children. Interment will be at St. Agnes Cemetery, Albany, NY. Donations in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project at 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or at 877-768-6807 or woundedwarriorproject.org.

Published in U-T San Diego on Mar. 15, 2013
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