A. J. DeSimone

A.J. (Rick) DeSimone, 90, of Bedford, Virginia, a devoted husband and wonderful father and grandfather, passed away on Oct. 21, 2012. He was born in Manchester, Connecticut on Aug.26, 1922. Rick joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and graduated at the top of his class in gunnery school. He was promoted to gunnery instructor on his ship during his proud service to America. Following the war’s conclusion, he married Josephine Caprio. Rick and Jo were married Sept. 9, 1945 in Newark, N. J. and spent their honeymoon at the Pocono Mountains, in Pa. Following his service, he started a business in New Jersey that utilized scrap rubber. That led to an opportunity to start what became Bondtex division of Rubatex in Bedford. The DeSimone family moved to Bedford in 1961. Rick served as the Plant Manager for Bondtex until his retirement in at age 72 in 1993. In 1970 he purchased the Rainbow Drive Inn and Dairy Queen. He continued to operate the Dairy Queen until the present time. Rick was recently honored by Dairy Queen of Virginia for the 40th anniversary of his DQ franchise. Rick enjoyed his family, baseball, boating, and traveling the country in his Blue Bird Wanderlodge RV. Rick and Jo enjoyed their houseboat on Smith Mountain Lake for many years. One trip included a voyage by boat up the intra-coastal waterway from Florida to Virginia. Their travels took them to the Virgin Islands, Italy, Hawaii, and all over the lower 48 states. Rick is survived by Josephine, his wife of 67 years, Corinne Richards and her husband Tom of Troutville, Gary DeSimone of Forest, Donna Ramsey and her husband John Ramsey of Blue Ridge, John DeSimone and his wife Trisha DeSimone of Bedford, and Maria McKinney and her husband Roy McKinney of Bedford. Grandchildren include Tamara Richards, Lori Viar, Paul Richards, Joni Boyd, JoAllison Ruff, Carlee McKinney, and Chad DeSimone. Great grandchildren include Aliese and Olivia Viar, Jaylen, Camryn, Pierce, and Ketra Richards, Bridgett and Troy Ruff. The family will receive friends from 5 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 24th Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street. A Funeral service will be held Thursday, October 25th at 2 pm at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel with burial following in Greenwood Cemetery with Navy honors.

Published in Bedford Bulletin from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2012