John D. DiGiacoma, Sr.
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John D. DiGiacoma, Sr., age 88, a lifelong resident of Wilmington, DE, died peacefully on January 5, 2013 at home surrounded by his five children. John was born in Wilmington on April 25, 1924, the first of two children of Michael J. and Rose M. (Fidance) DiGiacomo. John's parents changed the spelling of their surname in the early 1900s from DiGiacomo to DiGiacoma.
John was preceded in death by his beloved and deeply devoted wife of 54 years Florence K. (Morano) DiGiacoma in 2006, and by his brother Vincent F. DiGiacoma in 1994.
He is survived by his five children, Denise Langford, John DiGiacoma, Jr., Jacquelyn Ogden, all of Wilmington, James DiGiacoma of New York, and David DiGiacoma and his wife Stacie, also of Wilmington, ten grandchildren, Melissa (Langford) Viscount and her husband Bob, Stephanie (Langford) Potts and her husband George, Jennifer Ogden, Jillian Ogden, Max DiGiacoma, James Ogden, Jack DiGiacoma, Grace Ann DiGiacoma, Matthew DiGiacoma and Daniel DiGiacoma, and two great grandchildren, Olivia and Blake Viscount.
John was a member of the Claymont High School class of 1942. Following his graduation, he worked as a welder in the Dravo Wilmington Shipyard until being inducted into the Army in February 1943. During World War II, he served as an aircraft armorer with the Eighth Air Force as a member of the 401st Bombardment Group at Station 128, Deenthorpe, near Leicester, England.
Following the war, John returned home to Wilmington where he worked for a time in his father's upholstery and furniture refinishing business, then as a stone mason and later as a carpenter. Around 1960, John and his brother Vincent established Naamans Supply, a building materials store and woodworking shop in Brandywine Hundred. John and his brother served Wilmington-area residents for over 30 years performing a variety of carpentry, cabinet-making and home repair services.
In 1949 John met Florence Morano, also of Wilmington, at a YWCA dance. On their first date, they attended a Louis Prima big band dance at Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown, PA. They were married May 30, 1951 at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington. John and Flo were active in Marriage Encounter in the 1970s and 80s, and were long-time parishioners at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Claymont, where both served as Eucharistic ministers. Throughout their 54 years of marriage, John and his wife continued to actively enjoy the big band dancing that had originally brought them together. They also enjoyed traveling, spending winters in Hawaii and Florida, and summers at their beach home in Lewes, DE.
John drew much enjoyment from the simple pleasures in life. He was an avid gardener and fisherman in his leisure time, and he regularly fed himself and his family with the results of those activities. He was a quiet, disciplined, modest and deeply empathetic man who led a life of great integrity, and he was a man who always left things in better condition than the way he found them. He will be greatly missed, but he lives on in the hearts and minds of those whose lives he has touched.
A viewing will be held on Tuesday, January 8th from 6-8 pm at the McCRERY & HARRA Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike (Rt. 202, S. of Silverside Rd.), Wilmington, DE. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered the following day at 9:15 am at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 3200 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE. Interment will follow the Mass at the Delaware Veteran's Cemetery in Bear, DE.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Compassionate Care Hospice, 702B Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE 19805.
Published in The News Journal from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013