Jack DeRosa

Jack DeRosa, 99, a volunteer federal park ranger, died in his sleep on Jan. 13 after a brief bout with the flu. Jack was born in New York in 1914 to Sadye and Leopold DeRosa, DDS. Jack studied engineering at the Wright Brothers School of Aeronautics on Long Island. He worked for Grumman Aircraft and Boeing, producing airplanes for the U.S. Air Force during World War II and continued as a Quality Control Specialist until the 1970s. Jack married June Randall, the love of his life, during the war and had two sons, Guy and the late Alan. Upon retirement, Jack volunteered at the Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media, Pa., where his intriguing personality endeared him to several staff doctors. In 1981, Jack moved to Las Cruces, N.M. to be near his brother Adrian and wife Edna. Jack loved the desert and volunteered for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where he was the first campground host at the Aguirre Spring Campground, and the first caretaker at the Dripping Springs Natural Area. Jack received BLM National Volunteer Awards in 1988 and again in 1999. His wit and wisdom captivated the BLM family. He is survived by his son Guy DeRosa and daughter-in-law, Susanna, of Hopewell, N.J. and sister Miriam Schuman, of Delray Beach, Fla., as well as several nieces and nephews. Jack was visited every day by his close friend Mark Hakkila and his wife Cynthia who also live in Las Cruces. Jack was predeceased by his wife June, son Alan and brother Adrian.

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 20, 2013