Major Carl J. LaMonica, U. S. Air Force (Ret.), 92, passed away peacefully Oct. 23, 2012, at Superior Residences of Niceville, Fla.
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Carl was born in Colver, Pa., and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh from which he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics.
In 1942, Carl entered active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a B-24 Liberator bomber aircrew member. His crew deployed to England in April 1944 and flew their 30 combat missions in the European Theater and returned to the USA in July 1945.
Returning to his home in Pennsylvania, Carl went to Pitt on the GI Bill and later married Helen L. Bednar in 1947. After teaching high school physics in Johnstown, Pa., for a couple of years, he applied for employment with the Department of the Navy and moved to Virginia to begin a civil service career which would span the next 30 years. He applied and was accepted for a commission in the United States Air Force Reserve and retired at the rank of major. Except for a two-year assignment to the Navy's Corona Lab in California, Carl's civil service career was primarily spent at Dahlgren, Va., supporting the fleet's shipboard missile safety programs in the Naval Weapons Laboratory followed by years of service dedicated to supporting digital fire controls and guidance software and hardware requirements of the Fleet Ballistic Missile programs for Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident missiles in what later became the Naval Surface Weapons Center at Dahlgren.
Carl was an avid sports fan. He loved the game of golf and "his" Rocky Bayou Country Club where he was a member for 33 years. His passion for Major League Baseball was well known and he would freely admit that one of his happiest days of each year was "Opening Day" and saddest was the day of that last pitch of every World Series.
He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars as well as other military and professional organizations and a member of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Niceville.
Carl is survived by his wife, Helen of Niceville; daughter, Carole (Ted) Clark of Valle Crucis, N.C.; son, Thomas (Gigi) of Niceville; daughter, Anita (Tom) DiMantova of Goochland, Va.; and son, Michael (Renee) of Alto, N.M. He is also survived by grandchildren, Ryan (Millie) LaMonica of Irmo, S.C., Ashley (Matt) Minkley of Panama City, Fla., Kyle LaMonica of Destin, Fla., Cody LaMonica of Destin, and Sara DiMantova of Raleigh, N.C.; great-grandchildren, Lyla Kate and Leverett LaMonica of Irmo, S.C., and Graham Minkley of Panama City.
In lieu of flowers, any memorial donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation (http://www.parkinson.org).
The family would like to thank Superior Residences, Covenant Hospice, the ladies of Blessed Assurance Sitter Services, and Heritage Gardens Funeral Home for their care and compassion. A private family memorial service will be held and his inturnment will be at a future date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Oct. 28, 2012