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David Michael Diodato

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David Michael Diodato Obituary
David Michael

Diodato, Ph.D.


After life-long battles with: time, entropy, car alarms, bureaucrats, misplaced, commas, gratuitous "quotes," speed limits (and limits of any kind, really), fatuousness, rapacity, duplicity, environmental desecration and mass-market beers, on March 14, 2013 in Washington, D.C. respiratory failure caused by ALS brought relief from those annoyances.

Dave was born in 1959 in Wilmington, Delaware to Sally and Pasqualo (Pat) Diodato. Despite truant tendencies he graduated from Brandywine High School in 1977. After many misadventures in his younger years he learned to place greater value on the future in risk assessment calculations. In 1985 he received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Delaware. In 1989, he received an M.S. in Geology from Penn State and employment as an Assistant Environmental Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Returning to Penn State in 1991, he completed his Ph.D. in Geosciences in 1997 and started a post-doctoral fellowship at the U.S. Geological Survey. In 2011 he retired from the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, where he had been a member of the senior professional staff since 2000, performing independent scientific and technical oversight for the U. S. Congress of the U.S. Department of Energy nuclear waste disposal activities. He was a Fellow at the Geological Society of America (GSA) and recipient of the GSA Hydrogeology Division George Burke Maxey Award for Distinguished Service for sustained and imaginative contribution to the profession; he was recognized as among the first to develop a world wide web site for sharing hydrogeologic scientific information.

Dave's greatest loves were his family and his exceptional friends, including his dear friend Donna Fabiani and her son, Nicholas Schneider. He was an important part of his nieces' lives and a mentor to Nicholas, spending many wonderful Sunday afternoons with him working on science projects and discussing rocks, water flow, flying, and surfing. He also valued highly his relationships with his graduate school advisor Dr. Richard R. Parizek and his wife Estelle, who were a great support to him. His final years were brightened by the joy of Lucy Curran's irrepressible shining spirit. The support of Community Hospice, especially nurse Vallerie Martin and aides including Kellen Mwiti, Irene Musau, Miry Motue, Maria Petala, and Francette Moore was invaluable to allow David to live independently.

He was a liberal. He believed government should help the poor and infirm. He was a private pilot and member of the TSS Flying Club. He liked running and finished the Marine Corps Marathon and the Big Sur International Marathon in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He enjoyed exploring the mountains, deserts, coasts, cities, cuisines, wines and beers of the world. He regarded the profound beauty, humbling majesty and limitless wonder of Nature as manifestations of God.

Dave's survivors are: parents Sally and Pat; brother Richard and his wife Gloria; sister Mary (Conlin), her husband Dan and their daughters Molly and Claire. Also, he is survived by many friends who were family to him and to whom his family will ever be grateful.

Please omit flowers. A private celebration of his life is planned for summer at Penn State. If you wish to honor David consider doing an act of random kindness for someone. It is what David loved to do.

(302) 652-5913

Published in The News Journal on Apr. 21, 2013
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