Richard "Dick" Salvatore Sciascia, of Linden, Virginia, peacefully departed this life on December 15, 2020 at the age of 96, in his mountain home with family by his side. Among his many accomplishments, he was a devoted husband to Charlotte Ann Sciascia for 50 beautiful years, loving father and step-father to seven children in order of age: Linda Mazzaccaro (Tony), Sandra Squire (Dick), Donald Scott (Alexis), Curtis Scott (Lora), Richard Sciascia, Jr. (Laura), Teresa Sciascia, and Shanda Scott. Of his seven children, three preceded him in death: Linda, Donald, and Teresa. He was grandfather to sixteen grandchildren and to five great grandchildren; one of the sixteen grandsons, Jeremy, preceded him in death. Richard "Dick" Sciascia was born, Diego Sciascia, the son of Italian immigrants, the late Salvatore Sciascia and Serafina Zucchero in Easton, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1924; he later changed his legal name to Richard Salvatore Sciascia. His only sibling, Anthony 'Tony' Sciascia, preceded him in death. Also preceded in death, was his first wife, Loretta Sciascia in 1965. Dick will always be thought of as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, a magnificent leader, a remarkable man, and a true gentleman with a heart of gold. He was a man who dreamed big and reached beyond the stars, evidenced throughout his life! He was a born-again Christian, who currently resides with His Lord and Savior in Heaven.
Growing up in the depression era, he gladly helped to bring money into the household even at a very young age. One of his early memories, at the age of 9, was going to the icehouse, wagon in tow, to collect discarded ice, which he would proudly turn over to his mother, who would shave the ice to make lemonade ice cones for him to sell. He excelled in school and understood the importance of his education, as well as, unwavering honor to his parents. While just 14 years old, he held first violinist chair at the Lafayette College Symphony Orchestra. When he was out and about in town, he would affectionately be referred to as "Rubinoff", reflecting the famous violinist, David Rubinoff. The college orchestra conductor asked him to replace his rather ill-fitted, patched up jacket with a college jacket for the sake of appearance, the young Richard didn't hesitate to make it known that he would not dishonor his father by wearing "a better jacket".
A day after graduating from Easton High School in 1943, he was drafted into the Army. PFC Sciascia gallantly served in WWII as a machine gunner. In addition to the Victory, World War II medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, he was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service demonstrated by holding a strategically critical position in the Ardennes Forrest during the Battle of the Bulge. He declined the Purple Heart award stating, "a fellow soldier who fought beside me lost his life so I couldn't accept it". A true American hero from the "greatest generation".
Although, he was a talented violinist, he never resumed playing the violin after the war as his attention was on his education and career goals. Following his honorable discharge from the military, Dick earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College, Easton, PA. While working as a Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., he continued his education at George Washington University earning his Juris Doctorate degree and became a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar Association. He was appointed Field Director, Office of Naval Research. Dr. Sciascia received multiple honorable mentions throughout his Senior Executive Service (SES) career up until the time when he retired in 1981, to include the Department of the Navy's Superior Civilian Service medal (the highest awarded civilian employee honor). During his tenure and to his credit, he was the attending patent attorney, who reviewed and signed off on the "Side Winder Missile" patent, among hundreds of others. He had oversight of 18 patent Naval research laboratories across the US and one in England; all 150+ staff under his supervision had the highest regard for his performance, integrity, and leadership. He co-chaired both the East and West coast annual Navy Patent Counsel Conventions. Additionally, he was the adjudicating patent attorney, who proved that Dr. Page was the true inventor of Radar, confirming the rightful patent holder.
During his retirement, he designed and built his forever mountain home in Linden, Virginia, where he lived with his beloved wife, Charlotte. The two of them throughout the years accomplished all their hearts' desires and then some. They were the talk of the town - whatever the town! Together over the years, they enjoyed family; international travel (Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, England, Africa, Canada, Mexico, and various tropical islands); RVing throughout the 50 states for months-on-end; hosting and entertaining with the attention that each guest deserved; and visiting one of Dick's all-time favorite places, Las Vegas, where Dick regularly participated in blackjack tournaments and won! Dick's life was as colorful as the fall leaves of the Blue Ridge Mountains where he resided. When he wasn't enjoying life to the fullest, he turned his attention to volunteering throughout the community.
For 25 years, Dick served as Director, Treasurer, and President of Skyland Estates Community Corporation with dedication and distinction. In 2012, during a community dedication ceremony, the corporation's library was renamed the Richard S. Sciascia Library. He received the President's Volunteer Service Award for his many years of community dedication. He also volunteered his services for approximately 20 years as an AARP tax consultant providing free income tax services for the elderly in partnership with the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging. He also volunteered in his community with Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP). He was a member of National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), National WWII Memorial Society, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, VA.
A memorial service will take place at a later date to coincide with the scheduling of his burial at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick's honor can be made to either: Blue Ridge Hospice www.brhospice.org
333 W. Cork St. #405, Winchester, VA 22601, or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church www.goodshepherdfrontroyal.org
P.O. Box 1109, Front Royal, VA 22630.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.maddoxfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are being handled by Maddox Funeral Home, Front Royal.