Carl Bernard DeNisio was born on April 4, 1939, to Carmine and Anna M. DeNisio in Schenectady, New York. He was called home by Jesus, His Lord and Savior, on January 21, 2021, at the age of 81 blessed years. Early in life, his family called him "Bernie," and it was obvious from childhood that God, family and community were most important in his life.
Bernie was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and graduated high school from St. Joseph's Academy, both in Schenectady. In June 1961, he received his BA in Education from St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Later that month, Bernie was married to his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Carolin Antenucci. He still referred to her as "his bride" after 59 years of marriage. He and Carolin reported to Plattsburgh AFB, NY three weeks after the wedding for the beginning of his Air Force career as an Air Police Officer.
Following assignments included Germany, the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), Virginia, USAF Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas, Washington, DC, and Maryland. He retired after 21 years of service as Commander of the Security Police Academy at Lackland AFB in San Antonio in October 1982 with the rank of Colonel. The year he was promoted, he became the youngest full Colonel in the Air Force.
While stationed at Langley AFB, Virginia, Bernie attended the 83rd session of the FBI National Academy in Washington DC. He was the first Air Force Police Officer to attend and was Vice-President of his class. The graduation was held in the East Room of the White House. Following the Langley assignment, he completed the Air Force Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. That year he also received his Master's degree in Guidance and Counseling from Troy State University in Alabama. During the Bicentennial year, he attended the National War College at Ft. Leslie McNair, Washington, DC; he was the first Security Police officer to do so.
Our grateful nation awarded Bernie several medals and awards during his service. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry during his time at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Saigon, Republic of Vietnam for his actions during the Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968. Other awards include the Air Force Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and four medals awarded by RVN for combat action also during the Tet Offensive. Bernie's career field changed names from Air Police to Security Police to Security Forces during his active duty and retirement years; but he was always proud to have been an "Air Force Cop."
In January 1983, following retirement from the Air Force, he became the Director of Loss Prevention and Security for HEB Grocery Company. He loved being based at the Arsenal Headquarters in San Antonio because of its place in Texas and U.S. History. He had great respect for those who hired him and for all the partners who became his co-workers and friends in Texas and Monterey, Mexico. During this second career, Bernie fortified his relationship with local, state and national law enforcement leadership, and treasured his time interfacing with them.
Bernie was a member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) and the Food Marketing Institute. He chaired the Crime Stoppers Board and represented HEB as a charter member of the San Antonio Business Crime Counsel. The San Antonio Chapter of the FBI National Associates of San Antonio awarded Bernie their Excellence Award in 2001 in recognition of his lifelong commitment to fighting crime. Bernie retired from HEB in 2001.
In retirement, Bernie and Carolin traveled with dear friends and family to interesting and beautiful places in the United States, Europe, Central and South America, the Holy Land and Egypt. Bernie became involved in their homeowners' association and served on the Awareness Committee until his death. He became more involved in Parish and Archdiocesan ministries. In 1973, he and Carolin became involved in Lay ministry through Worldwide Marriage Encounter on the local and national level. They were involved in family life ministry and were founding members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Stone Oak) and served on the first pastoral council there. They served on the archdiocesan pastoral council where Bernie was the chairperson with Archbishop Patrick Flores and Archbishop Jose Gomez. Bernie also served on the Assumption Seminary board and was a delegate to the Archdiocesan Synod and RENEW. He cherished his brothers and sisters in Christ through ACTS ministry and the 4th degree Knights of Columbus.
Time spent with his Grandchildren from football stadiums to graduations, sacramental celebrations, to board and card games, special trips to Washington DC, NYC, and the Texas coast and even "The Covid Christmas" with lawn chairs on the driveway absolutely filled his heart with joy. Bernie was an Aggie Dad, and Aggie Papa of two -- and boy did he bleed maroon.
Bernie was a respectful son, a devoted husband, an unconditional lover of his children and grandchildren, a loyal friend, a man of integrity, honor and mentor to so many who crossed his path. He was a true servant leader.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Joseph DeNisio and sister, Annette Parillo. His in-laws Ben and Angeline Antenucci and brother-in-law Anthony Antenucci. In 2011, Bernie was also preceded in death by his precious son, Michael Bernard DeNisio. He leaves behind to cherish his memory: his beloved wife and partner Carolin, his treasured daughters, Sheryl DeNisio and Susan DeNisio (Glenn Southerland Creed); his precious grandchildren, Sydney Angeline DeNisio and Cortland Bernard DeNisio and his dear daughter-in-law, Virginia Johnson DeNisio of Lakeway, TX. Also surviving are his favorite marine, David Tamuty and son Andrew; Colonel Mel and Ann Grover and family, and Colonel Gerald and Pam Ingelsby and family. He is remembered fondly by Carolin's sister-in-law Lina Antenucci (Tony-deceased) and niece Lisa of Schenectady, NY; brother-in-law George and Sheila Antenucci, and niece Bree of California; sister-in-law Rita DeNisio (Joseph-deceased) and nephews Carmine and Joseph; brother-in-law Joseph Parillo (Annette and son Joey-deceased) and nephew John -- all of New York State. Two of Carolin's uncles, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins by blood and marriage survive him, as well as many more dear friends. Bernie considered himself blessed beyond his dreams.
Bernie was very thankful for the professional and compassionate care of his cardiologists and nurses through the years as he dealt with heart challenges resulting from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He was blessed by many Catholic Military Chaplains, Diocesan Priests, Edmondite Fathers, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Redemptorists, and Religious Sisters who taught him and nurtured his faith from cradle to grave. He never forgot them and was so grateful for each of them in his life.
Services: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 with the Rosary at 9:30am and Mass at 10:00am at Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Stone Oak) at 20523 Huebner Road, San Antonio, Texas. Social distancing and masks are required. A private committal service will take place at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery following the church services. Monsignor Douglas Fater will officiate. All services and the committal will be live streamed through Porter Loring North at www.porterloring.com In lieu of flowers and out of the great concern that Bernie had for our community members who have suffered in so many ways during this pandemic, donations in his name may be made to Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio (ccaosa.org) or the San Antonio Food Bank.
Our faith tells us that we will all be together again with the Holy Trinity at the "great banquet" in heaven. What a joyful celebration that will be in God's good time. As Bernie would often say instead of farewell or goodbye, Shalom.