"Robert DeCesari was born in Madera, California, the youngest of two children, a first-generation Italian American." He wrote those words to be used as the opening to his obituary. The rest was left up to us.
Robert DeCesari was born January 20, 1933, and passed away on January 8, 2021, after a brief illness.
Robert is survived by Marilyn DeCesari, his wife of 31 years; his daughter, Roseanne DeCesari; his beloved nieces and nephews, whom he thought of as his own children, Allen Baraldi, Laura Brandon and Nancy Meyers (Mark Meyers). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Leslie Anne Edwards (Sarah Bahnson), Robert Cole, Robby DeCesari, David DeCesari, Laura DeCesari, Rachel AhYou (Brandon AhYou) and Shawn DeCesari (Jennifer DeCesari), and eight great-grandchildren and extended family. He is also survived by Pearl M. Gill (his previous wife), and the mother of his five children, and his stepdaughters, Laura Allred, Karen Baldwin and Christy Mix. Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Enrico and Armanda DeCesari; his uncle, Silvio DeCesari; his sister, Paula Baraldi and his four sons, Robert, Mark, Dino and Enrico DeCesari.
Robert retired from the Army as a Command Sergeant Major on December 31, 1984. He returned to Madera, California, to take care of his father and live near his sister, Paula Baraldi and his nieces and nephew and their families. After his father died and he and Marilyn had married, he relocated to Tucson, Arizona, to be near his son Mark, and daughter, Roseanne and their families.
His service in the military was exemplary. He received the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal with 5th award, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze service stars, Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was particularly proud of his service with the 75th Airborne Rangers in Vietnam.
Robert loved his family first and he was greatly loved in return. He also loved to cook and was well known for his spaghetti sauce and raviolis. He also loved to take road trips and traveled several times across the country. His last years were spent taking care of Marilyn. His favorite time of day was between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. when he and Marilyn would sit side-by-side on the sofa, holding hands, snuggling and watching TV.
Robert, Dad, Nonno, Uncle Robert will be missed by his family, neighbor's friends and other loved ones.
There are no planned memorial services at this time. In the near future, he will be laid to rest in Madera near his parents, sister and sons, Robby and Rico.
In lieu of flowers or cards, please consider making a donation to St. Jude's
Research Hospital or to the TMC Foundation in honor of their nurses.
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Published by Arizona Daily Star on Jan. 24, 2021.