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Obituary: Dominick Daniel Garofano (1923-2012)

A decorated World War II Veteran dies at 89.

Dominick Daniel Garofano, a decorated U.S. Marine Corp Veteran who served valiantly in World War II, died on Dec. 4, 2012. He was 89.

A Mountain View resident, Garofano was born in Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 1923 to Lucia Maria and Cannine Antonio Garofano. In March 4, 1940, Garofano enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After serving in K Company 5th Marines in Quantico, VA he transferred to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and served in the Marine Main Guard. That's when, in 1941, he met the love of his life, Victoria Petcavage. However, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 all the Marines deployed to combat organizations in the Pacific.

Garofano served with L Co., 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in many Pacific islands including America Samoa, British Samoa, Wallis Island, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Solomon lslands, Russell Islands, New Guinea, New Britain, Puvuvu and Peleliu, Palau Islands. He also participated in three combat amphibious assaults on the islands of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Cape Gloucester, New Britain and Peleliu, Palau Islands.

He was awarded three Gold stars and the Marine Combat Medal for the assault landings, the Asiatic Pacific theater medal with four bronze stars, the Presidential Unit Citation with two stars, American Theater Service before WWII citation and American Theater Service during WWII citation, the WWII Victory Medal and Good Conduct Service Medal.

After serving in the Pacific in 1942, 1943 and 1944 Garofano was rotated home to the U.S. In 1945 he was appointed a drill instructor at the Marine secruit center at Parris Island until the end of the war and was then discharged from Marine Corps duty.

Garofano returned to Philadelphia to work with his parents in their produce business in 1946. In 1950 he married Petcavage. After his parent's retirement, the couple took over the family business, but then decided to sell it. Garofano enrolled in LaSalle University evenings while working days at Philco's communication division in Philadelphia. He graduated with a degree in physics from LaSalle in 1962 and worked as a design engineer in the Philco Microwave dept. In 1964 Philco, now known as Philco-Ford, moved to Landsdale, PA and Dominick followed. The dept. moved to Spring City, PA in 1968 and Garofano was promoted to manufacturing manager of both the microwave dept. and the optoelectronics dept. In 1971 Ford moved the departments to Sierra Electronics in Menlo Park, CA. Ford bought the Garofano's home and moved them to CA. with all expenses paid.

In 1974 Ford sold the Sierra Electronics business and Garofano was transferred to the Ford Aerospace & Communications Corporation in Palo Alto, CA as a senior engineering specialist. In Palo Alto he moved up the ladder taking over various management positions until 1990 when he was promoted to test facility supervisor of the parts test and evaluation laboratory. In 1992, Garofano retired from the Ford Aerospace Corporation. In his retirement review, his performance was described as outstanding, which is unusual as it is a description usually reserved for company executives.

After retirement, Garofano and Victoria enjoyed eating and sharing the many fruit trees around their home and their large vegetable garden with their neighbors.

Garofano was a member of the Palo Alto Elks Lodge and made many friends socializing and working out in the athletic facility. In 2000, Garofano joined the VA Voluntary Service at the Palo Alto VA Hospital driving a shuttle around the hospital. In 2003, he joined the Palo Alto Elks Veterans Service Committee as a co-chairman. The committee visited the veterans in the long-time wards such as spinal cord injury, poly trauma and brain injury. They held bingo games and barbecues at both the hospital and at the Elks Lodge for the Veterans. In 2008, the VA hospital Voluntary Service presented him with the leadership award. In 2009, Garofano was selected "Elk of the Year" of the Palo Alto Lodge. Garofano was very involved with helping the Veterans who were long-term patients at the hospital.

Victoria had a stroke in 2008 so Dominick took over the running of their home, cooking, shopping, cleaning plus watching over Victoria and helping her with living tasks. In 2009, Victoria had another stroke that seriously disabled her. She was moved to the Grant Cuesta Nursing and Therapy facility and had therapy for her disabilities.

Every morning, Garofano would bring her fresh cut oranges and other fruit and help serve her breakfast. He returned at the noon meal and helped her at lunch. He was back at dinner time, and stayed with Vicki serving her and making sure she was comfortable. Dominick stayed with Vicki until she was put to bed. He then would go home for his dinner. In March 2012, Vicki was moved to El Camino Hospital with pneumonia. Garofano stayed with her as he had at Grant Cuesta. Finally, on March 4, 2012 at 10:30 that night, Vicki passed away. Dominick gave her a final kiss and told her he loved her.

He has two sisters, one Yolanda who is deceased, and Gloria. Garofano attended Philadelphia local public schools.

Dominick was interred at the George Washington Memorial Park in Blue Bell PA. next to Victoria. Visitations were held on Wed. Dec 12 at Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary. Funeral mass was on Thurs., Dec 13 at St. Joseph Church, Mountain View.

This obituary has been provided courtesy of the Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary.

 

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