Melinda Campanale Galiano, 1954 - 2014...Heaven just got a whole lot better

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Obituaries

No one ever said it would be otherwise, but life on this side of Heaven is not fair. The longer I live, the more I realize how truly blessed I am, but I also find myself saying goodbye to more and more friends and loved ones all too frequently.

Over the past year or so, I have been one of many that have helplessly watched my dear friend Melinda Campanale Galiano contract and succumb to the insidious, dreaded disease of cancer.  And it was just a bit more than a year ago that I watched another pass from the same thing.

I only knew Melinda for a brief time really, having only met her around three years ago.  However, Melinda was one of those rare individuals that touched and impacted everyone; she was that missing element to everyone she came into contact with, and from the moment we met, we became part of each other’s inner circle of friends and got to know each other very well.

She was probably the strongest, most fearless, and giving woman I have ever had the privilege to know.  Her undying patriotism and the hours she spent honoring our fallen military as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, her endless support of Wreathes Across America, and her never ending generosity for those less fortunate are only a scant few of the things she will be remembered for.

We had started attending services together at Christ Fellowship Church on occasion and I remember the Saturday just near the end of last winter when she texted me to see if I was planning on attending the next day.  I did, and we sat together with a few other friends, but she did something I didn’t expect.

We always sat in the front row, but on this occasion we were a couple of rows back, and when Pastor Todd was wrapping up his sermon, he ended with an 'Alter Call’ inviting all in attendance who had never invited Jesus into their lives to pray and come forward.  Before I even realized that she had left her seat, I saw that Melinda was the first one standing in front of Pastor Todd.  I’m pretty sure she was a believer in her heart before that, but as far as I know, that was the day she officially confessed and accepted Him.  I still tear up every time I think of that day and moment.  

From that day forward, with rare exception, we never missed a Sunday morning service together and a coffee afterwards in the Cafe.  It was only about two months ago that she 'sealed the deal’ and was water baptized in a private event.

I know many of the 'Framily’ at Christ Fellowship Church, and I love them all…but it is never going to be the same anymore without Melinda.  I know I’ll see her again on the other side in Eternity, and I’m happy she is now free of the pain of this world, but her going Home will leave an un-fillable void for many in this temporary existence.

I can only join countless others and offer my heartfelt sympathy to Gary and the entire Galiano family, and I pray that they can find peace and solace in the Loving Embrace of Jesus.  

Rest in Peace Sweet Melinda, while Heaven is in for a rare treat, you are and will be missed terribly.  

Add a comment

A Hero Remembered...

Written by Fox News on . Posted in Obituaries

Publisher’s note:  They are dying off by the gross and we lost another yesterday. Theodore VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay,’ the bomber that dropped the first of two Atomic Bombs on Japan has passed away at 93.

Historians will probably never cease to argue the need or value of the decision to use 'The Bomb,’ however it is certain in this columnist’s mind that it was necessary and that it saved countless lives that would have otherwise been lost in a protracted war in the Pacific.

In any case, The Patriots Press salutes an American Hero, Theodore 'Dutch’ VanKirk.  Thank you for your service sir.  Rest in Eternal Peace.

Fox News:  ATLANTA –  The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and forcing the world into the atomic age, has died in Georgia.

Theodore VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, his son Tom VanKirk said. He was 93.

VanKirk flew nearly 60 bombing missions, but it was a single mission in the Pacific that secured him a place in history. He was 24 years old when he served as navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first atomic bomb deployed in wartime over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

He was teamed with pilot Paul Tibbets and bombardier Tom Ferebee in Tibbets' fledgling 509th Composite Bomb Group for Special Mission No. 13.

Click for complete story…  

Add a comment

Just a Cat...

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Obituaries

He was just a cat in a lot of ways.  Slept most of the time, ate when he felt like it, and did what he had to do when he had to do it.  

We met him back in August of 1996 up in the Boston area when he was just about 6 months old. When we walked into the shelter, he looked at us as if to say, "it’s about time you got here, I’ve been waiting a while, now bring me home.”  On that first of what would become many rides in the family cars, we asked him his name…several times.  Since he didn’t respond, we decided that it would be appropriate to make it easy and fun, and just named him after us.  That was it…'David’ was the name, and mischievous kitteh would be the game.  

From that day forward, and for the next nearly 18 years, he frolicked, acted insane, loved on and smote the other cat we got for him as a playmate many times before that poor guy passed away, snuck outside when he could once in a while, and just brought a tremendous amount of joy and fun as a permanent member of our family and household.  He became my faithful companion and travel partner, taught me a bit about myself, and thereby helped me do my part to raise my son into the tough/tender, amazing man he has become, and he was always glad to see me as my personal reception committee whenever I arrived home from the day or frequent business trip.  

He never demanded much really.  Just for me to meet his basic needs; and for that, he loved me unconditionally.  He loved to be patted, loved people, and loved the other pets that he met along the way through his long life.  I will always miss the low rumble of his purring and the neat way he would answer me when I talked to him by simply opening his mouth and not making a sound or just flicking his tail in response. It was as though he just wanted me to know that he heard and understood me.

I found this little poem that I felt appropriate to share at this moment.

Member of the Family...

What would I do without you, my precious furry friend; part mischief, but all blessing and faithful to the end.

You look at me with eyes of love, and you never hold a grudge; you think I’m far too wonderful to criticize or judge.

It seems your greatest joy in life is being close to me; I think God knew how comforting your warm soft fur would be.

I know you think you’re human, but I’m glad it isn’t true; the world would be a nicer place if folks were more like you.

A few short years are all we have, one day we’ll have to part; but you my pet will always have a place within my heart.

Author unknown. 

I don’t know if there is really a place in Heaven like the "Rainbow Bridge” for our furry family members, but I sure hope so, because I am going to miss my beloved pet and friend 'David’ until the day I am called home myself, and I’d sure love to be greeted by my personal reception committee once again.

Goodbye my sweet, precious kitten.  Daddy loves you. 

Add a comment

One of the last of an aging and dying breed

Written by Fox News on . Posted in Obituaries

Publisher's note:  America lost another of the Greatest Generation yesterday.  Anyone that has seen or heard of the movie 'Band of Brothers' should be familiar with Mr. Guarnere, as his story was a prominent part in that saga of bravery that played out during the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest near the end of WWII so long ago.  

We can never thank them enough, nor do I believe we will ever have the sort of national pride that the Greatest Generation mustered to defeat our enemies and make the world safer for a while.

Rest in Eternal Peace William 'Wild Bill' Guanere.  The Patriots Press joins our nation in saluting you. 

Fox News:  William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died. He was 90.

His son, William Guarnere Jr., confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night.

The younger Guarnere told FoxNews.com that like so many of his generation, "Wild Bill" didn't talk about his service, even though he lost his leg in combat.

"All we knew was he lost his leg, and that was it," William Guarnere Jr. said. "People knew more about (his service) than we did."

The HBO miniseries, based on a book by Stephen Ambrose, followed the members of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from training in Georgia in 1942 through some of the war's fiercest European battles through the war's end in 1945.  

Click for complete story...   

Add a comment

Sam Berns, teen inspiration to thousands passes

Written by Fox News on . Posted in Obituaries

Publisher's note:  Although I had been aware of him and his affliction with the rare medical condition known as Progeria Syndrome, I never had the opportunity to meet Sam Berns, and it seems unfitting to publish his story, one filled with so much life, under this column heading.  You see, Sam Berns wasn’t your average teen; he wasn’t caught up in his own plight.  Instead, Sam lived his all too short life richly as an inspiration to everyone he came into contact with.  Never letting his condition get him down, he remained positive, upbeat, and he taught all those who knew and knew of him a new perspective.  

When so many of us get frazzled by such little things as the inconvenience of missing out on the early bird special at our local diner, or finding out they made our coffee wrong when we’re a mile away from the coffee shop; the memory of Sam Berns and so many others that cope with daily end of life struggles should stand as a stark reminder of just how truly blessed we all are.

The Patriots Press extends our deepest. heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this brave young man who touched so many lives.  Rest in Peace Sam Berns. 

Fox News:  A Massachusetts teen credited with inspiring legions through his brave fight against an extremely rare illness died Friday -- one day before he was to serve as honorary captain for the New England Patriots’ at a playoff game.  

MyFoxBoston reports Sam Berns, 17, died from complications related to Progeria syndrome, a genetic disorder that debilitates approximately 1-in-8 million children with stunted growth, rapidly advanced, or premature, aging, and the deterioration of one’s organs uncharacteristically early in life. 

“I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft wrote in a statement following Berns’ death on Friday night.

“He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with him and to get to know his incredible family.”

Berns, a Foxboro High School junior, was the subject of a 2013 HBO documentary about his family’s dogged search for a cure, called "Life According to Sam."

Click for Fox News story...

Add a comment