Joe DeMaria, 93, of Cedar Rapids, died Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House. A private family service will be held at a later date. Entombment: Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery Chapel Mausoleum.
Joe was born Oct. 28, 1924, the second son of Antonio "Tony" and Maria "Mary" (Sasia) DeMaria. His parents were immigrants, coming through Ellis Island from Provincio de Cunio in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.
Joe graduated from Attica High School in 1942 at the age of 18. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and was transferred to the U.S. Marines in 1944. Joe trained to be a pharmacist mate at Camp Pendleton. Eventually he served on LST 118 in the South Pacific, and told of landing in New Guinea, the Russell Islands and the Philippines. Joe passed the International Date Line, crossed the equator and sailed in the South China Sea. He was on the USS Saidor, which was a converted CVE that helped to train the squadron that dropped the atomic bomb on the Bikini Atoll.
After World War II, Joe attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in engineering. During that time, he met and married Betty Husted. They had five children and later divorced. Joe then was married to Rosemary Pritchard in 1976. He worked for Cherry Burrell, later Evergreen, and retired after 37 years in 1989.
Joe loved the game of golf, which he played until the age of 91. He also had a special place in his heart for all animals, choosing his saint as St. Francis of Assisi.
Survivors include his wife, Rosemary DeMaria; one son, Blake (Barb) DeMaria of Cedar Rapids; three daughters, Lucinda (Morgan Reider) DeMaria of Portland, Maine, and Pamela DeMaria and Toni (Steve) Mrkvicka, both of Cedar Rapids; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one brother, Gary (Bonnie) DeMaria of Knoxville, Iowa; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his son, Barry James DeMaria; parents; brother, Batista "Bob" DeMaria; and sister, Renae "Rena."
The family would like to give thanks to Angie Dolpin, PA-C, and Dr. Rickard Larsen for the special relationships they built with Joe over the years. We also would like to thank both Mercy and St. Luke's hospitals, as well as their doctors, and give a special thank-you to the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House for their special care and the great respect shown to Joe.
Memorials may be directed to the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House or the Cedar Valley Humane Society in memory of Joe.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.