Sunday, November 1, 2015

Taps for a Shipmate and Hometown Hero


Dennis L. Rinaldi

April 8, 2015

Dennis L. Rinaldi, 91, of Stroudsburg, formerly of Henryville, died April 8, at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. He was the husband of the late Ellen (Hughes) Rinaldi who passed away Dec. 22, 2001. They were married for 56 years at the time of her death.

Born Aug. 14, 1923, in Roseto, he was the son of the late Leonard and Lucy (Sabetti) Rinaldi and has been a Monroe County resident since 1958.

Dennis enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1941 and retired after 30 years of service. Most of the ships he served on were destroyers serving in the North Atlantic and Asiatic Pacific during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He earned the Good Conduct Medal with the first and second award with three Bronze Stars, the American Defense Medal with the Fleet Bar with a Bronze Star, the American Campaign Medal, the World War Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal with two Bronze Stars and the Korean Conflict Medal.

After retirement, Rinaldi worked for the Pocono Mountain School District. He was the maintenance engineer for the Holiday Inn on Route 447 in East Stroudsburg and a utility plant operator in the boiler room at East Stroudsburg University, retiring in January 1986.

He was on the fire crew at the Pocono International Race Way working the first race and several other races. He was a life member of the Stroud Township Fire Department, serving as a Lieutenant and Engineer. A member of the Four County Fireman's Association, he served with the Monroe County Police Reserves and the Monroe County Civil Defense Police. He was also a Deputy Constable and a Pennsylvania State Constable for 16 years having served in Monroe and Paradise townships.

Dennis was a life member of Police Lodge 74 in Stroudsburg, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 1106 in Stroudsburg, and VFW Post 2540 in East Stroudsburg. He was responsible for the Veterans Memorial that was placed in front of the VFW Post 2504 in 1997. Dennis was a Charter member of the Mount Bethel Portland American Legion Post 216 in Portland. He served as first and second vice commander for eight years. He was committee chairman and treasurer for the replacement of a new World War II Honor Roll in Portland and the update and replacement for the new Veterans Memorial, November 11, 1994 in Portland. Then he transferred to the George N. Kemp American Legion Post 346 in East Stroudsburg and served as post service officer sergeant at arms, post executive board and president of home association. He was a member of the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 115 in Allentown, and was active in the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Assistance Council of Stroudsburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Buffalo, N.Y.

He was a Plank Owner of the U.S. Navy Memorial Washington, DC, the USS Noa DD-841, the USS Manley DD-940 and the USS Toledo CA-133, and was a member of the Tin Can Sailors Association in Summerset, Mass. Dennis served aboard the USS Galveston CLG3 in 1959 and 1960.


Dennis at home
Rinaldi was an avid fisherman and hunter. He was a member of the Monroe Federation of Sportsman Club in Stroudsburg; Wyoming Wild Life Federation Club, Cheyene, Wyo.; North American Hunting Club, Pocono Paradise Hunting Club, Roseto Rod and Gun Club, Roseto; Laurel Hill Rod and Gun Club; and served as president and other committees for many years. He was a great volunteer and helped many people, he will be missed by many.

Surviving are two sons, Richard Rinaldi of Scranton and Dennis Rinaldi of Gouldsboro; daughter, Lisa Lesoine of East Stroudsburg; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by brother, Leonard Rinaldi Jr., and two sisters, Mary Gallagher and Rose Mosier. 

The picture at top right is of Dennis and his grand-daughter, Amber, preparing to leave for his fireman's banquet about two weeks before his peaceful passing.  Dennis was buried in this uniform: his original uniform.   A squared away sailor to the end.