On March 12, 2020, Donald D. Impellizzeri, age 95, passed away peacefullyin the care of Vitas Hospice with family present. He is survived by his four children, Donald (Caroline), Robert (Libby), Karen and Kenneth (Jill), as well as seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Donald was preceded in death by his brother Silvio and a sister Virginia. He will join his loving wife of 55 years Josephine, who passed away in January 2005. Their marriage was devoted to providing for and instilling the values of hard work, education and honesty in their children.
Donald was born December 25, 1924 in Montclair, New Jersey to Isidoro and Anna (Ferrara) Impellizzeri who had emigrated from Sicily. In 1942 Donald attempted to enlist in the Marines but the quota was filled, so he finished high school and was then drafted into the Army in June 1943. After serving as a corpsman in a military hospital in Utica, NY he lobbied the visiting Inspector General for a position flying with the Army Air Corps. To his delight, his request was granted and he subsequently served as a Corporal Flight Engineer in the Army Air Corps during the latter period of World War II. His unit’s mission was to fly throughout Japan, Korea and China delivering logistical supplies and transporting senior military personnel and wounded soldiers. He performed with great courage and distinction, and he considers this period a highlight of his life.
Later, he took a leap of faith and moved to the less crowded small town of Pompton Plains where he helped design a new home to raise his family with his wife Josephine. There he carved out a successful career in the defense industry as an instrument group leader responsible for repairing military aircraft flight navigation systems. He had a talent for creating cartoons of his fellow workers while highlighting their trials and tribulations, and he thus became a leader and booster of team morale. He was a lifelong avid golfer and student of the game, always tinkering with his swing. He was also a very successful Little League baseball manager and a fiercely devoted New York Yankees fan. Friends and family loved him and will remember his constant striving to perform any task to the best of his ability.
Entombment will be held Monday 1:30pm on March 16, 2020 at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, located in Montclair New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or The Wounded Warrior Project.