Donald Joseph DeSandro, 84, Sun City West, Ariz., passed away peacefully with his wife, Ann, and son Brad at his side May 4, 2011, at the Hospice of the Valley after an extended and valiant battle with COPD.
He was born May 29, 1926, the eldest of four children born to Elmer and Dora (Test) DeSandro.
Upon graduating from Punxsutawney Area High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he enrolled in Penn State University and graduated in 1950 with an industrial engineering degree. He then served as an officer in the Air Force Reserves.
Always an athlete, Mr. DeSandro played football for the Punxsutawney team while in high school, and was on the semi-pro team, the DuBois Buicks, when he was a student at the DuBois campus of Penn State.
He continued his athletic ways by running and mountain hiking as an adult — even after heart bypass surgery.
Mr. DeSandro had an inquisitive mind in his childhood, and this carried through his entire life. He used his engineering degree and entrepreneurial spirit to always see what could be done rather than accepting what had been done.
In a pre-computer era, he saw the potential, formed his own company and changed the course of individual companies and their employees by enabling them to see his vision of how a computer could enhance their output while easing their efforts.
Always the contrarian, he saw solutions where others saw only problems.
Mr. DeSandro lived in awe of God's creations and enjoyed simple pleasures — RV road trips, being outdoors and spending time with his wife and family.
His greatest joy was in quietly supporting some young person, whether a family member, friend or new acquaintance, to reach his or her potential.
He encouraged all he knew to reach out for their level of excellence.
In addition to his wife of 61 years, he is survived by two sons, Bradley and wife Mary and Mark and wife Karen; a daughter, Holly and husband Mark Rogers; eight grandchildren, Matthew and Rebecca Rogers, Kathryn and Grace DeSandro, Daniel, Steven, Sabrina and Keith Donald DeSandro; a great-granddaughter, Clara DeSandro; a brother, William and wife Jean (Ferko) DeSandro; and a sister, Pat and husband Angelo Giavedoni.
Mr. DeSandro's life will be celebrated later at a private family service.
He is truly missed.