Daniel Raymond DeMarco, age 78, a well-known musician and music teacher in the area died at Bridgeport Hospital on Sunday, January 20, 2008. He was the son of Peter and Diane Verrilli DeMarco. He was also the beloved husband for 50 years of Lucille Gianinni. Dan was the cherished father of Peter DeMarco and Suzanne Copp and her husband Charles. He is also survived by a sister, Lucille Memoli and her husband, Angelo, and a brother, Rev. Peter A. De Marco, a retired priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport. He was admired by several nieces and nephews. Dan was born in Stratford on March 29, 1929. His family moved to Bridgeport, where he lived most of his life. He attended Garfield School and Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport. After high school, Dan enrolled in the U.S. Navy, and played trumpet in the U.S. Navy Band for four years at the Brooklyn Naval Base. After spending four years in the United States Navy, Dan enrolled in the University of Bridgeport, where he earned a degree in Music Education. Later he obtained his Master's degree and Sixth Year Certificate. His teaching career began at several Bridgeport elementary schools, Warren Harding High School, where he also directed the marching band for 10 years, and then at East Side Middle School. During several summers he was the co-director of the Creative Arts Camp that was located on Pleasure Beach. He transferred to the Stratford school system and taught at Flood Junior High School for 11 years. After a brief retirement (during his mother's illness), Dan returned to teach music at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull for five years. Wherever he taught, he was noted for his ability to educate young people and for the excellence of the school musicians he developed. Several of his students went on to careers in music and education. He was known by students and friends as "Mr. D." As a teenager, Dan formed a small band in the basement of Holy Rosary Church. His love for the "big bands" and jazz formed his life's pursuit. Dan played trumpet in the bands of the Frank Wojanowski, Chester Graczyk, the Jazz Giants, under the direction of Gene Hull, and the American Festival Concert Band. One of his proudest achievements was the formation of the St. Raphael's CYO Dance Band. In 1960 the band was chosen to travel to Europe for a USO Tour. The band remained life-long friends, and produced several musicians, teachers and professional people. His trumpet skills made him a much sought-after musician, and he was contracted to play in the pit orchestra at the summer tent at Seaside Park, where he played for many entertainers, including: Johnny Carson, Sid Ceasar and Imogene Coca, Ann Corio, Pat Cooper, and the circus. Until his final illness, he continued to play in the summer bands heard in concerts through the Fairfield County area. In his later years, he accompanied his son, a pianist and church music director, at funerals and weddings, and for the Christmas and Easter festivities. He was also an avid gardener. For many years he volunteered at the Beardsley Zoo Greenhouse, and was greatly admired for his prolific and succulent tomatoes that he grew. In his retirement, he and his wife moved to the Far Mill River Condominiums in Stratford, and was elected to the Condo Executive Board for three terms. Wherever he lived, and in whatever he was involved, Dan made a difference. Funeral services will take place on Thursday January 24, 2008 at 10 a.m. from the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull, and at 11 a.m. in St. Theresa Church, Trumbull. Interment will follow in St. Michael Cemetery, Stratford. Friends may call on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Center c/o Bridgeport Hospital Foundation 267 Grand Street Bridgeport CT. 06610.
Published in the Connecticut Post from 1/22/2008 - 1/23/2008.
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