Daniel Steven Antinozzi passed on Aug. 5, 2018, ending a life of nearly 95 years. Dan’s mind remained strong and clear until his last days, never failing to express the optimism of a lifelong faith in and duty towards the economic and political prosperity of his nation. An optimism which paralleled his love of family and the Catholic Faith.
Knowing Dan was to know his big smile was always nearby. His smile was the signature of an outlook that shaped his actions. The smile remained true and pure, even as the many good and fortunate times he enjoyed were punctuated with times of difficulty and disappointment.
Dan was born in Hazleton, Penn., into a community of newly immigrated southern Italians, brought to work in the Anthracite mines. The early years of his life saw his family lifted by the economic boom of the 1920’s, only to be ravaged by the depression. Dan, having turned 18 just weeks after Pearl Harbor, was quickly called to serve his nation in the U.S. Army. This call landed him in the epicenter of ferocious combat at Leyte Gulf and Okinawa. During the war Dan’s leadership abilities became apparent, and he acquired the telecommunication skills that would be the definitive hallmark of his professional life.
A brief departure from the Army after WWII was soon ended by a new call to serve in the German occupation forces during the Korean War. Upon returning from Germany, Dan found himself with the opportunity to stay with the army, joining the elite and rapidly expanding White House Communications Agency. He directly served presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. His role as Key Logistics Coordinator assured solid and secure communications for the Commander-in-Chief around the clock and around the world. Dan swiftly moved through the ranks, rising to Sergeant-Major of the White House Communications Agency.
The many years and dedicated hours at the White House Communications Agency helped Dan to form a long and wide array of personal bonds that would endure throughout his life. Bonds that remained active through his participation in the 1600 Communications Association, an organization formed at the time of his US Army retirement. Dan’s WHCA friendships and personal bonds formed through the great pride they all took in their work and their ongoing commitment to each other. These were the foundations that made their momentous successes possible.
Dan was awarded the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements” at the conclusion of his service to the Presidents.
For Dan full Army retirement finally came in 1968, but another purposeful and dedicated career at United States Postal Service’s Communications Headquarters lay ahead. Dan was always somebody who felt best when working hard, which was reflected by the triumphs he experienced. When full retirement finally came, he put his considerable energy into the young families of his children.
Dan is survived by his wife Pearl Isabelle (Hartman) Antinozzi, children Steven Rocco Antinozzi and Mary (Antinozzi) Harwood, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
On Saturday Oct. 13 at 11 a.m., a Catholic Requiem Mass will be held at St Ann Catholic Church, 5300 North 10th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22205. A reception and remembrance will be held at the Church Hall immediately following the service.