John Joseph Di Sanza, 76, died, Friday, September 15, 2023, in Grand Junction, Colorado, surrounded by his devoted family.
Born February 12, 1947 in The Bronx, City of New York, on a snowy, winter day. John was a first generation Italian whose mother, Luisa Maione Di Sanza, met and married his father, Louis Joseph Di Sanza in Naples, Italy during World War II. John was extremely proud of his Italian roots and loved being the oldest cousin in a very large family.
John enlisted in the Army at 17, and served his country in Korea and Vietnam. John was awarded a Purple Heart on December 4, 1966. We are proud of John’s military service and love for his country. Stories of his time in the service were published in his book, Johnnie Saigon No Band Played. John was also a talented artist and actor, and enjoyed exhibiting his art in Florida during his 40 years living there before following his children and grandchildren to Grand Junction, Colorado in 2018, where he enjoyed many Rocky Mountain highs traveling the state with Susan at the wheel.
Words cannot express his love for his wife, Susan, his children, John and Emilie, his three grandchildren, Juliana Oliva, Gabriel Di Sanza and Vincent Oliva and his brothers and sisters. Everyone that knew him, knew of his deep love and devotion to his family. John was an avid story teller. He shared stories of his adventures and passed on many lessons to his wife, children, grandchildren, and any one else that would listen. Many of his stories can be recited by any one of us. So many stories. So much love.
John is survived by his wife, Susan Chadwick Di Sanza, who he met in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1975 and married in Massachusetts in 1979. They relocated to Dunedin, Florida where they were blessed with twins, John Robert Di Sanza, and Emilie Louisa Oliva, in 1984. He is also survived by daughter-in-law, Betsey Hecker Di Sanza, son-in-law, Anthony Oliva, his grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Juliana J. Oliva, Gabriel R. Di Sanza and Vincent J. Oliva, all of Grand Junction, Colorado, a son, Marco Ryan Di Sanza, Dunedin, Florida, his brother, Louis C. Di Sanza, and his wife Jeannie a/k/a “Irish”, of Dunedin, Florida his sister, Rosemarie and her husband, Steve, of St. George, Utah his sister Doreen of Greenville, North Carolina and brother, Dominick and his wife, Lisa of Marietta, Georgia. John is also survived by many nephews, nieces, godchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends that he loved and enjoyed spending time.
A true Renaissance Man, John will live on forever in our hearts and souls.
A military funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m., Monday, October 16, 2023 at Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado, 2830 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501. A celebration of John’s life will be held immediately following his interment.