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Anthony Demaria, Sr. Obituary

Anthony Francis Demaria, Sr.
Anthony Francis Demaria, Sr.

May 30, 1925 - December 31, 2017
Born in San Pedro, California
Resided in San Pedro, California
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Obituary

Our dad, Anthony Francis Demaria, Sr. was an incredible man by any measure. He was a “real San Pedran”, born on May 30, 1925 on 6th Street in the old hospital to our Nana and Grandpa, Nina (Mardesich) and Nick Demaria (both Croatian immigrants, Nana born in Komiza, Nick born on Bisevo). Nick came to San Pedro in 1900, and dad was so proud that Demarias have been in San Pedro 117 years. In 1932, in the second grade at 15th Street School, he met our mom, Lorraine. They attended 15th Street, Dana Jr High, and graduated together from San Pedro High, Class of ’43. Dad, like lots of young Croatian and Italian boys, spent lots of time on fishing boats. He fished with his dad, spending summers on Catalina with his parents, brother Andy, aunts, uncles and cousins. He loved growing up in San Pedro. He had friends for years, they worked hard, and played harder. They swam at Cabrillo Beach, and in the Harbor, they roamed Beacon Street to earn a few cents selling the “News-Pilot”; they just had a great time in a close knit community they cherished. After graduation, he received a very special letter from FDR to join the effort, and off he went to San Diego and Navy boot camp. He was sent to Florida in January of ’44, but before he left he proposed to our mom. They were eighteen. From Florida he sent a telegram that he could be home for a few days at the end of May. He arrived, they were married on June 1, 1944, they were only nineteen, and the next day he took his new bride back to Florida. The following year on VJ day (Victory in Japan, August 15, 1945) they had their first child. War was over, and they both were back in San Pedro by 1946. Dad had lots of jobs, sold cars, drove buses, repaired cars, then in 1951 was hired by the Department of Fish and Game as a marine engineer on the Yellowfin. When he started on the Yellowfin he and mom had two children. In 1958, while expecting their sixth, mom said “no more” fun time at sea. Time to stay home. He went to work at Seaboard Electric and was a superstar. He kept the electrical systems on many of the boats of the San Pedro fishing fleet in running order. To him, being in the engine room was heaven. (Really, who doesn’t like a great engine room?) He could troubleshoot - and fix - anything and everything. We think only one person knew more about electricity than dad, that other guy was Nikola Tesla, our dad’s hero. He became well known outside the fishing arena and by the 60s and 70s he traveled the world, working from Samoa to Africa, and point’s in-between. In 1977, at age 52, he took a giant leap of faith, and opened Demaria Electric, in the garage of the family home on Ellery Place in San Pedro. He was the guest of honor two months ago in October to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a much larger and diversified Demaria Electric than he had ever imagined. Dad had many loves other than work. He had a thirst for knowledge and reading that was unsurpassed. We know our dad was a genius, with a near photographic memory and the learning never stopped. He read every day, and he read lots. He loved planes, trains and automobiles, because they had engines. And he knew engines. He and mom traveled America (all 50 states) and the world, and a lot of times they brought us along. They were always ready, willing and able to go anywhere, and to try anything. His favorite was to go to Croatia, especially Komiza and Bisevo, to see his cousins. He was so happy when any of us would go to Croatia; he would be there with us in his heart. He loved people. His family, his friends, his acquaintances, his employees, waiters, waitresses, clerks: he talked to everybody. His “What’s going on?” was NOT a rhetorical question. His renowned “Hey pusaro,” was the greatest form of endearment. Dad loved to see his grandchildren do anything, from sports to theater, he was there. And then came great-grandchildren, wow, life just kept getting better, and we kept getting bigger. He knew everyone. He didn’t even mix up the great-grandkids - and there were 19 of them!! Every day he’d say, “I have a beautiful family, I’m so blessed.” And, yes, he was blessed, and so were we. Dad and Mom were the most generous parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents to us all. Dad died on the Feast of Holy Family. Everything was about family, the work and the play. God knows His stuff! Dad, you know we all have our “numbers,” and you are Number 1 for so many reasons. We love you. You’ve missed mom for three and a half years, and you’re together again. He died before midnight on December 31st. All the fireworks you heard going off at the stroke of midnight, and the New Year, were the angels heralding dad into heaven. He celebrated the New Year with mom. He left us from exactly where he wanted to be: in our family home in San Pedro. “I was born in San Pedro, and I’m going to die in San Pedro.” A life well lived. We are his proudest achievements, and he had many: Firstborn: Tony, his wife Roz, their children Matt (Michelle) and Aimee (David) Mendoza, and grandchildren Joseph and Anna Marie Demaria and Andria and Camille Mendoza; second born Gary, his wife Bobbie, their children Chris (Lulu) and Mike (Meredith) and granddaughter Isla; third born Laureen, her husband John Davidson, their daughter Kimmy (David) Hansen and their grandchildren Dalton and Demi Jo Hansen; fourth born Johanna, her husband, Rick Reyes, their children Tommy (Christie) Reyes, Courtney (Anthony) DiLeva, and Katie Scarlett Reyes (Reannyn), and grandchildren, Gibson, Livi, and Luc Reyes, and Ben, Gabe, and Jake DiLeva, and Alex; fifth born, Dan, his wife Tippi, their children, Wendy, Sarah, and Hannah (Raymond) Ortega, and grandchildren, Kaci, Rivo and Kat Ortega, and Abby and Bobby Owens; sixth born, David, his wife Dena, their children Kristen (Ben) Fall, Robyn (Greg) Harris, and Devon (Allen). Please join us in honoring our dad: Visitation, Sunday, January 7th, 5pm to 7pm at McNerney’s Mortuary, 570 W 5th Street, San Pedro. Mass at Mary Star of the Sea Parish, 870 W 8th Street, San Pedro, on Monday, January 8th, 10am. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Boys and Girls Club of San Pedro, 1200 S Cabrillo Ave, San Pedro, CA 90732, in memory of our dad would be greatly appreciated. The photo above is of dad in July 1997, on a boat halfway between Komiza and Bisevo.

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Services

Visitation
McNerney's Mortuary
570 W. 5th Street
San Pedro, CA US 90731
Sunday, January 7, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Service
Mary Star of the Sea Church
877 W. 7th Street
San Pedro, CA US 90731
Monday, January 8, 2018
10:00 AM
Burial
Green Hills Memorial Park
27501 S. Western Avenue
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA US 90275
Monday, January 8, 2018
11:30 AM