William David Danisi

December 8, 1925July 17, 2013
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William Danisi died Wednesday, July 17, 2013 in Fresno, Ca. He was born on December 8,1925 in Brooklyn, NY moving with his family to Fresno in 1928. He attended St. Alphonsus Catholic School and Edison High School until the age of 17 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps on April 19, 1943. He served with the B, G, and K Companies of the 22nd, 25th, and 2nd Marine Divisions. He fought bravely for his country in the Marshall Islands, Saipan, and Okinawa, and was issued the Purple Heart after being wounded in action. He was discharged on January 28, 1946. After returning to Fresno he met the love of his life and married Rosemary Rotella in 1950. They spent 62 years together. He worked for Grinnell Plumbing Supply. Family was dad's #1 priority. We loved him very much and will miss his blue eyes smiling at us. We would like to especially thank Dr. Dickran Gulessarian for treating our dad as his own. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Irene; and brother, Lawrence. William is survived by his wife, Rosemary; son, Richard and wife Denise; and daughter, Doreen and husband Jeff Friesen; grandchildren, Santino, Melissa, Gianni, and Cydney Danisi, Christopher and Laurel Friesen, Jessica and Jason Gravano; and great granddaughter, Clementine Friesen. Also surviving are brothers Leonard, Joe, and sister, Mae Telfer. Visitation will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. at 9:00 a.m. Interment to follow at St. Peter's Cemetery. Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns and Blair Funeral Home, 1525 East Saginaw Way, Fresno, California (559)227-4048


  • Visitation Wednesday, July 24, 2013
  • Funeral Service Thursday, July 25, 2013

William David Danisi

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Richard Danisi

July 27, 2013

Our Dad,

Firstly, I would, on behalf of my entire family, thank all of you for being here, and showing us your support today. It is truly really appreciated.
After our dad's passing I was taking some time to reflect on his remarkable life story. I will be very brief; because that's the way my dad would want it. He was a very quiet man, and wasn't one to be the life of the party. His personality would be described more along the line of the strong quiet type, but when he did speak you knew it was the truth with no exaggeration.
Dad, in his younger years, must have been a little bit feisty and independent. Let's face it, lying about your age (17 ½) to quit school in his senior year at Edison High School and enlist in the Marine Corps had to take some nerve and guts. I guess, as the story goes, he didn't like working on my grandpa's ranch so he thought he had a better idea, the Marines.
Seventeen years old, and “oh what an adventure he was in for”. After my dad passed, my mom showed me that dad kept hand written notes in a small pocket sized notebook of his many travels into the South Pacific during WWII. Just to mention a brief sample of his notes are: “Marine Corps, April 19,1943, left States Nov 3rd, 1943; joined the 22nd Marines at Maui, Hawaii; hit the Marshall Islands and Enewetak Feb 18,1944; arrived on Tinian Island on July 25th, 1944, and joined the 8th Marines after Tinian. Had garrison duty on Tinian from July '44 to January 1945. Left Tinian Jan 1st, 1945 for Saipan; left Saipan March 9th,1945 for Okinawa; back to Saipan April 1945, left Saipan to “hit” Aguijan Island and Okinawa. Finally, arrived stateside Dec 24th, 1945, and discharged Jan 26, 1946.
Dad failed to mention in his notes how and where he was injured in action, but I can tell you by the scar I frequently saw on his back from flying shrapnel, that it had to be toward the end of his tour.
If you think of all he must have endured, physically and mentally, at such a young age during this experience, that in itself is a remarkable story, but one many young men shared while serving their country. He was one of the lucky ones to return, so many did not.
It's kind of funny, but understandable, that my dad didn't like to speak about the horrors of war, but did occasionally, after much probing and questions by his grandsons. Only then, did he share some stories with them, and “incredible” would be the word to describe them.
Honestly, I think, looking back, that the war made my dad one of the toughest guys I have ever met in my life. And I've met some pretty tough guys, mostly loud boisterous types that like to brag about how tough they are, but again, this was not my dad. Remember the very quiet man I spoke of earlier. That was him.
And, I surely remember and witnessed the example of what he left me and my sister with. It's called honest, hard work. Our dad during his working years, worked so physically hard just to make ends meet, and it wasn't very easy most of the time. But, he and mom accomplished this feat with hard and dedicated work. They provided my sister and me with a life that has allowed us to be success stories in our own lives, with our own families, all to their credit.
Our dad was a huge success in our eyes, and I'm not speaking in financial or monetary terms, but in terms of achieving the dream that every parent in this room shares, to have your children succeed in life and go a little further than you did. That's every parent's dream, isn't it? Well he was a great success, and I am so very proud to have his last name attached to my first. I will never be able to thank him enough for that honor.
But let me just mention this fact; You see, it's not only our immediate family that's built this way; it's our entire extended family, our Aunts, Uncles, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews, it's the entire Danisi family that's built this way, it's in our genes. It's called honesty, faith, hard work, and some success along the way. It's what we we've been taught through our family experience and being a Danisi.
And lastly, I would like to thank my beautiful, loving mother, for never giving up on him when he became ill, and staying the course. I know how hard it was for her. We all saw it and I give her all the credit in the world. She loved that “ole' blue eyed baby” very much, and never forgot the vow, “in sickness and health”. Our family is truly blessed to have had parents like these. God bless you, and thank you.

Marlene Smith

July 27, 2013

May you seek comfort and peace knowing William is no longer suffering and is in a better place. You all will be joined together again someday.. My prayers are with you and your families.

Jim and Suzie Rocco

July 24, 2013

Pleace accept our sympathy, our hearts are with you.

dominnic sanginito

July 22, 2013

Our deepest Smypathy to your whole family Its not easy losing someone so close love the sanginito s

Juli Danisi

July 22, 2013

My heart grieves over the loss of my dear Uncle Willie. You were a blessing to all of our lives. You are dearly loved, and will be greatly missed.

Charles Evans II

July 22, 2013

Saying goodbye often comes too soon during our short lives. We can only hope and wait to see that our faith of reunion is not foolish comfort – may your faith and family be strengthened Danisi Family.

Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Chapel

July 21, 2013

Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.