CAPT USN (RET) David Adam Peszko
July 7, 1941 – March 25, 2020
David A. Peszko CAPT USN (Ret.) 78, passed away at his home in Tampa surrounded by his wife, Ellen and daughter, Lia on March 25, 2020.
He graduated from Lackawanna High School in 1959, attending NYS Ranger School, Paul Smiths College with a degree in Forestry, Nichols College with BBA in Business Administration, Webster University with a MA in Management.
Commissioned as an Ensign in 1966 and served proudly for 30 years as an Intelligence Officer. His service colleges included: US Senior War College, Defense Intelligence College, Armed Forces Industrial College and numerous management seminars.
VP-28, Assistant Intel Officer, Barbers Point, HI; DIA Intelligence Analyst, Washington, DC; USS Mt. Whitney, Assistant Intelligence Officer, Norfolk, VA; FICEURLANT, Norfolk, VA; SUBLANT, Assistant Intelligence Officer, Norfolk, VA; USS EISENHOWER (CVN-69), Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Norfolk, VA; COMFAIRKEF, Chief of Staff, Keflavik, Iceland; SR War College, Faculty Staff and student, Carlisle, PA; Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group Two, Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Cryptology, Charleston, SC; Naval Surface Forces Pacific, Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Security, San Diego, CA; Naval Special Warfare Command, Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Cryptology and Oceanography, Coronado, CA; US Central Command, CCJ2 Chief of Resources and Requirements, Tampa, FL. Referred to at his retirement ceremony in 1997 as being “The Father of Modern Day Field Intelligence”.
He was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (2), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Battle Efficiency (E) Award (3), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Navy Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (4), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3), Overseas Service Ribbon (2), Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Action Medal, First Class Color With Palm), Expert Pistol, Marksman Rifle, SSBN Deterrent Patrol Device.
After retiring, he accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau as local Census Office Manager of Hillsborough County. He served as President of OBPOA for many years. Along with his wife, also served as Clerks for the Hillsborough County Elections. Members of numerous clubs and organizations.
Proud member of the International Thunderbird Club, Dave’s lifelong passion was for his 1956 Thunderbird. His wife Ellen found it for him in 1975. Over the years he worked to fully restore it with the help of his sons Davin and Morgan as well his grandsons, Chase & Tim. To the average eye it may have looked 100% restored, but anyone who knew him understood that it would never be done and there would always be something to work on. Dave enjoyed displaying his T-Bird at numerous Classic Car shows along with his daughter, Lia, winning many trophies.
As a child, he joined the Boy Scouts, eventually achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Also, a member of Order of the Arrow. As a father, he enjoyed passing on his love of scouting and camping to his sons.
David, or ‘Dzia-Dzia’ as he was referred to by his grandchildren, loved working with them on a variety of projects in his garage. Whether it be wood working, metal fabrication or tinkering on his car. ‘Dzia-Dzia’ truly was a handy man and was well equipped to fix, repair or build just about anything. In recent years, he built an Axe Throwing Arena in the backyard for them all to enjoy when they came over.
A big family tradition was shooting off Fireworks at the end of the pier by their home. Every occasion was a cause for celebration and all the family would look forward to our trips to Phantom to buy bigger and better fireworks. The celebrations would always be concluded with the firing of his personally restored and rebuilt cannon. (Still not sure if it is legal or not!) Family Vacations to the Lighthouse will forever remain some of the most treasured memories we will hold in our hearts. We are eternally grateful for our final Family Reunion there just 2 months ago.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ellen Peszko and 4 children, Davin (Cherette) Peszko; Lia (Tim) O’Neill; Morgan and Megan Peszko; Grandchildren, Chase Geiger; Logan and Trista Peszko; Tim and Anya O’Neill. David is also survived by sister Diana (Joe) and brothers, Mark (Nan) Peszko, Wayne (Diane) Peszko. Our family is grateful for our family and friends, Lifepath Hospice, Paula and Burgundy Team, Father Tom and Chaplain Ed. Private services will be held Monday, March 30th, 2020. Internment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors at a later date.