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Richard F. Colacino passed away on December 9, 2022 at Hospice of the Valley Lund Home in Gilbert, AZ. Commonly known by everyone as “Dick”, he was born Jan. 28, 1935 to Tony and Nancy (Apa) Colacino. in Chadron Nebraska where he spent most of his childhood life.
After graduating from high school and working for a year, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1954 where he became a radar specialist. He was stationed in Germany and was able to do some traveling all around Europe when he was on leave. Dick was always sure he caught many of those moments on film. Just before his time was up in the Air Force he was stationed at Mt Umunhum in the Santa Cruz Mountains where he was pivotal in setting up the radar station at that facility. In 1958, Dick was honorably discharged from the US Air Force.
While stationed in Germany Dick met his first wife Helga. They were married in June 1958 and also lived in Chadron for several years before moving to Hayward, CA then eventually settling in Cupertino, CA where they lived until their divorce in 1987.
While in Cupertino, Dick received his MBA in counseling and eventually earned his teaching degree and began teaching German and Metal Shop at Kennedy Jr High from 1963-1982. He was admired by most of his students where many felt like the skills and life lessons learned in his class carried them through their adult years. Several used those skills learned in his classes to start and continue their careers in metal fabrication. When you talk to past students of his, they will tell you they still have projects created in his class 40-50 years before and you realize what kind of an impact he had in their lives.
Dick was also an avid fisherman and looked forward to his trips with his fishing buddy as well as the annual camping trips with his family.
Dick had gone to one of his high school reunions where he (re)met one his classmates, Sharon Farr, and they were then married in 1990 in Mesa, AZ where they currently reside today. Sharon and Dick both loved traveling and seeing new places which they often did in their class A motorhome.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents Tony and Nancy Colacino, his sister Mary Colacino, his brother and sister in law Domenic (Sonny) and Nellie Lou Colacino and his great nephew Jason Colacino. He is survived by his wife Sharon Colacino, his daughters Angela DeGraaf (Ed) and Tina Stopper (Kevin) and granddaughters Ashley, Jenny and Sarah. He is also survived by his nephew Rick Colacino (Diane).
Funeral service will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Jan 13,2023 at 2:00pm