USMCCCA past president, James Vincent DiBernardo, USMC (ret) passed away at the age of 75 from prostate cancer on November 20, 2009, at his home in Temecula, CA surrounded by his family.
James was born on October 18, 1934 in Fulton, New York, and has lived in Temecula, CA since 1976. He graduated from Fulton High School in New York in 1952. After High School, James entered the US Marine Corps, proudly serving for 30 years. He began his career in the Marines as enlisted personal, but was able to obtain the officer’s rank of Major through hard work, dedication and sacrifice. His achievements include the Bronze Star Medal, Three Purple Hearts, Two Navy Commendations, and the Vietnamese Medal of Honor.
During his service, James was a Prisoner of War for 5 years. He was captured on February 3, 1968. His cellmate, Bill Baird, whom was severely injured by a landmine, stated that without James’ encouragement, he would have given up and died. Released on March 5, 1973 from Hanoi Hilton, James went home to be with his family and meet his two youngest daughters for the first time. After serving in the Marines, James attended National University and earned his Bachelors Degree in Business, setting an example to his children, the importance of getting an education. He moved his family to Temecula, CA and founded his Insurance Business “DiBernardo & Associates.”
James is survived by his loving wife of 52 years Sharen DiBernardo and his children Vincent, Tony, Joy, and Susan: Their spouses Melissa, Carolyn, Bud, and grandchildren Douglas, Isabel, Dominic, Mike, Vinnie, Anthony; and many other extended family members and friends. Unfortunately, on October 14, 2009, James lost his oldest daughter Gail who left behind her husband Chris and son Colin.
A Graveside Service and Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 9:45 AM Staging Area 4 at Riverside National Cemetery. A reception will follow for family and friends at Evans – Brown Sun City Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations to: American Cancer Society PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718, EVANS BROWN MORTUARY (951) 679-1114. — Published in Press-Enterprise on November 22, 2009