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08/11/19 - NNHS Newsletter - Don Dellapenta

Donald Eugene Dellapenta
(20 Jan 1957 - 29 July 2019)

Ferguson High School Class of @ 1975

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
   The sad news just keeps arriving.
Don Dellapenta, Ferguson High School Class of @ 1975, brother of Claudia Dellapenta Melgaard ('63) of VA and Jerry Dellapenta, and of the late Joe Dellapenta (probably St. Vincent HS - '59), passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 29, 2019 at the age of 62.

From The Daily Press - 08/11/19:

        Donald E. Dellapenta
    NEWPORT NEWS - Donald E. Dellapenta, 62, of Newport News and West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, passed away unexpectedly July 29, 2019.

He was born January 20, 1957 to Joseph and Saralee Dellapenta.

He was the beloved brother of Joe Jr,, Gerald Dellapenta, and Claudia D Melgaard.

He graduated from Ferguson High School.

He lived his life with love for the Lord, his family, the earth and music. Donald will greatly missed.

Please go to for a complete obituary.

View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press on August 11, 2019.
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From Wasson Funeral Home (OK) - 08/01/19:

        Donald E. Dellapenta
    WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, OKLAHOMA - Donald Eugene Dellapenta (62) of West Siloam Springs, OK unexpectedly went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 29, 2019.

Born on January 20,1957 to Saralee Barlow Dellapenta and Joseph Vincent Dellapenta Sr., he was the 3rd of their 4 children.

He was proceeded in death by his parents, brother and sister in law Joey Jr. and Belen Dellapenta, and brother-in-law Stephen Barnes. Donald (aka granddaddy) leaves behind his beloved wife of 35 years Martha Louise Dellapenta, their son Alex Dellapenta (and his wife Jessica), daughter Darla (and her husband Brian Trowbridge), youngest daughter Anna Dellapenta, stepdaughter Tanya (and her husband Nestor Agbayani), stepson Emil Sempf, grandchildren (Nathaniel, Rosie, Emily, Leo, Alfred, and Victor), sister Claudia Dellapenta Melgaard (and her husband Bill), and brother Jerry Dellapenta (and his wife Yvonne).

He also leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephews: Vincent/Tina, Jeff/Heather, Becky/Tom, Sarah, and 6 nieces and nephews on Martha’s side, and their children as well.

Those who loved Don would describe him as a saint. Even those with the most passing of interactions often came away commenting what a sweet and cheerful man he was. His #1 goal in life was to love and serve the Lord, and he did so in every aspect of his life; mainly in how he treated his best friend and wife, Martha. He could fix just about anything and was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone with no complaints and a true servant’s heart. He was skilled on many stringed instruments, and his contributions making a joyful noise to the Lord both at home and in church were a blessing to his family and fellow believers. He enjoyed gardening with Martha, riding his bike for hours, and loved to read his Bible every day. He did not particularly care for television, but when he did watch, it would be an old John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart movie, like The African Queen, or in years past a PBS program (made possible by Viewers Like You). He was patient, forgiving, humble, wise, funny, loving, and the best man his family has ever known.

Don’s devoted wife Martha said, “I would have to say, our relationship was truly a great love story, at least to me, like Ruth and Boaz. He took me under his wing and protected and cared for me, making it very easy to honor and love him back.” She will always be grateful to God that she was able to be by Don’s side all of these years. All those who saw their love knew that they were truly a match made in Heaven. He set a great example on how you should love, honor, and cherish the people you have in your life, especially your spouse and children.

His son Alex will be forever thankful to Don for the fatherly love that was poured unendingly, for setting the standard as Alex grows into how best to love and serve his own wife Jessica and infant son Leo, and for putting the Lord first in all things and encouraging Alex to seek Him in everything. Alex will always remember his father’s welcoming and peaceful disposition, insatiable exploration of music, and for the many trips Don took to help during various projects when they got their new home in North Carolina. He will never forget a musing his father shared once, about what the music in Heaven might sound like. Don pondered that we on Earth in our meager faculties have stumbled into the known sets of noises and genres, but that that must pale in comparison to the awesome and truly overwhelming soundscapes and shouts of praise from the Angels, worshipping the Lord every day. It comforts and delights Alex to know his father wonders no more, and shares in the great celebration forever and ever.

His daughter Darla will never forget one of the last things he said to her a couple weeks before his passing. He told her, “Always teach your children about the Lord and how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, because that is the only thing that actually matters.” He helped her through many various trials and tribulations, never giving anything but words spoken in truth and love, sound wisdom, and hope for the future. She will always cherish the times she heard him play the violin or guitar, him driving her to middle school and getting her a biscuit before class, and the belly laughs they shared with tears in his eyes. She hopes to live out the rest of her life in a way that will make him proud, and looks forward to seeing him again one day in Heaven. Brian, her husband, said “He was an awesome, amazing man of God, and I will cherish every word he shared with me. I only wish I would have taken every opportunity to get to know him better.”

His daughter Anna Dellapenta had these kind thoughts to share about her father: “Dad and I loved being outside with one another tinkering with his creative, super useful projects or sitting in the work shed together looking through his music on rainy days. Whenever we could, we’d take scenic bike rides around North Carolina, always having the best times. Reminiscing never got old to us, be it talking about kayaking the Dan River and getting rained on (couldn’t have been a more perfect memory), or hiking Stone Mountain in N.C. on Father’s Day and being in the moment… knowing we both were truly enjoying our time. Looking back you always want to kick yourself for not doing more with someone you love, but Daddy D always knew how to slow each second down to make the simplest moment beyond meaningful and special. I am so glad that at the end of his life he finally found a job he could walk to and enjoyed, which was always a dream of his. So even though I’m one of those people who have a lot regrets and things I wish I could go back and change, I am forever grateful that he was my father and for the times we spent with one another. I’ll always be able to remember him as literally the best man I will ever know. He showed and taught me how to be gentle, humble, loving and kind. And I’m not just talking good about him behind his back, he truly was all those things and more, and I hope to share that joy with others. Dad, you will always be The Strongest Man in the World to me, and thank you for loving your family with all that strength. I miss you dearly. Love GooGie.”

His grandson Nathaniel Dellapenta wanted to say this: “I admire how selfless he was. If I would try to explain him in detail, I would have a 5 book series. Grandaddy was an amazing guy, and everyone will agree that he was a lovable man.” He will never forget their special bike rides, camping adventures, and fishing trips together.

In closing, the ones who loved Don and anyone who has lost a loved one must hold fast to Romans 8:18. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Donald Eugene Dellapenta would want everyone to run the race God has set before them, finish strong, and to one day be able to hear the words: “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

 In lieu of flowers, the family simply asks you to turn off your TV, open your Bible, seek Him with your whole heart, and be kind to one another in Don’s memory.

A private memorial will be held in Colorado.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Donald Dellapenta please visit our
Sympathy Store.

Published in Wasson Funeral Home (OK) on August 1, 2019.
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August 01, 2019, 5:22 PM

  Love you, Dad! Thank you for everything!

~ Darla Trowbridge

August 01, 2019, 10:12 PM

John and I are so very sorry to hear about Don. Such a fine and God serving man. Our sympathy goes out to Martha and family. You certainly will be in our prayers. Love. John and Barbara Mixon

~  John and Barbara Mixon

August 02, 2019, 5:41 AM

I got to work with Don in NC while he was with Nielsen. He always had a smile even while he was fussing about work. We really had some great talks about Newport News because I had gone to school in the city and knew Ferguson High and the area. First time I met him we went to a Mexican restaurant in Thomasville for lunch during a work day and it seemed like we always had Mexican lunches after that. When my father had passed away 4 years ago right after Christmas, Don took time off to attend the funeral; that showed me the Heart of this Man. Sorry for the rambling of memories; it could go on and on. He will be missed

~ Andrew Keiger

August 02, 2019, 7:13 AM

To the Dellapenta Family - Don is one of the finest gentleman I have known.

Very happy that he lived his faith with his family and friends. He is now residing in Paradise, in indescribable wonder

~ Eric Meadley

August 02, 2019, 9:04 AM

~ Joel McCann

August 02, 2019, 9:16 AM

Heaven is surely Don's reward! God's Grace and Blessings to your family. It was a pleasure working with Don at Nielsen. He was always kind to all!

Henry Mork

~ Henry Mork

August 02, 2019, 9:24 AM

I worked with Don for many years and loved his soul. He could play a mean guitar as well. I will miss you, my friend. I actually went back to Nielsen. Watch over me, brother. RIP

~ Jim Rothwell


August 02, 2019, 11:56 AM

Don was very devout in his faith and you could see it in the way he treated others. It was an honor to have known him and spend some time with him while he was with us. I pray for support and encouragement for the family.


August 02, 2019, 12:28 PM

~ Unsigned

August 02, 2019, 3:21 PM

It was a pleasure getting to know Don and working with him. He was always low key and always had a smile on his face, thoughts and prayers for him and his family.

~ Rusty Wallace

August 05, 2019, 12:20 PM

I'm a friend of Don's sister Claudia, I think we'd only met briefly; he sounds like an amazing person. My sympathies to his family; you are all in my thoughts

~ Debbie Rindfleisch

September 05, 2019, 6:14 PM

I had the honor of getting to know Don when he worked for Nielsen in NC. He always came to the house with a smile and had such a cheerful disposition while working and installing equipment. A true man of God I had the opportunity to teach and coach his children at the local high school. Thoughts and prayers to the entire family!

~ Dan Tricarico

September 08, 2019, 2:56 PM

Donald was my beloved brother all his life. We can't believe he is gone from us and his family. The world lost a truly wonderful person. Claudia

~ Claudia Melgaard, Hampton, Virginia

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August 12, 2019

Dear Donald, I will miss you so much. It breaks my heart when I think about our lives and times growing up together. Play on with heavenly notes. Love always, Claudia

~ Claudia Melgaard, Hampton, Virginia

August 12, 2019

Dear Claudia, Just letting you know that our family is praying for you and your family. May the Lord be with you and grant you peace in these difficult times. Let music grant you joy to fill in these rough times.

~ Bob Pugh, Newport News, Virginia

November 16, 2019


  Our deepest sympathies are extended to Claudia and to all of Don's family and friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

This Is My Father's World

Words by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901
Traditional English Melody (Terra Beata), arranged by Franklin L. Sheppard, 1915

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

"This Is My Father's World" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 06/19/07

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 03/15/05

Ferguson High School's Anchor clip art courtesy of Steve Silsby (FHS - '72) of NC - 12/14/05
Thanks, Steve!

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Musical Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 05/06/09

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