Former Chaplin U.S. Air Force, Rank Major, Della Valle, Father, Joseph J., (formerly known as Fr. Ignatius), 91, Gaithersburg, MD died on February 5, 2020, at Collingswood Nursing & Rehab Center in Rockville, MD. Born July 4, 1928 in Bakerton, son of the late James and Josephine (Cammarata) Della Valle. Survived by loving siblings, Madelyn Homady, Northern Cambria; Carmella Swartz, Florida; Adele Rauth, Virginia; Virginia married to George Hoffman, New Jersey; and James Della Valle, Yorktowne, VA. Also survived by special friend, Eleanor (Rizzo) Maffeo, Snell, Gaithersburg, MD; and her family. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Professed as a Franciscan, he entered studies in 1948 in Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Province of the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Hollidaysburg. He completed two years of college and was sent to the Gregorian University in Rome, Father Della Valle was ordained in June of 1957 and graduated in 1958 with the following degrees; Ph.L. and S.T.L.. He entered the U.S. Army and served during WWII. Eventually Father volunteered during the Vietnam War as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, where he assumed his baptismal name of Joseph and was known as “Father Joe”. He was awarded the Bronze Star for having endured constant mortar and rocket fire in Pleiku, Vietnam. As a result of his war time service he was diagnosed with PSTB and Parkinson’s Disease and placed under the care of the Veteran’s Administration. Family will receive friends Thursday, February 13, from 9:30 a.m. until time of Funeral mass celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Windber, Fr. Lawrence Lacovic, Parochial Vicar. Military rites will be accorded by Windber VFW at the church. Committal St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Carrolltown. Arrangements entrusted to Meek & Dalla Valle Funeral Home, Windber. www.meekfuneralhome.com.
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