Felice “Felix” DeRosa, 90, of Port Charlotte, Fla., passed away Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. He was a resident of the Douglas T. Jacobson Veterans Nursing Home in Port Charlotte.
He was born in Orange, N.J., to an Italian immigrant family who came through Ellis Island.
In 1944 Felix joined the U.S. Merchant Marine in New York and then became part of the Army Transportation Corp. His tour of duty included England, Scotland and France, where he was wounded by a sniper’s bullet. After the war he returned home and was later awarded the Merchant Marine Mariners Medal. Felix married the love of his life, Mary Arnold, and they settled in Orange. He worked as a mason and then went on to build custom homes. They retired to Hollywood, Fla., in 1967, where Felix became chief building inspector for Broward County.
After his second retirement in 1990 they moved to Port Charlotte. He was President of the Merchant Marine Chapter in Port Charlotte, actively seeking recognition for Merchant Marine Veterans. Felix was a member and ambassador for the Patriot Riders of Port Charlotte, a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and member of American Legion Post 110, National Association for Uniformed Services and a delegate for the Charlotte County Veterans Council.
He is survived by daughters, Fran Canfield of Ormond Beach, Fla., Jean Lyndon of Ormond Beach, and Susan Antoniewski of Port Charlotte; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Felix was preceded in death by his wife, Mary.
Family and friends will gather from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a celebration of life service at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, from Kays-Ponger Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2405 Harbor Boulevard. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at St. Maximillian Kolbe Church. Burial with full Military Honors will be rendered at Restlawn Memorial Gardens. To light a candle in Felix’s memory please visit www.kays-ponger.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the veterans organization of choice.
Arrangements are by Kays-Ponger Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Port Charlotte Chapel.