Dr. Bruno J. Virgili, 97, of Placida, Fla., formerly of Venice, Fla., passed away Friday, June 20, 2014.
He was born May 17, 1917, in Chicago, Ill., and moved to this area in 1980 from Sandwich, Mass.
He served in the Army during World War II, and served with the 42nd Bombardment Wing. Dr. Virgili was the operation and training staff officer who served on the staff of a medium bombardment wing in operations over Italy and Central Europe.
He also assisted in mission planning for four bombardment groups (72 B-26 airplanes in each group), and supervised gunnery training with power-operated turrets.
His proudest moment in the war may have been in North Africa, when he designed a skip-bomb rack for P-38s that attached under the wings of the twin-engine fighters. He received a Legion of Merit medal for the bomb rack.
The battles and campaigns were Algeria-French Moroccan, Tunisian, Sicilian, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Appennines, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe Air Offensive. He received the Legion of Merit, American Defense Service Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, EAME Theater Ribbon with two Silver Battle Stars and six OS Service Stars and attained the rank of major.
Before the war he received his Bachelors of Arts degree from Beloit College. After his discharge, he attended Northwestern University, where he received his doctorate.
Dr. Virgili retired after 37 years as a dentist, practicing in Portland, Conn. His passions were fishing, golfing and gardening until his later years, when he became enamored with “beating those slot machines,” always wearing his infectious smile.
Survivors include his wife of 72 years, LuluBelle; son, Robert J. of Placida, Fla.; and granddaughter, Savannah Virgili of Old Saybrook, Conn. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Laura Virgili, who will also be remembered at this time.
Services: Services with full Color Guard honors will be held Saturday, July 5, from noon to 2 p.m. at Farley Funeral Home, 265 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice, Fla.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 709, Clearwater FL 33762.