Radioman Third Class Dante Sylvester Tini, 19, died December 7, 1941 as the first casualty from Virginia, MN of W.W. II, during the early morning attack at Pearl Harbor. He was onboard the USS Oklahoma.
He was born on July 25, 1922 to Rachel (Giorgi) and Daniel Tini in Virginia, MN. Dante was a 1940 graduate of the Virginia high school where he was active in the Boys Glee Club, Band, Assembly Committee, Booster Club and the Cosmopolitan Club. He was also an accomplished accordion player and enjoyed playing duets with his friend Baldino Roderigo. Dante was never far from music or his accordion. He sent his accordion home only days prior to the attack and is a cherished family heirloom.
Dante enlisted in the Navy soon after graduation and reported to duty aboard the USS Oklahoma on October 12, 1940. He was a radio man aboard the ship and he was at his post in the radio room the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Survivors include four nieces, Rachel (Donnie) Bauer of Albuquerque, NM, Barb (Ralph) Maki of Britt, MN, Renee (Mike Pugleasa) Prout of Eveleth, MN and Sharon (Max) DeRaad of Wyoming, MN; four nephews, John (Donna) Tini, Dante A. (Julie) Tini, both of Eveleth, MN, Frank (Margaret) Jenia of Glendale, AZ and Daniel (Don Carlberg) Tini of Lakeville, MN; and numerous great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel in 1959, Rachel in 1984, brother Vincent in 1990, sisters Annette in 1924, Inez in 1936 and Alda in 1994; and nephew John "Jack" Matko in 2011.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the Virginia Servicemen's Club.
After 77 years, Dante Sylvester Tini's remains will be returned to his family on May 23, 2019 on the 10:45 p.m. United Airlines flight into the Duluth Airport. Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia with Rev. Fr. Peter Lambert as celebrant. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. The family respectfully invites the public to attend all parts of this celebration as this War Hero is brought home to rest. Burial, with full military honors by the U. S. Navy, will be in Calvary Cemetery in Virginia. Local arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.