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Dominic Ornella


1922 - 2020
Dominic Ornella Obituary
Dominic Ornella was born to Rosa DiFilippo Ornella in San Daniele del Friuli (Province of Udine) Italy of February 23, 1922. He migrated to the United States in May 1932 and was adopted by his step-father, Giordano Ornella, and joined the family in Cincinnati that year. He received his elementary and secondary education in public and parochial schools in Cincinnati. Upon graduation from High School, he worked in Cincinnati until he entered the Military Service in November 1942, where he worked as a staff Sergeant in Military Intelligence. While stationed at Camp Ritchie Maryland, he met his wife-to-be, Jane Gerard of Durango. He vacationed in Durango in 1946 and moved in 1947 to attend Western State College in Gunnison. The couple was married at St. Columba Catholic Church on June 5, 1948. Jane graduated from Western State in 1948 and taught in the Gunnison schools while he completed his degree in 1951. They moved to Durango that spring and purchased what was to become their present home on the Florida Mesa. He sought and obtained work at the Vanadiium Corporation of America and thereafter became Ore Buyer, Purchasing Agent & Mines Auditor, and assistant to the General Manager. Upon closure of the mill in 1963, he and Jane returned to Western State and enrolled in its graduate program. Both received their master's degree in 1965. Mr. Ornella taught at Needham Elementary and became assistant principal at Durango High School in 1966 and principal at Florida Mesa/Sunnyside schools in 1972. He retired from the 9-R School District in 1983

Nic enjoyed fishing and camping with his family and friends. He loved to play golf and woodworking became one of his hobbies upon retirement. He was a member of Post 28, American Legion and a member of its "Goldenaires" Drum and Bugle Corps. He was a member of St. Columba Church and briefly served on its School Board. He loved baseball and grew up a fan of the Cincinnati Reds.

Dominic was preceded by his daughter, Patricia Ann Wong and his beloved wife of 58 years, Jane. He is survived by daughters Rose Marie Ornella of Durango and Alvetta Jane Pendleton of Waikoloa, Hawaii. Also surviving are his grandsons, Edward & Nickolas Clark and John & Jeffrey Starns and five great-grandchildren.

A private service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Fort Lewis College Alumni Association; https://apps.fortlewis.edu/makeagift.
Published in The Durango Herald on Feb. 3, 2020
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