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DANIEL J. DEL GROSSO DIES AT 72; PAINTED MURAL ON COURTHOUSE WALL

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 17 in Evangel Assembly of God, 1800 Maple Road, Amherst, for Daniel J. Del Grosso, 72, who painted the mural on the west wall of the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Buffalo.

Del Grosso, of Galeton, Pa., died Jan. 18, 1990, in Veterans Hospital. Services were held Jan. 22 in Galeton. Burial was in West Hill Cemetery, Galeton.

A native of Galeton, he lived in Clarence and Buffalo for 17 years. He was a retired employee of the state General Services Administration. He was a chemical technician for Tenneco Hydrocarbon Co. in Houston before moving to Buffalo.

He was one of 45 survivors of the sinking of the Navy destroyer Reuben James, which was attacked by a German submarine off Iceland in October 1941. One hundred sailors were killed.

Shortly after his rescue, Del Grosso wrote the poem "The Ballad of the Reuben James" as a memorial to the ship and its crew.

In March 1986, when the USS Reuben James FFG-57 was at the Long Beach (Calif.) Naval Station, Del Grosso was honored by being named poet laureate of the Reuben James. His poem became the official ballad of Reuben James vessels.

The ballad was accepted by the Historical Archives of the Navy and a copy is on permanent display at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Department of Historical Papers, San Pedro, Calif.

Del Grosso painted the courthouse mural in 1976 in honor of the nation's bicentennial. It depicts the development of Western New York in 14 scenes. Del Grosso, who displayed and sold his paintings here and in Texas, was a member of several arts organizations in the Southwest.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret; two daughters, Robbin Lombardo and Susan Kindzia; a son, Anthony of San Gabriel, Calif.; four brothers, George and Floyd, both of Addison, and Maurice and Anthony, both of Galeton; two sisters, Grace Giordano of Galeton and Helen Baczek of Albuquerque, N.M., and six grandchildren.

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