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James Giardina, 72, a retired state Department of Transportation engineer and a decorated World War II infantryman, died Saturday (Oct. 19, 1996) in a Town of Tonawanda nursing home after a brief illness.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Tuesday in St. Paul's Church, Kenmore. Burial was in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

Born in Buffalo, Giardina graduated from Burgard Vocational High School. During World War II, he saw action in North Africa and Italy. He was wounded in the battle at Anzio and received the Purple Heart. He also was awarded a Bronze Star for valor.

When hostilities ended, Giardina remained in the Army in Germany and was discharged as a staff sergeant.

Upon returning to Buffalo, he entered the University of Buffalo and earned an engineering degree in 1952. Subsequently, he was employed by the Department of Transportation for more than 30 years, until he retired in 1986.

"He enjoyed traveling and thoroughbred racing," said a niece.

Surviving are three brothers, Saverio of Kenmore, Michael of Elma and Joseph of the Town of Tonawanda.

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