On April 19, 1959, Margaret presented Robert DeCesari with a third son, and the fourth of what would be five children. He was named Dino, not because it complimented his last name of DeCesari, but because Marge had just seen a movie starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin that was wildly popular at the time. Who wouldn’t want to name their son after Dean Martin in 1959? Fortunately, the priest said the name was acceptable because it was a derivative of Geradino and therefore, was a saint’s name.
Dino was unexpectedly taken from this life on September 5, 2015. The night before, he spent the evening cooking with his wife, Jodi, in preparation for a family gathering the next day. Cooking was one of Dino’s passions, especially when it was for the people he loved.
Like all of us, Dino has a story. Jackie Robinson once said, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.” Dino certainly did not waste his.
Dino spent most of his childhood in Madera, California, in the Central Valley. He, his siblings, and cousins spent hours playing outside, fishing in the river, and creating all sorts of mayhem. That all changed when Robert re-enlisted in the Army and Dino became an Army “brat.” Following his father’s career, he traveled around the country from Monterey, California to Georgia, and eventually Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Dino graduated from Kaiserslautern American High School in February of 1977 by finishing up a few credits at a high school in Texas. Immediately after receiving his diploma, Dino joined the Army from 1977 to 1980. He was a Telecommunication Center Specialist and received the Army Commendation Medal and a Rifle Sharp Shooter recognition. While in the Army, Dino met and married Sarah Grizzell, who is the mother of his son Shawn.
After leaving the Army, Dino began a 20-year career in the transportation industry. He held various positions that culminated in his promotion to the National Aftermarket Parts Manager for Hyundai Translead in San Diego, California. But Dino was able to reject the lure of the high stress corporate world to live life on his own terms. He and his wife Jodi married in 2000, opened Parts Unlimited in Twisp, Washington and operated it from 2002 until 2006. This was the community that Jodi grew up in and that Dino came to love and call his own. This business was sold in 2006, allowing Dino to retire at an early age.
In retirement, Dino was anything but retired. He provided computer technology support for both the Okanogan School District and the non-profit Career Path Services. For the past 20 years, he was also involved in numerous online communities related to computer technical support and product reviews, including most recently as an editor and moderator of Overclockers.com.
The health and wellness of his adopted community, Omak, was important to Dino. He was actively involved at North Cascades Athletic Club and was famous for his drill sergeant leadership of the club’s “Boot Camps.” Dino was also an avid runner, covering 8 miles on a typical day. You might have seen him running along Salmon Creek from Conconully to south of Okanogan.
Additionally, the Omak community benefited from Dino’s work on the city council from June 2009 to present. One of his most memorable contributions was as S’mores maker for both Halloween and Christmas celebrations, volunteering numerous hours and providing the financial backing to make sure the events were successful. But his thoughtful and insightful leadership of the city through difficult financial times will be what makes him stand out among his peers.
Above all, Dino was a wonderful husband, son, brother, father, uncle, cousin and friend to many. He is survived by his wife, Jodi DeCesari; his mother, Pearl Margaret Gill; his father, Robert DeCesari (Marilyn); his son, Shawn DeCesari (Jennifer); granddaughters, Arianna and Daria, with a third granddaughter, Lillian, to be born in December; his sister, Roseanne DeCesari; father- and mother-in-law, Gary and Anna Clark; brother-in-law, Cory Clark (Heather); daughter by affection, Rebecca Baker; and loyal canine companion, Hunter. There are many other nieces, nephews, and cousins too numerous to mention.
Dino is preceded in death by his three brothers, Robby, Mark and Rico DeCesari.
A celebration of life gathering will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday (September 12, 2015), at the Dalton Klessig Park in Omak (near Apple Springs). There will be a potluck immediately following at North Cascades Athletic Club, 568 Pine Street, Omak. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit in memory of Dino. Be sure to designate donations specifically to the K-9 unit on the check and mail to (or drop off at) Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, 123 5th Ave. N. Room 200, Okanogan, WA 98840.