Don Spezzano Jr.

Graveside Service

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
23029 Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Military Honors

Obituary of Don Spezzano Jr.

Dominick Anthony Spezzano, Jr., 82, of Mesa, Arizona, passed away on June 4th, 2021, in Gilbert, Arizona.

Dominick (or Don as he was known to most everyone) was born in Brooklyn, New York to Domenico (Dominick) Anthony Spezzano and Maria (Mary) Pugliese on September 25th, 1938. Don graduated high school from Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades in June of 1956. He immediately joined the United States Air Force, stationed at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona.  It was during this season when he pursued his two lifelong loves: His wife Mary Helen Hammer and BASEBALL!  After a short season of courting, he and Mary Helen were married and started their dream life together.  He played baseball for his tenure in the military and toured across the country with their team.  Soon after his four years in the Air Force were completed, he joined the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office where he spearheaded the state’s first SWAT and Bomb Squad Units.  During his time with the Sheriff’s Office, he received several certificates of recognition for extensive training courses such as “Hazardous Explosive Device Course”, “Small Arms Marksmanship”, “Basic Hostage Negotiation”, “Advanced Improvised Explosive Devices and Terrorists Activities” and “Legal Aspects of Police Discipline”.  He was also a member of Arizona Homicide Investigator’s Association and completed training for “Special Tactical Firearms” with the FBI at Quantico. Don served as a detective during his 21-year career and retired in 1982 as Lieutenant-Watch Commander.  Though his service in the military and law enforcement had come to a close, Don never stopped serving his community. He continued throughout his early retirement years, pouring into college students at Mesa Community College teaching Administration of Justice and then later teaching junior high and high school students at a local private Christian school, 91st Psalm in Phoenix, Arizona.  He served as both the junior high homeroom and high school history, government and economics teacher, as well as incorporated one of his great passions by coaching the girl’s softball team.  He loved his students fiercely and would do anything he could to bring a smile to their faces.  Don was known for his “windy” stories but always circled back around to life lessons.  He did the same for his grandchildren…they were the center of his world. 

Don used every experience outdoors, whether hunting, fishing or camping to instill life skills and lessons in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a pillar of strength, a TRUE PATRIOT and hero to everyone he encountered. His legacy of steadfastness, fierce love and accountability, common sense, all things spicy, and baseball have been passed down to his family. 

Don is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Mary Helen (Hammer) Spezzano.  Don is survived by his 4 children and their spouses: Deborah (Dan), Tony (Julie), Kevin (Pauline), and Teresa (Wayne), 15 grandchildren and spouses, 26 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.

Funeral service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021, at 9:30am with Pastor Daniel Ross of Fountain of Life Christian Fellowship officiating.  Service address is 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85024.

We would love to have you join us for a Celebration of Don’s Life. Services will be held at Fountain of Life Christian Fellowship, 6056 E. Baseline Road, Suite 134, Mesa, AZ 85206 on Friday, June 11th at 7 pm.



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