David J. Damiano Sr., 79, former streets commissioner

David J. Damiano Sr.
David J. Damiano Sr.
Posted: February 26, 2013

David J. Damiano Sr., 79, of Garnet Valley, a former Philadelphia streets commissioner and longtime sanitation engineer, died Monday, Feb. 18, at home of complications from the flu.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Damiano was a 1955 undergraduate of Villanova University. He earned a master's degree in civil engineering from the school in 1963.

He was a longtime Philadelphia employee, starting in 1955 as a graduate engineer and working his way up to chief engineer of sanitation. He held that post from 1966 to 1971.

Mr. Damiano served in 1971 and 1972 as chief engineer of sanitation for New York City, but Philadelphia wanted him back; he returned as streets commissioner, serving from 1972 until retiring in 1978, said his partner, Ann Cianciarulo.

Clarena Tolson, Philadelphia's current streets commissioner, said, "Many employees spoke highly of him."

In his role as engineer of sanitation, she said, he made sure all of the city's trash was disposed of properly.

"He had a wonderful reputation for being knowledgeable in his field and a hard worker, and he worked well with labor and management," Tolson said.

Mr. Damiano was a past member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, the National Academy of Engineers, and the Engineering Foundation.

He contributed numerous articles for publication to professional journals and was recognized by the engineering profession as an innovative and creative designer in his field.

He enjoyed spending time with family and hobbies: home repairs, woodworking, cultural events, dancing, keeping fit, visiting malls, playing board games and pinochle, and taking car trips.

He was a member of the church of the Holy Child in Wilmington.

In addition to his partner, he is survived by sons David J. Jr., Michael, and Stephen; daughters Teresa Pyle, Bernadette Brust, and Regina Murgueytio; three brothers; two sisters; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His wife, the former Helen Irwin, and a brother died earlier.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Church of the Holy Child, 2500 Naamans Rd., Wilmington. Friends may call from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Interment is in SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Springfield.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society East Central Division, 1180 W. Chocolate Ave., Hummelstown, Pa. 17036.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 215-854-2611 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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