Cpl. Daniel I. Baldassare, 20, of Colts Neck, died aboard the KC-130 while serving his country as a United States Marine. Daniel was born in Manhattan, New York and lived in Orangeburg, New York and Old Tappan.
A resident of Colts Neck, he was a graduate of the Class of 2015 where he competed with the Colts
Neck High School football team for four years. During his senior year of high school, he enlisted in the Marines and, prior to arriving at boot camp at Parris Island, he attended Marine Corp poolee training to prepare for recruit training. He graduated boot camp in December of 2015.
Cpl. Baldassare was recently promoted to the rank of Corporal and was based out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. He was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Daniel was a witty character with a passion for history. He was interested in diverse things and hyper-focused on studying them. Dan found his solace driving while listening to country music and bible verses. His interests included playing the ukulele and harmonica, and riding his skateboard. Daniel had a connection to the ocean, and loved going to the beach with family and friends, especially Long Beach Island and Manasquan Beach. A powerful presence, he could always rally the troops.
An influential leader, Daniel was a man of character, integrity and honesty. His name was chosen because the biblical Daniel was a hero, loyal, a patriot and he defended his beliefs. He lived out the characteristics of his chosen name.
Daniel had a drive and determination for what he liked with fierce perseverance. He was cultured and exposed to adaptability. Daniel was adventurous with a love of accomplishment. He had a calling to dare to be different. Daniel was generous, humorous, and loving. All along, he was preparing to remove himself from civilian life. As a Marine, Daniel continued to be a leader serving our country.
His sister, Felicia was not only his sister, but his best friend and confidante. Their bond can never be broken even in death.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Vincenzo Baldassare; and maternal grandparents, Antonino and Maria Cordaro. Cpl. Baldassare leaves behind his parents, Antonina Baldassare of Eastchester, New York, and Vincent I. Baldassare and his wife, Kelley of Colts Neck; his sister, Felicia Baldassare of Colts Neck; paternal grandmother, Teresa Baldassare of Rochester Hills, Michigan; godfather, Mark Mallach of Prosperity, South Carolina; uncle, Aldo Baldassare of Rochester Hills, Michigan; aunts, Adriana Cordaro of Park Ridge and Milena Gralow of Montvale; and cousins, Christina Gralow, Amanda Gralow and Steven Gralow; numerous great-aunts and great-uncles and their families; a girlfriend, Devin Goldring of Brooklyn, New York; and his faithful canine and feline companions, Bella and Gia.
Visitation was held on Tuesday, July 25, at Colts Neck High School football field. Interment with full honors will follow in Brigadier General Wm. C. Doyle NJ Veterans Cemetery, Arneytown. Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Semper Fi Fund for Disabled Veterans, 825 College Boulevard, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057. Arrangements are entrusted to the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, Freehold Township.
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