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David Desidero - 0

David Anthony Desidero 1956–2024 

David was born on May 9, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ferdinand and Eileen (Tatro) Desidero. 

A few years later, the young family moved to the Hazel Crest Highlands. It was in this neighborhood, during the Blizzard of 1967, that David discovered a fascination for the blowing, blinding and drifting snow. Clad only in his pajamas, he set out on a brief journey to fully experience this amazing force of nature, unhindered by the mind's dialogue. A few harrowing hours later, he was discovered in a neighbor's baby crib, warm and safe.

During his early teen years, David developed an appetite for all things edible, and developed an uneasy relationship with fried chicken legs. His various predilections also included Easter lilies, peonies flowers with ants, pinecones, and anything else he could lift to his mouth. 

Second to testing his palate, his next favorite thing to do was soar. On warm, breezy summer days he would stand in the backseat of his parents 1965 convertible Mustang—arms outstretched in rapture — as the air rushed past him en route to the park that had the longest and tallest saddle seat swings available in the South Suburbs of Chicago—The Park With The Trees. 

And there, he would soar. He would soar to such heights that the others in the park would stop and watch him, his black and white sneakers brushing the clouds. In awe of the feeling of weightlessness and flight, and again unencumbered by words of doubt or judgment, he would let go of the chains at the Zenith of each revolution so as again to feel the forces of nature rush past his body as we all stood in awe as well, witnesses to a human being experiencing total freedom. 

He imbibed Orange Tang and ice cream, the former being the most reliable way of getting his anti-seizure medications down. 

Speaking of medicine, David also disregarded the rules of modern pharmacology, once staying awake for 72 hours straight after a single dose of chloral hydrate designed to give his parents respite during a family vacation. This was the last attempt at such until the summer of 1974, when David attempted to drive a Winnebago off a peak of the Smokey Mountains as his sister slept in the bunk above him.

Young David also had a brief stint at the Blue Cap School in Blue Island, Illinois. Alas, the energetic boy was not to be pigeon-holed, stirring the late Mrs. Mary Ellen Ostby to find a way to keep the mischievous boy safely occupied. But besides snow, David also had a keen fascination with climbing, and with water.  So, one day he again snuck off, easily scaling a 12-foot fence, depositing himself into a deep quarry for a refreshing late winter bath. This left a soaking wet Mrs. Ostby and the boys’ parents no alternative but to send him back home permanently where he enjoyed day long baths and carbohydrates until, by his eighteenth year he grew too unmanageable in strength and caprice for his mother to handle him. 

And so, David became a ward of the State of Illinois. He lived at Howe Developmental Center in Tinley Park until its closure in 2009-10 and then lived the rest of his days at the Ludeman Center in Park Forest surrounded by new and familiar faces, many of which he brought a smile to with his ongoing antics, including those of Altheria Ceasar, Debbie Jenkins, and Barbara Whittaker. In his final days it became clear that although he never spoke a word, David still managed to build loving and meaningful relationships with those charged with his care, a bittersweet revelation for which we are eternally grateful. On the evening of May 21st, 2024, surrounded by those who loved him, he again found total freedom, this time for eternity. He is now swinging in Heaven with his parents who preceded him from this life to the next. 

He leaves behind his sister Jeanne (Gary) Johnson and his brother Stephen (Julie) Desidero, as well as his nieces, nephews, and countless brothers and sisters in Christ he met through Howe and Ludeman.   Memorial Visitation at Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home, 530 West 14th Street, Chicago Heights, (US Route 30, 3 blks East of Western) Sunday June 30, 2024 from 1:00 pm until the time of Memorial Service 3:00pm. Info panozzo@panozzobros.com or 708-481-9230.

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