Surrounded by his family, Chief Petty Officer Robert Alien Vendetto, a retired Navy Diver, lost his courageous battle with cardiopulmonary disease on Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 in Houma.
Bob, fondly known as “Guinea” among his military brothers, served our country with pride and honor for 23 years. Throughout his years of military service, he spent time aboard the following Navy vessels: USS Albany, USS Skylark, USS Sunbird, and the USS Lipan while stationed in San Diego.
Bob was a diving instructor at the 2nd Class Diving School. Following this duty, Bob served In Vietnam with the Harbor Clearance Unit One. Bob’s last tour at sea was aboard the USS Seawolf (SSN) 575 attached to Submarine Development Group One Detachment Mare Island, California. He honorably retired from US Naval service as the Project Manager of the EX-14 and MK-11 Underwater Breathing Apparatus at the Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) in Panama City, FL In that position, he was a key team member of a 1,000 feet of sea water experimental saturation dive. He was awarded the coveted “Legion of Merit” for his valiant service to our country. After his retirement from the Navy in 1979, Bob cherished his time as an Offshore Saturation Supervisor at Santa Fe Underwater Services.
Later, he plunged into the world of sales with Santa Fe. Being a natural born salesman, his charismatic personality brought him success at Sonat Subsea, American Oilfield Divers, Stolt Offshore, MADCON, and finally Triton Diving Services.
Chief Vendetto was born in New London, Connecticut on Sep. 4,1936 to Ellen Sullivan Vendetto and Michael Vendetto. He was a graduate of New London High School, Class of 1955. He was the proud father of Beth Vendetto Walters and husband, Mark, of Winter Springs, Fla., J.R. Vendetto and wife, Judy Moore, of Baton Rouge, John Vendetto and wife, Connie Bergeron, of Houma, and Joe Vendetto and wife, Marlana Soard of Houma.
His grandchildren will miss their papa, Joei Michelle Vendetto, Tyler Walters, Hannah Walters, Destin Vendetto, Bre’ Vendetto, and Vincenza Vendetto. He is also survived by the mother of his children and caregiver, Elizabeth Ann Dolan. He leaves behind his brother Wayne Vendetto and sisters Patricia San Juan, Phyllis Bartelli, Maureen Thompson, Joan Laycock, and Donna Vendetto.
He will be sadly missed by his companion, Maureen Bodron, dear friend, Frank Mantel, military shipmates, and his civilian family. We give heartlfelt thanks to Dr. Russell Henry for his dedication, commitment, and gentle guidance throughout Bob’s illness. We would also like to recognize the CCU Unit at Terrebonne General and the staff at Physician’s Alliance for the compassion and dignity shown to Bob In his final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Mark V. Monument Project, 3830 Patrick Road, Southport, Fla. 32409 or on-line in Bob’s name at www.markvmonument.org. A Celebration of Life will be held during the summer in New London, Conn.