- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com Published 12:31pm
Those who would like to attend should reserve their place in advance by contacting Jonathan Barrett at 973-809-8920 or by email: email@example.com
DOUGLASS J. DENMAN
Douglass Denman is a “local boy.” He was born in Montclair, NJ on July 15, 1925. He attended and graduated from St. Aloysius Grammar School in Caldwell. In June 1943 Doug graduated from Grover Cleveland High School, Caldwell.
Immediately following graduation Denman enlisted in the US Army. After basic training at Fort Benning, GA, he attended Randolph Macon College, Virginia in the ASTP program. When this program was closed down he was sent to the 95th Division at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
The division was sent to the European theater and fought in France and Germany. Doug was wounded and captured by the Germans in the Battle of Metz but released when the American troops captured Metz. He spent three months in hospitals recovering from his wounds and was then sent back to the German front. His troop was one of the first troops to be sent home when the war ended in Europe and was scheduled to be sent to the Pacific theater.
In 1945 while still in the service, he married his high school sweetheart, Elaine Burgio. Doug was honorably discharged from the Army in December 1945. He received The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, The Combat Infantry Badge, the European-African-Middle East Medal with 3 Battle Stars, the Medal of Metz, the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Medal, the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, and the Order of St. Maurice by the National Infantry Association.
years. He left PMM &Co. to work with his father-in-law, Salvatore Burgio. He stayed with S.A. Burgio, Inc. for 35 years. The tire firm had its main location in West Caldwell and later opened a branch in Madison, NJ. He eventually, along with his wife, became sole owners of the firm.
After selling the business in 1985 he joined CIT Group in Livingston, where he worked for five years. He then became Assistant Treasurer at Mount Saint Dominic Academy working alongside his daughter, Janice Philips, Treasurer at Mount Saint Dominic Academy.
For many years Doug has been a constant figure in community service. Immediately following his discharge from the Army he was instrumental in providing veterans housing in Caldwell. He was an active member of the Young Republican County Committee. He served for six years on the council of the Borough of North Caldwell. He then became a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, serving as both a member and chairman for a period of over 20 years. He became a member of the Affordable Housing Council of the Borough of Roseland and is still serving in that capacity.
Denman is a past president of the Caldwell-West Essex Kiwanis Club, a past vice-
president of the West Essex Chamber of Commerce, a former Trustee of St. Vincent’s hospital in Montclair, and a former member and past president of the parish council of St. Aloysius Church. He is a past president and treasurer of the Parents and Friends Association of Mt. St. Dominic Academy and a past chairman of Caldwell College’s Theater-on-the-Hill program. He served as vice-chairman of the Essex County Traffic Safety Committee. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Marian Manor in Caldwell.
Denman became the first World War II veteran to serve as Commander for the James
Caldwell Post #185, American Legion, in Caldwell and also served as their finance officer. He is also a life member of the VFW and the DAV. Most recently, Denman was awarded the highest of honors bestowed by the French government and in a ceremony on May 8, 2012 was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor which was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France of great merit. It is a sign of “France’s infinite gratitude and appreciation for (Mr. Denman’s) personal and precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation” of France during World War II.
Doug and Elaine have resided in Roseland since 1996 after living in North Caldwell for 40 years. They have four children, all girls. Their daughters have given them