Eugene “Gene” Nardi

Eugene Louis Nardi, CMSgt., USAF (Retired)

August 11, 1938 – August 19, 2021

Eugene Louis (Buzz) Nardi, 83, entered fully into the presence of the Lord on August 19th, 2021, surrounded by his family and friends. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, to the late Lombard Nardi and Anna Smutny. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force, retiring after 28 years of service. Eugene entered the Air Force as a jet mechanic. When he completed his service, Eugene had become an American Hero as a Pararescue Jumper (PJ).

During his 22 years as a PJ, Eugene played an instrumental role in rescuing over 600 lives. From downed airmen behind enemy lines in Vietnam under fire to what was referred to as the greatest maritime rescue in modern times in the Gulf of Alaska (SS Prinsendam). Eugene’s heroic actions earned him the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross w/6 oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal w/28 oak leaf clusters, among many other awards and commendations.

Post-retirement, Eugene was certified in residential & commercial carpentry. Skills he put to use after relocating to Virginia Beach. In his spare time, he enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow members at One Fitness and chatting with his Air Force buddies. Eugene was firm in his faith, attending Holy Spirit Catholic Church, and was a 3rd-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #114 – Bangor, ME. Eugene was also a life-long member of VFW Post #1684 – Anchorage, AK. He was a family man, a provider, generous, practical, and a proud Republican.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Steven G Nardi (Kevin Meloche) and Dawnmarie Riley (Keith); 2 sisters, Patricia Porter (nee Nardi) and Sharon Ferguson (nee Crowe); sister-in-law Joanne Nardi (nee Hooks), 2 grandchildren, Daniel Riley (Maia) and Evan Riley; 3 nephews, 5 nieces, 9 great-nephews, 7 great-nieces, and his beloved cat Bagel. Eugene was predeceased by his brother, Lombard (Tony) Nardi.

The family thanks Sharon McBride for the years of support and companionship to allow Dad to maintain a quality of life. The team at Freda Gordon Hospice made his final journey one of dignity. Eugene will be missed by all who know him. Services will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery. You may offer condolences at www.smithandwilliamsfuneralhome.com. In addition, the family requests that donations to honor Dad’s love for cats be directed to the Virginia Beach SPCA.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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