Dante Rich was born on February 8, 1922 to John B. and Brandoria Creadore Rich, the fifth of six children. In Rye his family lived at 421 Milton Rd. and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. Dante attended Milton School and was a 1940 graduate of Rye High School. Upon graduation worked in the family florist business until joining the US Army Air Corps in Nov. 1942.
Dante was a Ball turret gunner on B-17 bomber flying out of England. On his 10th mission they were forced down over Switzerland, where he was interned for 6 months escaping through the underground into Free France before returning to the US.
"Dante was B-17 ball turret gunner . . . Dante stopped in on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 and told Ben our intern his story. He was a B-17 gunner. Flew 10 bombing missions- squadron commander was Jack Bouton, author of The Lucky Bastards. Gave Ben the story behind the name lucky bastard. Plane low on fuel after mission. Bouton told flyers to head toward Switzerland. Crash-landed in Switzerland and was interred."
Review by Sheri Jordan & Ben Smith on Jun 12, 2013
Sgt. Dante Rich, a ball-turret gunner in the Air Corps was
taken prisoner and interned in Switzerland last year. He escaped and
presented himself in a surprise appearance at the Rich home last Fall.
Because of military reasons, he was
unable to disclose the story behind
his internment and release. He is
now stationed in Laredo, Texas.
The Rye Chronicle -Friday, February 16,1945
After his service ended he returned to the family business John B. Rich and Sons, where he was Vice President until the business was sold in 1988.
He and his wife Agnes were also the proprietors of Moraio Bros. from 1976 until the business closed in 2004. He was a member of the Rye Seniors and the Men’s Club and the American Legion Post 128.
Dante was a world traveler with his wife Agnes having visited over 26 counties making one trip completely around the world. An avid gardner to the end, he enjoyed baking, spending time with family and friends and was a Penn State football fan attending many games both home and on the road.
Dante A. Rich, lifelong resident of Rye, NY passed away on March 6, 2019 with his family by his side.
At the time of his death, he was survived by his beloved wife Agnes and they had recently celebrated 70 years of marriage. He is also survived by his daughers Lauren J of Stamford, CT and Janet R. Bayley and her husband Rick of Edgartown, MA a grandog, Tess as well as many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents and his brothers Frank and John and his sisters Concetta, Jennie and Lucille.