Colonel Henry “Hank” Attanasio, age 69, of Columbia, TN, passed away on March 19, 2022.
Henry was born on September 13, 1952, to Joseph Attanasio and Lola Galuppo Attanasio in Elizabeth, NJ. Henry was known as a provider, a well-respected veteran, a faithful husband, and a beloved father.
He is survived by his Wife of almost 40 years, Elizabeth Barbe Attanasio of Columbia, TN; Daughter, Stephanie Frances Attanasio of Franklin, TN; Son, Samuel (Amy) Attanasio of Columbia, TN; Siblings, Rosemarie (Gary) Kindon of Ocean Gate, NJ, Lisa Attanasio of Pine Beach, NJ, and Joseph Attanasio of Pine Beach, NJ.
Henry enjoyed competing in triathlons: running, biking, and swimming. He was proud to have completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 1998. There was rarely a day he missed his 4:30am workout at the gym. Henry also enjoyed Friday morning phone calls with Stephanie, coffee with Ken, napping in his recliner, and playing golf with Sam and Jason. One time, Henry and Sam drove to Palm Desert, CA, played 45 holes a day for three days, and then drove back to Tucson, AZ, to play 18 more holes of golf.
Henry’s favorite family vacation spot was Ocean Gate, NJ, where he would take his family every summer to visit relatives, drink Stewart’s cream soda, go crabbing off the dock, walk on the boardwalk, and have a cone of Kohr’s orange swirl frozen custard. Henry was also a die-hard Yankees fan.
Henry graduated in 1974 from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. After graduation, he attended Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on June 5, 1974.
Henry attended flight school at NAS Pensacola, FL where he earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1976. From 1976 to 1978, Henry flew backseat F-4 Phantom jets. In 1978, he was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, CA. From 1979 to 1980, Henry was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and NAS Cubi Point Philippines. In 1980, Henry served as a Liaison Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Sierra Research Corp in Buffalo, NY. In 1985, Henry was stationed at 2d LAAM Battalion in Yuma, AZ where he orchestrated three live fire HAWK missile exercises.
In 1990, Henry earned a Master of Science in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. After graduation from NPS, Henry was stationed in Fort Huachuca, AZ at the Joint Interagency Test Command where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. On July 10, 1992, Henry assumed command of 3d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion at Camp Pendleton, CA, working with Stinger missiles. In 1996, Henry graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington D.C. with a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy.
In 1996, Henry was stationed at the Defense Information Systems Agency in Washington, D.C. where he was promoted to Colonel. On October 1, 1999, Henry reluctantly retired from the United States Marine Corps after proudly serving 27 years on active duty.
During his 27 years of active-duty service, Henry was awarded many honors. Henry received the Navy Commendation Medal for his work with Sierra Research Division of LTV Aerospace and Defense Company in 1983. He received his second Navy Commendation Medal for his work with the HAWK missile system in 1988. Henry was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his work developing the UAV program on July 27, 1992. Henry received the Meritorious Service Medal for his work as the Commanding Officer at 3d LAAD working with Stinger missiles in 1994. On April 27, 1999, Henry was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for his meritorious service working with mission-critical information.
For the past 22 years, Henry worked as an Advisor to the United States Air Force at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. Henry maintained his Department of Defense Top Secret Clearance, so we still do not know exactly what he was doing there. It was on a need-to-know basis.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations “in memory of Henry Attanasio” to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org
. A graveside service will be conducted at 1:00pm on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Spring Hill Memorial Park, 5239 Main Street, Spring Hill, TN 37174 with Minister Stephanie Attanasio officiating. A memorial celebration will follow at the Attanasio family home in Columbia, TN.
SPRING HILL MEMORIAL PARK, FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, 5239 Main Street, Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174. 931-486-0059