TOPSAIL BEACH — Retired U.S. Army Col. Edward Mennona, 89, passed away Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center due to complications of COVID-19.
Edward was born March 7, 1931, in the Bronx, New York, to the late Peter and Elsie Mennona. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Kathleen; brother, Robert; and sister, Louise Mitchell.
He is survived by their seven children; sons, Thomas Mennona, and his wife, Lelde, Matthew Mennona, and his wife, Mary, Stephen Mennona and Donald Mennona; daughters, Patricia, and her husband, George Jones, Katherine, and her husband, Marc Benjamin, and Eileen, and her husband, Steven Govett. He is lovingly known as Pepa to his 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He is survived by his sisters, Anne Smith of Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Patricia Dunsmore of Beaconsfield, Quebec.
Col. Mennona served in the U.S. Naval Reserve and transferred to the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Korean War. He was commissioned in the Field Artillery and served as a battery commander in Korea with the 13 Field Artillery Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division. He later served as a province senior advisor in Vietnam in 1967-1968. In his decorated career, he was awarded The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, The Legion of Merit with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star. He was elected in 1976 as the 200th member of the Field Artillery OCS Hall of Fame.
Additionally, he was a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, Shippensburg University with a Masters in Public Administration and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Edward and his late wife, Kathleen, were devoted to their church, St. Mary’s Gate of Heaven (now All Saints) in Surf City. He was active in the Parish Council and served as a lector and Eucharistic minister to the sick. He spent his retired years as an avid golfer at North Shore Country Club. A familiar face around the island of Topsail Beach, he could often be found at the local New York deli. When he found himself surrounded by strangers, he never passed up the opportunity to greet new people with kindness and conversation. He was a terrific man who welcomed any and all to his home. Edward, affectionately known as “Eddie,” will be deeply missed by family, friends and all who crossed his path.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, visitation will be limited to family on Thursday, Feb. 4. A Solemn Mass will be held at noon, Friday, Feb. 5, at All Saints Catholic Church, 18737 U.S. Highway 17 N. Hampstead. Masks are required and social distancing will be followed. He will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.