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Robert Duretto

Robert John Duretto

Saturday, September 17th, 1927 - Monday, May 25th, 2020
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Obituary

Robert ‘Bob’ Duretto, husband, father, and friend, died peacefully in the early morning hours on Monday, May 25, 2020, of congestive heart failure. He was 92 years old. Bob was born on September 17, 1927, in Los Angeles, CA. As a first generation Italian, he barely spoke English his first day of school. Bob’s idol growing up was Joe DiMaggio, and upon graduating from high school in 1945, was offered a scholarship to attend the University of Southern California, or to sign with the Pacific Coast League. He skipped the chance to be a Trojan, and instead, made his baseball debut with the Hollywood Stars. He played with several minor league teams, up until he was drafted to serve in the U. S. Army, in the Korean War. Upon his return stateside in 1955, he signed with the Wenatchee Chiefs. Little did he know at the time, but this stop in Central Washington would change the course of his life.

While in Wenatchee, WA, he met Bonnie Day of Cashmere, WA. In 1957, he hung up his catcher’s mitt due to a torn rotator cuff and headed back to Los Angeles. Although he never made the Big Leagues, he still compiled some impressive statistics including an overall batting average of .296 with 97 home runs in his 1,214 game career, along with a league record .377 batting average and 143 RBIs, in 1956.

When he returned to his hometown, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department. During his 22 years on the force, he worked as an undercover drug dealer, followed by a time on the vice squad. He then spent the remainder of his career as a detective in homicide, organized crime, and bank robberies. During his time as a police officer, he had several brushes with fame including bodyguards to Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, a witness to the Patty Hearst shoot-out, and a technical adviser to the TV drama ‘Police Story’.

In 1980, he turned in his badge and headed north again to the Wenatchee Valley. During his 40 years of retirement, he spent much of his time fishing, golfing, running a small business as a master cabinetmaker, and watching sports. It seems no one ever tired of listening to his rousing stories of his time in the minor leagues, and as a police officer, or his somewhat off-color jokes.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, John and Adelina; sister, Jennie; and grandson, Peter. He leaves behind Bonnie, his wife of 61 years; children: Linda (Dennis), Tammy, and Michael; grandchildren: Johnny, Lisa (Jesse) and Caty (Tyler); and great-grandchildren: Elli, Kyle, and Max.

At his request there will be no services. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements are entrusted to Chapel of the Valley, Wenatchee, WA.
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1 tree has been planted in memory of Robert John Duretto
G

Gary and Carmen Sirmon

Posted at 02:30pm
Bob was one of the most interesting people I’ve had the honor of calling “friend”. His many stories and experiences, which he really enjoyed sharing, were always great to hear.
Bob was usually the center of conversations at the Starbuck’s coffee group and we will all cherish the memories he created.
Rest In Peace Bob.
God Bless Bonnie and his family. You can all be very proud of him.
Gary Sirmon
God Bless Bonnie and
LB

Love, Megan, Carl, Chloe and Ali Brandenburg

Posted at 09:24am
Bonnie, We were saddened to hear of Bob's passing and are thinking of you during this difficult time.
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