Anthony De Biase '38
Anthony De Biase, age 99, of Calabash, NC, passed away at Autumn Care of Shallotte on November 1, 2012.
Tony was born in Itri, Italy, the son of Assunta and Paulo De Biase. He was predeceased by sisters Antoinietta and Josephine.
His family emigrated to the U. S. in 1920, through Ellis Island, settling on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Despite not knowing the native language, Tony soon excelled in public schools and eventually gained entrance to the prestigious Cooper Union, a privately funded college located at Cooper Square and Astor Place right in his neighborhood. Attending on full scholarship, he graduated in 1934, at the height of the depression, with a degree in Civil Engineering. He eventually found work surveying for the WPA who were planning and constructing city improvement like the Henry Hudson Parkway and the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park.
In 1938 he was hired by the NYC Tunnel Authority to work on the construction of the Queens Midtown Tunnel. In 1940 he became an Engineering Inspector for the NYC Board of Water Supply working on the construction of the Delaware Aqueduct. After World War II broke out, Tony was commissioned as Ensign in the Civil Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy and sent to Pearl Harbor in 1944 to operate a major depot, sending out equipment for the Sea Bee construction battalions in the Pacific.
After the war he was employed by a firm which was engaged in the design of various highway projects in N. Y. and N. J. involving topographical surveys of the Palisades Interstate Parkway from the George Washington Bridge to the Bear Mt. Bridge.
The last 25 years of his working life were spent at the Port Authority of N.Y. and N. J. working on various projects, among which were the third Tube of the Lincoln Tunnel and the second deck (Martha) of the George Washington Bridge. At the time of his retirement in 1972, he held the position of Marine Terminals Construction Engineer, responsible for about 300 million dollars of construction budget yearly.