Wade F. Denning Jr., 85, passed away at his home on Sept. 16, 2007 after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Denning was born on June 21,1922, in Albemarle, NC. He was educated at the University of North Carolina where he studied the trumpet and developed his love of composing and arranging.
During WWII, he was stationed at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point and was part of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, a 40- piece band. Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he spent the next few years working on arrangements for such greats as Charlie Barnet, Les Elgart, Ray Heatherton and Victor Lombardo. The real beginning of his career however, began when he was hired as an arranger for Ted Mack's Family Hour in 1948 where he worked for over 20 years. During that time he developed connections in the advertising world and began writing, composing, and arranging music for over 550 commercials. Perhaps his most famous, the Maxwell House Percolator commercial with its "percolating" jingle, ran in 1964 during the New York World's Fair and was subsequently named "the best musical commercial" at the Cannes Film Festival that same year.
Other commercial campaigns he composed for included, Muriel Cigars, the U. S. Steel Hour, Tetley Tea, Mobil Oil, Kinney Shoes, Duncan Hines Cake Mix, Diamond Crystal Salt, Firestone, the Norelco Santa Claus and Campbell Soup.
In the 1960s and '70s he turned his musical talents toward the record industry and wrote and composed music for children. Along with his friend and fellow musician, Kay Lande, he produced numerous successful albums including; ABC, 1-2-3, Counting Rhymes, Alphabet Sounds, Riddles and Tongue Twisters and the spooky 1969 classic HALLOWEEN.
Denning lived most of his adult life in Port Washington where he raised six children with his wife Shirley (Wiley) Denning who passed away in 2000. He was a longtime member of the Manhasset Bay Sportsman Club and was very active in environmental issues concerning the Long Island Sound. He is survived by his six children, 14 grandchildren and two great- grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Sept. 22 at the Port Washington Town Dock. A reception followed at the Manhasset Bay Sportsman Club.
Joseph "Eddie" DaSilva, 86, formerly of Port Washington, died on Oct. 15, 2007 at Greenfield Nursing Home in Buffalo. Eddie was predeceased by his wife Esther and his daughter Beatrice. He is survived by his son Mark, daughter-in-law Judith and their sons, Michael and Jonathan of Allentown, PA; his sister Blanche Resina of Brooklyn; and many nieces and nephews.
Born in Fundao, Portugal, Eddie was awarded the Silver Star during the battle for Mt. Battaglia during WWII. After the war he returned to Brooklyn, married Esther Carvalho and later moved to Port where they raised two children, Beatrice and Mark, with the aid of Eddie's mother-in-law Beatriz. In addition to his family, Ed will be remembered fondly by the many customers of his "Piano Lounge" in North Bellmore, where he was always quick with a joke.
Funeral arrangements were handled by the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, Port Washington. A visitation and celebration of Ed's life and funeral service were held on Oct. 19 at the funeral home. Interment Nassau Knolls Cemetery. Donations in his memory to the American Stroke Association, Heritage Affiliate, 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, NJ 08691-4783 would be greatly appreciated.