Gerald A. LaMonica, 85, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., died Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Ten years earlier, LaMonica was awarded the Carnegie Medal for saving a 10-year-old girl from attacking dogs in Dearborn Heights.
The girl was playing on her neighborhood street when the dog charged her and took her to the ground, biting her repeatedly.
Across the street, LaMonica, then 75, retired merchandiser, was approaching the scene on foot and immediately ran toward the girl and the dog, yelling at the dog to distract it.
When he had nearly reached them, the dog turned to LaMonica and charged him. LaMonica landed a hard kick against the dog’s chest, but it recovered and charged him again, biting him forcefully on the right calf.
When the girl’s brother then arrived and threatened the dog, it released LaMonica and left the scene.
Both the girl and LaMonica were treated at the hospital, their bite wounds requiring sutures.
LaMonica was born in Newborn, Pa., to Joseph and Caroline LaMonica.
He served in the U.S. Army and, while stationed in Germany, he met “the love of his life” Gertrud Michelberger. They married in 1959 at St. Barbara’s Church in Dearborn, Mich., and his wife preceded him in death along with many siblings.
He is survived by son Gregory LaMonica and his wife Donna; daughter Juliette LaMonica; and grandchildren Allison, Anthony, Gregory, and Rebecca.
LaMonica wrote his own eulogy to be read at his service. An excerpt: “And now I bid you a final adieu. I am now absent from my body, but present with the Lord. My prayer is that we shall meet again, together with the Lord. Salute and Prost!”