Andrew J. DiTaranto

(May 14, 1949 - July 13, 2014)

Untitled-1 (dragged)
It has been said that a daughter is the gift of love, and nothing was more profound for Andy. From the day he was blessed with his daughter, Dina Marie, nothing was more important. Before Dina, Andy proved that blind dates don’t always end poorly, especially when they include a limousine and backstage passes to a Journey concert. That was certainly enough to win the heart of a young woman named Debbie (nee Quinn). It wouldn’t be long until the two would be wed and their lives were blessed by Dina. While Dina was young, Andy and Debbie took her on many trips to Disney World and loved to spoil her at Christmas…but Andy was always mysteriously absent when Santa came to visit. As Dina grew older, he never missed a competition during her eight years of swimming and tennis. Andy always supported Dina, even painting his face and working the sound systems at her competitions. He was well-known by her teammates as Daddy Di and was viewed as a father-figure to many. He enjoyed driving her to school every day while she was working on her Master’s degree at The University of the Arts and was known to touch base with her as many as ten times a day.
As a child, Andy learned how to play the drums; he’d later teach himself to play just about anything that made music. His art was not depicted visually – it was expressed through musicality. With silence as his blank canvas, Andy could turn individual notes and lyrics into a musical masterpiece. While working for Scotti Brothers Records (Santa Monica, CA), he discovered Leif Garrett and collaborated with artists from Rick Springfield and “Weird Al” Yankovic to Sonny & Cher and Frank Sinatra. One time, even Iron Butterfly parked their tour buses in his driveway before their concert in Philadelphia. He still kept a studio where he continued his work at his home in Cinnaminson. His latest inspiration was a young artist, named Emily Paige. For the past 7 years, Emily and her mom, Lyn, spent countless hours with Andy in his home studio and with Tony Papa at Westlake Studios (Hollywood, CA). Andy, and even Dina, helped Emily develop her stage presence, writing and vocal talents. They were in the process of finalizing Emily’s most recent composition with Paul Atkinson at Aurum Recording (Manayunk, PA).
Andy was the only son of Andrew A. DiTaranto and Angela DiTaranto (nee Salkowski), who both predeceased him. Andy is survived by Debbie, Dina and his mother-in-law, Florence Quinn, along with his aunts, uncles, cousins, many friends, and his loyal dog, Perry.
Come celebrate Andy’s 65 loving years (May 14, 1949-July 13, 2014) on Thursday 6-8 pm and Friday 9-9:45 am at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 am at Sacred Heart Church, Riverton. Interment at Lakeview Memorial Park, Cinnaminson. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to St. Charles Borromeo Parish School, Visual and Performing Arts Dept., 2500 Branch Pike, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077.

14 thoughts on “Andrew J. DiTaranto

  1. Chris Vassallo

    Mr. Di,

    It’s Christophore! Your love and dedication to Dina and your family was so obvious. I admire your devotion and thank you for raising such an amazing daughter. You are such a large part of what made Dina become the woman I fell in love with.

    You will be missed but I will never forget you. I hope the soup is hot, your days are warm and the music is loud.


  2. Bob DeRosa

    Our lives have beautifully interwoven over the last 50+ years it would take me 100s of pages just to describe part of the things and feelings we shared.

    No words could ever ever describe such a friendship.



  3. Janet Oriti

    Dear Debbie and Gina
    No words can describe what you are going through at this time. Andy will be truly missed by all who knew him. He was a great guy and always a gracious human being. Please accept mine and my families deepest sympathy on your lose.
    Janet and Family

  4. Donna M. Salkowski Capparelli

    I still remember till this day all the fun as a child visiting with you Cousin Andy and Uncle Andy. Even though we grew apart my heart, all my love and blessings were and always will be with you and our families. This is so surreal….you are a wonderful , awesome man and will genuinely be missed . My prayers and thoughts go out to our families and friends . Love Always , Donna May xoxo

  5. Nancy Sprowl


    It’s so hard to say goodbye,
    I just want to sit and cry.
    My precious cousin and friend so dear,
    It has turned into, an awful year.

    It’s just difficult to explain,
    All the sorrow, all the pain.
    Family and friends are here to mourn,
    65 years ago, an angel was born.

    Your warm presence, we shall miss,
    Goodbye our dear, with this final kiss.
    All is left is to simply pray,
    Rest in peace, on this day.


    Andy…I still remember how excited you were when I got you your first “gig” on tv..Your band The Undertakers…I wrote all those letters as different people.I was a dork…But you loved your music and I loved listening…Love you and will miss you …..

  6. Michele Guarino Smock

    I’m not sure if I ever thanked you for the amazing journy you took Missing Romeo on. For the opportunity, the fun, the friendships, the laughter, the hard work and the experience of a lifetime. It’s a time in my life I’ll never forget and you and Missing Romeo and the whole crew will always live in my heart. I guess I figured we’d meet again one day and I could say thanks. I wish it wasnt this way but Thank you, Andy, for everything.

  7. Lisa Browne

    Debbie & Dina,
    My heart is breaking for you both. Andy was special. When I was 14 and Andy was 17, I bragged to all my friends that my cousin had a car and he would drive us around. After much begging, he gave in and took us anywhere we wanted to go, and always with a watchful eye and all the lecturing of a parent. But we still thought he was the coolest! I know the music that was Andy will play on in your hearts forever as it will in everyone who knew him.
    Love, Lisa

  8. Lyn Wachspress

    as my friend mary said———–you brought us nothing but joy these past seven years.
    as shocking and devastating as your departure is, mary said you came into our lives for a purpose.
    it was an incredible ride that ended much too soon.
    your talent was amazing, as was your personality and level of perfection. we all know you hated bragging, but i always bragged about you and my daughter.
    you developed artists, you were a producer and a song writer. you were our whole world.
    you developed our daughter from a little eleven year old girl that loved to sing to recording at the infamous
    westlake recording studios in los angeles for big record executives——–to writing and creating songs.
    as emily said, just when she thought she couldn’t give anymore, you somehow got more out of her. you did it with love and caring and fun.
    i felt privileged to sit there quietly while you two wrote and created works of art together.
    so we lived with you in your world of music and there is no place we would rather be . i could spend twelve hour days in the studio and be content.
    you taught me so well too. i learned so much about the music business from you. you shared so many great stories about the business with us and just when we thought we heard it all , you would surprise us with a new detail or another famous person you had contact with.
    so—–she has almost perfect pitch, no trite lyrics ——–everything is perfect. the only thing missing is you.
    i hope there is a decent studio in heaven.

    lyn wachspress, business partner, best friend, emily’s mom (“the singer”- as andy’s dad called emily)

    “are you gonna run away or are you gonna face it ?” ( lyrics from their most recent song)
    i’m gonna face it

    love to dina, debbie, me-mom, perry and all andy’s family and friends who feel the pain of this tremendous loss

  9. Joseph D. Wachspress

    Dear Andy,
    Now I know how the Israelites felt when after forty years of guiding them through the desert, Moses was taken from them just before they reached the promised land. These past seven years you have been our Moses guiding us through the many challenges of the music business. I never understood why God did not
    let Moses reach the promised land nor do I understand why you were taken from us at the very brink of our
    mutual success.
    You struck a beautiful chord in our lives that will resonate forever.


    Joe Wachspress, Emily’s father

  10. Emily Wachspress

    Dear Andy,
    Couldn’t you at least held on until we got the deal? Andy, Andy, Andy, I can’t believe I’m writing this right now, and although you complained about my handwriting, you’re gonna have to struggle through it. This is by far one of the hardest things I have to deal with. You weren’t just my producer, you were my mentor and practically a father to me. I’d walk in the studio with a painted smile on my face, and you knew right away something was up. You’d sit there, puzzled look on your face, analyzing me like you always do, and say, “what’s wrong today?” I can’t say I didn’t have enough time with you because we talked for hours but in the long run, I could say that. I thought it would be you and me till the end no matter who was “my producer” if you walked. I was going to do everything in my power to not let that happen , but now that this has happened, I have to face reality. God must have had a plan. Although I would have wanted you to live through our success, you were meant to bring me this far. I was almost at perfect pitch, my voice was developing and so was my writing. I’m still going to hear your voice in the back of my head saying, “the lyric is too trite.” You taught me everything that I know, and I cannot thank you enough. I’m so lucky I got to know you. You were an amazing person filled with interesting stories that I could listen to for hours and never get bored. Now I have to put on a brave face and continue on with what you created.
    To my musical soulmate, we’ll celebrate in heaven.
    with love,

  11. Bob Maher

    Andy, my childhood friend and neighbor, we created so many fine memories. So many days your mom sat me down and made us lunch while your dad made me laugh and think. Then I got a guitar and in your living room you asked me to show you a chord. It was the last thing I ever showed you for that day a dream and a talent was born. Being an original member of the Undertakers, our black shirts with white collars, arriving at gigs in an old hearse, recording two songs that you wrote bring back some great memories. You went on and touched so many lives in the world of music. Play on, Andy. Play on!

  12. Brittany Imperiale

    Dina & Mrs. D

    I was at a loss of words for you until today. I know Mr.D loved you very much. Growing up with your family was eventful to say the least. I’ll always remember car rides with your dad, going out to dinner with him, playing in the studio and of course his stories. I know he thought I was your crazy best friend but he always considered me his second daughter. I know he his shining down on both of you and he will love you always. I am always here for the both of you whenever you need anything. Keep staying strong!

  13. tony papa

    My, friend, my brother and partner in music,, you left the session much too soon,,,We had some amazing times together, and what we did affected so many people,,,,,,I will miss you terribly tony papa

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