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Last updated: August 23. 2013 10:54AM - 206 Views

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ELIDA — The grieving family of a local slain serviceman is set on making one of his final wishes come true. The family is getting help from local schools to do so. The last time U.S. Army Capt. Dennis Pintor talked to family members, he asked them to send school supplies to children in Iraq. Now family members are collecting the school supplies he so often talked about. Pintor, 31, died Tuesday while serving in Iraq.    “We will do our very best to continue what he wished. That is the least we can do for him,” said his aunt, Lillian Abelita of Lima.    Elida schools, Lima schools and St. Gerard School will have boxes in all of their school buildings for people to drop off pencils, pens, paper, and other school supplies.    Pintor graduated from Elida High School in 1992, and his family attended St. Gerard Catholic Church. His mother, Ellen Pintor, is a retired Lima schools teacher and other family members are current teachers.    Pintor’s parents, Alberto (Bert) and Ellen Pintor are former Elida residents. They retired in May to the Philippines, where Alberto Pintor is from. Pintor’s wife, Stacy, and their 4-year-old daughter, Rhea, live in Killeen, Texas.    Pintor, who was the company commander of Bravo Company 20th Engineers serving in Baghdad, Iraq, was killed in a roadside bombing. He had been in Iraq since March. He joined the Army after high school and was later appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.    Abelita said there will be a local memorial service at St. Gerard Catholic Church in the coming days. Details have not been finalized. The family is hoping to have him buried at West Point.    Pintor e-mailed The Lima News on Monday asking that residents send school supplies to the children in Iraq.    “I tell you it makes a big difference in the kids and my soldiers,” part of the letter read.    Abelita wasn’t at all surprised that Pintor wrote the letter, saying the message was the same as he was telling family members and friends.    “That is exactly him,” she said. “He had been talking about helping the children. It was all he talked about.”    Supplies can be brought to the school buildings, including administrative offices, during school hours Monday through Friday.    The family is also accepting cash donations to help with the shipment of the supplies. Donations can be sent to Abelita at 4101 Spencerville Road, Lima, OH 45805. For details, call 419-999-6002.    Elida Superintendent Don Diglia said the school was more than willing to help, both because of Pintor’s involvement with the school and because the supplies will help educate children.    The Lima News received several calls Friday asking how people could help and send school supplies. Retired art teacher Judy Decker is e-mailing art teachers across the country asking them to send art supplies.    Decker had Pintor in class. She too wasn’t surprised that he was trying to help the children.    “I remember his smiling face in my class,” she said. “I want to help because of the kind of person Dennis was and his family. This is something I can do personally to show the children in Iraq that Americans do care about them.”    Elida schools is also setting up a memorial fund in Pintor’s name. Diglia said a person came to the district offices Friday morning and donated $100 to start the fund. The donor wanted to remain anonymous.    Diglia said he is not sure what the money will be used for, saying that the district will consult with Pintor’s family members to see if they have suggestions.    Checks should be made payable to the Dennis Pintor Memorial Fund and sent to Elida schools, 4380 Sunnydale St., Elida, OH 45807.



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