Joseph T. De Marinis was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 4, 1984, to Joseph and Carol De Marinis.
Joe served in the United States Marine Corps from 2003 to 2011, rising to the rank of sergeant. He served two tours in Iraq as a scout sniper. He also served as a marksmanship instructor at Parris Island and achieved the National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Expert Marksmanship Award, Service Medal, and a Purple Heart. He was active in the Wounded Warrior Project.
Joe joined the Clermont Fire Department on August 11, 2014. He was a quiet, unassuming person who obviously placed a great deal of importance on serving his fellow man. Most people might think that if you survived active military service and two tours in a foreign hostile country, you might choose a profession that was slightly less dangerous. This was not the case with Joe; he eagerly took to the task of protecting the citizens of Clermont and its visitors by embarking on one of the world’s most honored professions. Firefighting is a profession that is rich in history and tradition, a profession where many have gone before to serve their communities with their ideas, their sweat, and sometimes their lives.
Despite his quiet nature, Joe had a fierce, competitive spirit. Some of his crew shared stories of some of the sports and games in which they had participated with Joe. On a golf outing, he outscored them all with long drives and miraculous putts. Even in ping pong, it was no contest. He was like a pro, sending one after another of his foes packing. He competed against the Lake County Sheriff’s Office basketball team, playing with the Clermont Police Department. He was a multi-talented, hard-working, extremely dedicated family man.
Let us remember him as the warrior, defender, and provider that he was and continue to surround his family in a way that only a public safety family can. We will honor him forever by placing his name on the black granite monoliths in front of Fire Headquarters and by dedicating the new engine at his home station in his honor.
It is believed that Joe has no regrets since he dedicated his life to serving others. He died at 08:30 on July 14, 2016, after suffering a cardiac episode following his shift. He was 32 years of age. In addition to his parents, Joe is survived by his loving wife, Brandi; his six children, Andre, Samantha, Brooklyn, Vinny, Penny, and Juliette; his sister, Ann Marie De Marinis; and his nephews, Anthony Gaba and Jaxson Ravencroft.