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Gaetano Di Modica (Tani)

altDuring the night of 9th – 10th July 2014, at the age of 91, Gaetano di Modica, known to all of us simply as "Tani", set off on his final flight to a better place.

A Member of the Aero Club for over 60 years, he was a Board Member in the 60s during Giovanni Agnelli's Presidency, later holding the office of Vice-President from 1986 to 1990 during the Presidency of Edoardo Agnelli.

During the 1970s and 80s he was the Director of the Gliding School.

 

As a Lieutenant student pilot, he gained his pilot's license during the war, and then continued his career at the club.

He went on to achieve his gliding licence at the Casabianca field (Chivasso). In this particular activity he displayed such ability and skill that in 1965 he won the 3rd edition of the City of Turin Trophy.

He was a personage of significant culture and depth.

He held the Chair of Industrial Chemistry at the University of Turin, and was elected to the prestigious position of President of the Academy of Sciences of Turin for the triennial period of 2000/2003.

Gifted with a facility for speech that made him a sought-after lecturer, he was also a talented writer, his essays and books on a number of different subjects making particularly pleasant reading.

His salacious irony was proverbial, but good-natured and it is impossible not recall with regret his sometimes attrocious, but always entertaining jokes, preceded by a smile and the premise "absit iniuria verbis" (let no-one be offended by my words) which allowed him to say practically anything.

His frequent use of the dialect of the Langhe area, his anecdotes of life and of flight are the things that will be most missed.

The last years of his life saw him him labouring under a wearisome burden and with a heavy heart, due to the immense grief caused by the tragic loss of his daughter Marina.

Thus a great man has left us, and it is with enormous sadness that we remember his passing.