Navy Capt. Vincent Anania, 87; Father-in-Law of John Edwards

Associated Press
Monday, March 3, 2008

Vincent Anania, 87, the father-in-law of onetime Democratic presidential contender and former senator John Edwards, died of a heart ailment March 1 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Navy Capt. Anania, a native of Marianna, Pa., was the first in his family to be born in the United States, said Elizabeth Edwards, his daughter and the former senator's wife.

He was raised in Brownsville, Pa., and attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he played football and was an all-American in lacrosse, she said.

After graduating a year early in 1944, Capt. Anania served on the heavy cruiser Quincy, which took President Franklin D. Roosevelt to meet British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta conference.

Capt. Anania also served in Korea, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, and in Vietnam.

In 1958, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for piloting an aircraft that carried 13 others to safety after it had been attacked by two MiG jet fighters during a surveillance mission off North Korea.

He retired from the military after serving NATO in Italy and worked for Stanwick International in Arlington County before moving to Chapel Hill, where he had a stroke in 1990.

Capt. Anania served as commanding officer of the Naval ROTC program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was an assistant lacrosse coach. A lacrosse scholarship is named in his honor.

Besides Elizabeth Edwards, survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Thweatt Anania; children Vincent Anania Jr. and Nancy Thweatt Anania; two sisters; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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