Today we are paying tribute to our friend, father, leader and company visionary, Chuck Dante. Chuck was a man of many passions and many talents, and was a driving force behind the growth and innovative spirit of Dante Valve. He led a uniquely American life, to which we owe him so much.
From typewriters to relief valves
In March 1977, Chuck was working at SCM Corporation as a top salesperson of Smith Corona Typewriters and before leaving to join his father, Tom, and brother, Mike, at Dante Valve. At that time, Dante Valve was focused solely on being a distributor of safety relief valves. Chuck, Mike and Tom were supplying relief valves to the U.S. Navy, but became increasingly frustrated by the processes and product quality of certain valve manufacturers. Extremely long lead times for quotes were all too common, as were exceedingly long product delivery timelines.
(L-R) Chuck, Tom and Mike Dante
Danco changes the game
The Dantes recognized an opportunity to offer higher-quality manufacturing of military-specification relief valves for Navy use – backed by more responsive and reliable customer service. “We’re going to be a manufacturer that thinks like a distributor,” Chuck famously said. Danco Valve Company was born, and Chuck took the lead as President. This was just one of many times throughout his life that Chuck spotted an opportunity, took a risk, invested his all and never looked back. That’s who he was.
Ever the salesman, Chuck worked day and night to build connections for Danco and make sales inroads against the large corporate manufacturers that dominated the industry. No call was too small. By the mid-1980s, he was visiting shipyards directly to raise awareness and ask for orders, proudly lugging actual 20- to 30-lb. bronze and steel relief valves through airports in his carry-on bag, so he could show the quality of the products in person.
(L-R) Mike Dante, Matt Dante, Lisa Dante Papini and Chuck Dante
The upstart becomes the innovator
It worked. Eyes were opened. Orders were secured. And slowly but surely, Danco Valve grew into an industry innovator and leader. But Chuck wasn’t done. His next bold move was to set up shop clear across the country, establishing a new facility in Virginia to better serve our customers on the East Coast. It dramatically changed our business.
Over time, Danco Valve merged with Dante Valve and it’s now the flagship brand within our company. Thanks to Chuck’s dedication, foresight and fortitude, we now have three locations – including a new California headquarters building selected by…you guessed it…Chuck. We have an incredible staff of nearly 60 knowledgeable, hard-working professionals. And Danco Valves are used on nearly all U.S. Navy platforms, as well as by international forces such as Spain’s, Australia’s and others.
(L-R) Chuck, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Charlie Smith, Dante Valve’s General Manager-VA, discuss funding for aircraft carrier programs in Washington D.C.
A legacy of loved ones
Chuck is survived by his loving family and our hearts go out to them: His wife, Cedair; his children, Lisa Dante Papini and Thomas Dante; and his grandchildren, Abigail, Angelina, Ainsley and Charles Dante, and Alessandra, Sofia and Nico Papini.
We offer our sincere gratitude to our customers, business partners, vendors and all of those who have supported Chuck, Danco Valve and Dante Valve Company over these many years. We look forward to continuing this incredible journey and doing so Chuck’s way – with integrity, dedication and a passion for our customer’s success.
Cedair and Chuck Dante
Chuck and his grandchildren
Honor Chuck by giving back
If you’d like to honor Chuck’s life and help carry on his legacy, please support one of his treasured causes. Consider making a donation in Chuck’s name to Warriors and Quiet Waters, which helps post 9-11 combat veterans find healing and hope after their journey home.
Thank you, Chuck, for the leadership you have demonstrated, the generosity you have shown, and the person you have been. Since that first day on the job in 1977, you have been the “Dante” in Dante Valve.