Albert, 95, World War II
veteran and former prisoner of war, husband to Anna Maria and father of Deborah and grandfather to Lindsay, passed away June 11, 2013 at the Villa Marie Claire, Saddle Brook, NJ.
Al grew up in Rutherford, NJ and attended Rutherford High School where he earned varsity letters in football, baseball and basketball. With a reputation for mischief, he also was a devoted son and the sole supporter of his mother.
Al enlisted in the United States Army
in 1943. He was a private in the Army, 100th Infantry, 5th Army, 168th Infantry Regiment assigned to the North African Theater, Italy. He was captured by the Germans while his unit was marching through a gulley and pinned down by submarine fire. He was held in a prison work camp outside of Hammerstein, West Prussia. During that time, he escaped and was recaptured, where he lived until he was liberated at the end of the war. For his time both in the field and as prisoner, he received many awards including the Purple Heart
, the Bronze Star
, Good Conduct and the Army Sharpshooter Marksmanship medal.
He met his wife Ann, through his good friend, Edmund before enlisting. Ann wrote to him during the war, where few pieces of precious mail got through to him. They fell in love through letters, and Al married "his Annie" a half-year after his return from the war. The budget for their wedding reception was a modest $200.
After their marriage, Al and his family lived for fifty-four years in Jericho, NY. He worked as Vice President of the International Division at Schenley Industries, where he traveled all over the western hemisphere, often taking Ann and Deb on his travels. Al went to virtually every country in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean Islands. He retired in 1982 and he and Ann recently relocated home to northern New Jersey, where they lived in Teaneck and Al was a regular star on a thrice-weekly poker team.
Albert always maintained a healthy appetite for his native Italian food, pasta. He could twirl his spaghetti with the best of them. Soon after they married Ann realized she needed to learn to make spaghetti sauce or gravy. This upset the balance of her German upbringing. But learn she did, after all Al was raised in a home that literally had a tomato farm in the backyard.
Al is dearly missed by Ann, his wife of 67 years, daughter Deborah and son-in-law Jim Whiston, granddaughter Lindsay and over twenty second and third cousins.
Family and friends will be received Saturday 9:30 to 10:30 AM in the Collins Calhoun Funeral Home, 19 Lincoln Avenue, Rutherford, NJ. Followed by 11 AM Mass of Christian Liturgy in the Church of Saint Mary, Rutherford NJ.
For other information or condolences go to http://www.collinscalhounfuneralhome.com/