Linda Grisolia

Linda Grisolia is a longtime Fra Noi correspondent, having contributed Onori and War Stories features over the years. She is a proud founding member of the Italian American Veterans Museum at Casa Italia and is a member of the board of directors. Many of the Italian-American veterans she interviewed for the Fra Noi were featured in the documentary, “5000 Miles from Home”, which aired on Channel 11. As a child, she remembers paging through her grandpa’s Fra Noi newspaper, fascinated with the Italian words, never dreaming that one day she would be a correspondent for that wonderful publication.

Army Master Sergeant Darryl Chiostri

What started out as a brief stint in Vietnam for this highly decorated Army veteran blossomed into an illustrious 44-year career that encompassed a variety of roles in Military Intelligence and Civil Affairs. The younger of two sons, Darryl Chiostri was born at Cabrini Hospital to Louis and Mary (Doro) Chiostri, who were living at the time in an Italian neighborhood at 24th Street and Western Avenue. The family moved to Berwyn soon after, and then to North Riverside when Chiostri was 7. Extended family lived close. “When we got together for holidays, there were a lot of people,” Chiostri …

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Air National Guard E4 Specialist Salvatore Palazzolo

Serving in the Air National Guard while working for Southwest Airlines, Salvatore Palazzolo went from ongoing training and playing video war games to the realities of combat in the wake of 9/11. The eldest of four children, Salvatore Palazzolo was born in Chicago to Paolo and Giuseppa (Leone) Palazzolo. Salvatore’s parents emigrated from Cinisi, a small town in Sicily, to Elmwood Park in 1976. They later moved to River Grove, where Palazzolo grew up. Most of his father’s family lived in the surrounding area. “We were all close,” says Palazzolo. The family ate Sunday dinner together at home or at …

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Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Ernest “Skip” Dalle Molle

Over the course of a 28-year career as an administrator for the Air Force, Ernest “Skip” Dalle Molle came to realize the key role that helping people played in so many of his job descriptions. One of five children, Ernest “Skip” Dalle Molle was born in Evergreen Park to Ernest and Mary (Bertoletti) Dalle Molle. He grew up in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago surrounded by his large, extended family: Some were down the block, his maternal grandparents were four blocks away and others lived within eight miles. Dalle Molle’s paternal grandparents emigrated from Lugo di Vincenza, and his maternal …

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Army Medic Ralph Pasqurella

Rejected for medical reasons and later trained as a medical corpsman, Ralph Pasqurella had his hands full during the invasion of Normandy and throughout the European campaigns in World War II. Ralph “Hack” Pasqurella was born in Melrose Park in 1917 to Gaetano and Gabriella Chiero Pasqurella, who immigrated to the U.S. as teens. His father came from Melizzano in Campania and his mother from Trivigno in Basilicata. Pasqurella’s father died during the 1918 flu epidemic while his mother was pregnant with their second child. She eventually remarried and had six more children. Pasqurella’s maternal grandmother lived with the family …

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Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Donati

Born in Italy, Daniel Donati first stormed the Boot then battled his way across Europe to help liberate the continent from Nazi oppression during World War II. My father, Daniel (Adelmo) Donati, departed Genoa, Italy, with my grandmother aboard the SS Caserta and arrived at Ellis Island on Dec. 5, 1914. My grandfather was already in the U.S., and he sent for his family once he was established in an area outside Monongahela, Pennsylvania. When my father reached his teens, he was sent to Chicago for employment, where he lived with his cousin’s family. Like many Italian immigrants, my father …

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Army Sergeant Edward Malatesta

Mired for months in the battle to take the Italian town due south of Rome, Edward Malatesta fought his way through Italy and France before mortar fire took him out of the war. Edward Malatesta was born on Nov. 8, 1924, the youngest of five children and the only son of Alessandro and Gulia (Ragnetti) Malatesta. His parents immigrated to the United States from Senigallia, Italy, as a young married couple, first to Philadelphia and then to the Taylor Street Little Italy in Chicago. The family settled on the Northwest Side after Malatesta was born. He has fond memories of …

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Army Sergeant Emil Garippo

Trained initially as a typist and eventually as a medic, Emil Garippo witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of World War II as the battle raged down the road. Emil Garippo passed away on Aug. 21. The following article is based on an interview conducted on Aug. 8 and is published in his memory. Born in Chicago on April 1, 1923, Emil Garippo was the middle child of Emil and Jessie Tarsitano Garippo. The family lived on Arthington Street in Chicago’s Taylor Street Little Italy. Garippo’s paternal grandparents, from the area around Naples in Italy, and the Tarsitanos, from Calabria, lived …

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Army Corporal Donald Ferrone

A bus driver with his father’s sightseeing company before World War II, Donald Ferrone played a key role in a unit charged with transferring materiel from England to Germany after the war. Donald Ferrone was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Henry and Filomena Trimarco Ferrone, who were from the Little Italy on Taylor Street. He had one younger brother, Francis. Ferrone’s paternal grandparents emigrated from Salerno, Italy, and his maternal grandparents from Naples. The family lived in West Chicago before moving to Oak Park, across the street from Ferrone’s maternal grandparents. Ferrone proudly notes that his grandfather, Anthony Trimarco, …

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Army First Lieutenant Michael Gasparro

A First Lieutenant in the Army, Michael Gasparro went from training soldiers at Fort Lewis, Washington, to leading them on aerial assaults from Firebase Bastogne in South Vietnam. The oldest of two sons, Mike Gasparro was born in Chicago to Michael and Theresa Fonzino Gasparro. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Senerchia in 1917, and his maternal grandparents also came from Italy. Gasparro grew up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, living in a two-flat above his paternal grandparents. Extended family gathered regularly to enjoy his grandparents’ homemade pepperoni, sausage and other foods. “My grandmother would make bread all year long, even when …

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World War II POW Vincenzo Morici

by Rosa Morici Rappa as told to Linda Grisolia An American citizen who died in a Soviet prison camp as a member of the Italian army during World War II, Vincenzo wrote a letter to his family that finally arrived more than 60 years later. My father, Vincenzo Morici, was the youngest of six children. He was born in New York City on March 14, 1918, to Diego and Rosa Lo Baido Morici. His father had emigrated to Chicago from Borgetto, a small town near Palermo, got settled, and then sent for his wife and five children. My father attended …

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