ARMELLINO - John R. Armellino aka Giovanni Armellino, son of Nicola Armellino and Emilia di Rito, both of Campobasso (CB), husband of Nina Ritchik, died September 17, 2004, after a prolonged illness.
Born February 21, 1921, in West New York (NJ), where he grew up and lived most of his working life. He moved to North Palm Beach (FL) in 1982. A graduate of New York Military Academy, he excelled at both academics and athletics, finishing second in his class and earning 12 varsity letters. He was a student at Virginia Military Institute when he entered WWII as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He was a veteran of the Algerian, French Moroccan, Tunisian, and Sicilian Campaigns and his unit was famed in the First Division for its skill and success in the field. He was the Commanding Officer of Company L, one of eight companies to land on Omaha Beach in the initial combat wave of the Normandy Invasion. Under his Company's leadership, the 16th Regiment opened a breach in the German lines that remained the main personnel exit for the Allied Forces for 48 hours. As reported in The Stars and Stripes, June 29, 1944, these actions "turned threatened catastrophe into a glorious victory for the American Army" and earned the War Department Distinguished Unit Citation. He lost his right leg as a result of injuries sustained on D-Day and retired from active duty as a Major in 1946. He was one of the most highly decorated veterans in the country with a list of citations that includes the Distinguished Service Cross, three Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the French Fourragere in the Colors of the Croix de Guerre. After WWII, he graduated from New York University in 1950 and entered the world of politics. He served as Commissioner of West New York for 20 years, Mayor of West New York for 16 years, and Freeholder of Hudson County for 12 years. His administration was noted for its commitment to the community through urban renewal and development. Among the projects initiated by his administration were a new community health center, the expansion of Memorial High School, a new grade school, middle- and upper-income housing, and a network of Senior Citizen Housing of which he was particularly proud. He was also a restaurateur from 1946-1983, an owner of the Park Casino in West New York (NJ) and The Pub in Middletown (NJ). He was a communicant of Madonna della Libera Parish, West New York (NJ). The Armellino family was one of the founding families of the parish, which is one of the earliest Italian parishes in New Jersey and named after the Chapel located in the Municipal Building of Campobasso (CB).
He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Nina Ritchik. Surviving are his three children, Barbara A. Grieco, John N. Armellino and Nicholas M. Armellino, and his four grandchildren, Susan M. Armellino, Kara A. Grieco, Joseph J. Armellino, and Nicole J. Armellino.
His direct lineage includes:
Campobasso (CB): Allocati aka Locato, Antenucci, Armellino, Cerio, Colitto, Colucci, Cristina, del Rosso, di Niro, di Nonno, di Rito, di Soccio, di Tota, Eliseo, Fagliarone, Gammieri, Gianfagna, Guastaferro, Iammarino, Iannantuono, Latessa, Libertone, Libertucci, Livignali, Mancini, Marrone, Morena, Mucci aka Muccio aka Muccitto, Palladino, Paolecchia, Pasqualone, Petti, Piaccia, Pietrunto, Presutti, Romano, Salotto aka Salottolo, Santoro, Torella, Trotta, Vallillo, Veleno aka Veneno, Villano
Oratino (CB): Brunetti, Fatica, Grandillo, Iafelice, Iarocci, Iuliano, Mastrangelo, Latessa, Petti, Pucella, Sciarra
Busso (CB): Picciano, Ranallo, Sepede
Ferrazzano (CB): Albino, Musenga
Casacelinda (CB): Iacobacci, Mancini