A 102-Year-Old World War II Veteran Dies En Route to D-Day Commemorations in Europe and Is Mourned

A World War II Navy veteran was being mourned Thursday following his death while en route to France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a trip friends said he'd talked excitedly about making.

Robert “Al” Persichitti of Fairport, New York fell ill during a stop in Germany last week and died in a hospital, his longtime priest and friend, the Rev. William Leone, said. Persichitti was 102.

“He’s been to most of the World War II remembrances down in Washington and Louisiana, and he wanted to get to the D-Day remembrance ceremony, too," Leone, pastor of the Church of Saint Jerome in East Rochester, where Persichitti attended Mass every week, said by phone. “But the Lord took him in Germany. He was on his way to France, but he didn’t make it.”

A friend who was traveling with Persichitti said a doctor was with him when he died on May 30. “She put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on her phone and he peacefully left us,” Al DeCarlo told WHAM in Rochester.

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