Samuel Lombardo LTC Ret. US Army passed away on June 11, 2021, at 101 in Pensacola, FL. Born July 12, 1919, in Caraffa, Italy to Pietro Lombardo and Agata Iofrida, he emigrated with his mother and 2 sisters in October 1929 joining his father who was established in Juniata Gap, a few miles north of Altoona, PA. There he grew up during the depression hunting and fishing in the woods behind his home to help feed the family. In 9th grade, he quit school to help his father learning the stonemason trade and ultimately becoming a Master Stone Mason himself. On Nov 11, 1939, he enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard and went on to Officer’s Candidate School in Ft. Benning GA. As the war progressed he volunteered for combat duty and joined the 99th Infantry Division which landed him in Normandy in November 1944. He and his platoon fought through the Battle of the Bulge, the Remagen bridgehead, the Ruhr pocket and on to Berlin. During this time his platoon made the first American flag to cross the Rhine river for the 99th division from scraps of material they found along the way. It is now displayed at the Infantry Museum in Ft Benning GA. During the war, he received 2 Bronze Stars, one with valor and a Silver Star.
After the war, he and his family moved to Southern California where he re-enlisted and had a 20-year career to include time in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam as an Intelligence Officer. He also married June Peralta and had two children. He graduated from the Army Language School in Japanese and could speak, read and write fluently. Upon retirement, he worked in Civil Service retiring to an avocado ranch in Fallbrook, CA. Always learning new things, he made award-winning wine, grew the giant pumpkin and made suburb pumpkin pies, played golf to include a long friendship with Arnold Palmer, and continued to use his stonemason talents to build wine cellars.
Eventually, he moved back to Pennsylvania settling in Carlise where he and his second wife Jean lived for many years. While there he received the 4 Chaplain’s Medal and the French Legion of Honor and was recognized by the Pennsylvania Senate as an outstanding citizen. After Jean’s death, he moved south to Destin and then to Fort Walton Beach where he lived in a Senior Living home until he required more care and was moved to Pensacola near to his two children Mark and Michele Lombardo along with Mark’s wife Cheryl.
When he first arrived in America, his father told him 3 things…learn English, be a good citizen and be an American. He accomplished all 3 to the max.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters (Josephine, Paula, and Agatha, and one brother Peter), and his first and second wives. He is survived by his two children and daughter-in-law, one grandchild Deanna Lombardo and a younger sister Jeanette Motta as well as many nieces and nephews to include family in Italy where he was born.
Services will be held Saturday, June 19th at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home and Reception Center, 161 Racetrack Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM followed by a service at 11:00 AM with a reception to follow at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home Legacy Center.
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