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Longtime SCV resident, WWII veteran dies

Anthony Marincola, 96, received a Purple Heart after Battle of the Bulge

Posted: November 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In this photo from Memorial Day 2013, Pfc. Tony Marincola proudly poses in the military uniform he wore during WWII. Marincola died Friday after a battle with pneumonia, according to a family member's Facebook post. Photo by Ryan Fonseca.

At the Santa Clarita Valley’s last Memorial Day celebration, Private First Class Anthony “Tony” Marincola stood out from the crowd as the only one sporting a uniform as old as his, a decorated olive-green woolen US Army uniform.

World War II veteran Tony Marincola died Friday at age 96, leaving behind a legacy of military service, stretching across the better part of a century.

He seldom missed a chance locally to help draw attention and show respect to the men and woman in the US military.

At the 2013 Memorial Day Tribute ceremonies, atop a hill at the Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary, he was asked about the tribute.

“It’s tremendous,” he said, loud and proud.

Marincola told The Signal: “I was in the Battle of the Bulge. I was in there for 9 days and I got hit. I got the Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound in my leg.”

He served with both the 17th Airborne and the 82nd Airborne. “And, I enjoyed both of them,” he said in May.
Marincola and his wife, Genevieve, were Santa Clarita Valley residents for 48 years.

On Aug. 15, Marincola became a widower when his wife, Genevieve, died after a short illness.

They two met in Watertown, New York in 1939, at a restaurant owned by Genevieve’s godfather. She was working there when Tony and his family, who lived across the street, stopped by for a bite.

“We went out on a date, but we had to bring her brother along as a chaperone,” Marincola told The Signal in 2010 when the couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Marincola enlisted in the Army in 1943, at the height of World War II. He served in France and Belgium, and in December 1944, found himself as one of the soldiers in the infamous Battle of the Bulge.

About the Battle of the Bulge, Marincola told The Signal three years ago: “It was cold, freezing weather with lots of snow. We lost a lot of men. Out of 200 soldiers, there were only 32 left after the first day of combat.”

He fought bravely for 12 days until becoming critically injured by a piece of shrapnel to the leg.

The war ended while Marincola was still in the hospital, where he was awarded the prestigious Purple Heart medal for bravery.

He was also presented with a bulging bag of Genevieve’s letters, which he stayed up all night to read before being discharged.

The Marincolas were reunited in America and, in 1946, welcomed their first daughter, Suzy. Four years later, they had their second daughter, Donna.

In 1965, the family moved to Canyon Country. Marincola worked in the grocery business for a while, but found a new career as a manager at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

A social media post by a family member indicated Marincola passed away Friday after a battle with pneumonia.

Before he left the Memorial Day ceremonies six months ago, Tony Marincola shared some advice with The Signal: “Don’t forget our veterans. They won’t forget you.”
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