THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peter V. DeRossi
Peter Valentino DeRossi, 97, of Merriman, passed away May 18, 2017 at the VA Hospital.
Born Oct. 31, 1919 in Crystal Falls, Mi., to Emilio DeRossi and Helen (Zaupa) DeRossi, at age 13 he moved with his family to Merriman to start a new farm, which is now the United Sportsman's Club property. At age 18 he was part of a WPA crew that brushed the hill for the Pine Mountain Ski Jump.
On Feb. 10, 1942, he entered the United States Army, the same day that his future wife, Joan Helen Black, of London, England entered the Royal Air Force, that they discovered many years later. He served in Patton's 4th Armored Division. He saw action at the Battle of the Bulge and was shot off a tank by an enemy aircraft near Bad Kreuznach, Germany. He convalesced in England and was on his way back to his unit when the war ended in Europe.
The couple were married in London on Sept. 12, 1945 and after his return to Iron Mountain, she was able to follow the next year. On Jan. 29, 1948 they had a son, Peter Edward. He worked at the Ford plant in Kingsford, Mi. and also farmed. In 1952 he began working at the VA Hospital, retiring from there 32 years later.
In 1957, he acquired property and in 1962 started a potato and operated for several years. When he stopped farming he worked at Smith's Castings in Kingsford while working at the VA Hospital. He retired from Smith's Castings at age 79 and enjoyed 18 years of full retirement.
He enjoyed gardening, belonging to a radio controlled airplane club and attending many veterans activities. His military honors included a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a diploma dated July 4th, 2001 from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of France for his service in the French liberation.
A generous man, he supported many organizations, including Lake Lundgren Bible Camp, 4-H, veteran's organizations and services for under-privileged children. He was a member of First Covenant Church for 25 years.
He is survived by a son, Peter (Donnette) of Green Bay; two granddaughters; seven great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews and many good friends and neighbors he loved spending time with.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; two sisters, Edith (Gemo) Anderson and Inez Osterberg and his wife's siblings.
Visitation was held at First Covenant Church in Iron Mountain on Tuesday, May 23 from 9 a.m. until time of the funeral service at 11 a.m., with Rev. Peter Erickson officiating. Burial was in Quinnesec Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the American Legion Post #50. A Memorial was established in his memory. Erickson Rochon and Nash Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Iron Mountain assisted the family with arrangements.