Peter Richard Ceci age 94 was born on December 26, 1925 and was affectionately known to his family as Zio. Delivered by a mid-wife in a home built by his father Romano Ceci at 1027 N. Scott Street peter resided there for most of his life. The youngest of eight siblings Pete could often be found working in the family quarry in Mount Cuba. He would proudly recall watching his father who was an explosive ordinance expert repel down the side of the mountains of Mt. Cuba setting explosive charges as they took down mountains of stone. Pete was particularly proud that much of this stone was used in the foundation and walls of St. Anthony’s Church and School.
Pete was a graduate of Salesianum School and ten days after his graduation received a congratulatory letter from the United States of America welcoming him to World War 2.
As a navy Corpsman peter was assigned to a Marine Corp Detachment with the Amphibious Landing forces in the South Pacific. Peter as a Corpsman earned 10 Battle Stars surviving 7 Invasions. Pete saved the lives countless Devil Dogs he crashed with at Guadalcanal, Manila, Luzon, Leyte, Peleliu, Guam, and the Philippines to name a few. Despite this he always mourned the life of the person he couldn’t save which was his best friend and fellow Corpsman Saul Stevenson who was killed in action. While participating in the Liberation of the Philippines Peter contracted Malaria which almost took his life. Certain he would never return home he ended the engagement to the love of his life Stella Jioski yet wore the engagement ring they exchanged until his death.
Pete participated in countless nighttime pre-invasion missions with the Navy frogmen cutting submerged mines placed along the shoreline to keep American Forces from Landing. While aboard ship Peter had many responsibilities one of which was manning the M2 Browning 50 caliber machine gun shooting down attacking Kamikaze planes. Pete often described the chaos of combat action as living inside a video game.
Pete was amongst the first Americans to land in Hiroshima and witness the devastation of the Atomic Bomb treating many of the civilians that survived the attack. Immediately following the war Peter was assigned to Admiral Chester Nimitz as an Italian interpreter. Peter traveled thru most of Europe along with Nimitz seeing most of the European countries and the devastation they suffered as a result of the war.
With the fast approaching Korean Conflict on the horizon Pete reenlisted and was assigned to the Aircraft Carrier Coral Sea. Pete served proudly until his Discharge in 1953.
Upon returning to civilian life he began working at ICI as a chemist and despite not having a college degree rose to the rank of Chemist Supervisor until his retirement in 1985.Pete lived out his retirement cooking elaborate Italian meals for his family, hunting, and participating in countless gun clubs.
Pete was a real life action hero who was as passionate about life as much as he was about his food, family, and friends. Quick with a joke or a story he will forever be remembered for his singing of Japanese songs and unbridled love and loyalty to his family.
Peter is survived by his Nephew Gregory Ciotti and his wife Mary and his Niece Cecelia Chandlee and her husband Bob, along with countless Great and Great Grand Nieces and Nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, October 23rd 2020 at 11am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 901 N. DuPont St. Wilmington, DE. 19805.
Visitation will also be Friday morning from 9:30 to 10:30am at the Corleto Latina Family Center, 807 N. Union St. Wilmington, DE. 19805
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