Richard D. Fisco, 93: Purple Heart hero penned autobiography

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BATH — Richard D. Fisco, 93, died peacefully Dec. 13 at HillHouse Assisted Living in Bath.

He was born April 7, 1920, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Joseph and Mary Fisco.

In high school, he was a long-distance runner and earned several awards. He won the Staten Island 6-mile championship and claimed the reason for his victory was that his mother fed him pasta. He was also a young student entomologist and collected over 300 beetles.

Fisco joined the U.S. Army in 1939, and served during World War II as the lead scout with the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion of the 5th Army. He fought in North Africa, Italy, France and Belgium. In the Allies’ Anzio campaign, he earned the Bronze Star, and he was awarded a Silver Star during the Battle of the Bulge. During that battle, on Dec. 29, 1944, while in the Ardennes Forest, he was wounded in the left elbow. As a result, he was awarded a Purple Heart and evacuated to England.

Fisco stayed in touch with his Army comrades for many years. While in Europe, he also met his future wife, Louise Cechetti. The two were married Dec. 8, 1944, in the Church of Notre Dame in Nice, France.

After returning from the war, Fisco joined the New York City Fire Department in 1949. He served as a lieutenant firefighter for 20 years, before retiring in 1969. Later, he traveled to France frequently with is wife and son, Richard. He was made an honorary citizen of Saint-Tropez, France.

Fisco’s autobiography, “Our Lives Will Be Beautiful,” was published in 2011.

He is survived by his son, Richard; wife, Barbara; grandchildren, Vera and Ralph; caregiver, Jolene Arsenault; as well as many friends and relatives.

Visiting hours will be held Sunday, Dec. 22, from 1-3 p.m., at the Demers-Desmond Funeral Home, 34 Cushing St., Brunswick. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Church, on Pleasant Street, Brunswick.

He will be buried in his wife’s family caveau in Caucada, France.

The family extends thanks to Mary Lou and all the nursing staff at HillHouse for the great and loving work they did.

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