What began as an article about Buffalo Grove resident Rocco Marchetta’s wartime experience transitioned into another story. Marilyn Emigh, one of his four daughters, had quite a different story to tell, one of pride and love for a father who taught his children to work hard and be responsible.
Rather than redirect the interview, it was best to simply let her tell her father’s story. About a soldier that survives his injuries during World War II to build a business in Park Ridge that served clients for years.
Marchetta graduated from Crane Tech Vocational High School in 1939 and was drafted in the Army in 1942, when he was 20 years old. He reported for active duty Dec. 3, 1942. After basic training, his specialty was that of a rifleman. He served as assistant squad leader of the 63d Infantry of the 3rd Army Division, which was stationed in France and Germany during World War II. He was in charge of 11 men and responsible for placing them in defensive positions.
On Feb. 15, 1945 he was shot in the leg, and shortly after, returned home to the U.S. For his bravery on the front lines and the injuries he sustained, he earned a Purple Heart, a Victory Medal and Good Combat Medal.
“Dad moved back to Chicago and worked for Mandel Brothers Department store. That’s where he met my mother, Evelyn. They got married Nov. 28, 1946 and had four daughters: Diane, Marilyn, Donna and Lynn. Dad put himself through beauty school so he could have a steady job and be a responsible father. He had a very good work ethic,” explained Emigh.
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