Over There: Saying goodbye to two World War II veterans
By Jean Edwards email@example.com December 19, 2012 3:08PM
Victor "Coke" Biasetti, who has been a volunteer at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center for 25 years, is seen in the Herald-News office Thursday, April 12, 2012, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 6:08AM
Victor J. “Coke” Biasetti, a man with a kind heart who touched many, passed away Nov. 1.
Biasetti served in the U.S. Army during World War II and upon his return to the Joliet area, he began a career as a cement finisher, which he did for more than 40 years before retiring. To stay busy upon retiring, he volunteered at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center for more than 25 years. Biasetti also kept busy at Stone City VFW Post, where he called the numbers and was the cashier for the mostaccioli dinners for many years.
Biasetti learned at a young age the importance of helping others.
When he was just a teen, his dad owned the Englemann Gas Station and he would pump customers’ gas, check their fluids and clean their windshields. In return, the customers would reward him with a Coke, which is where he got his nickname “Coke.”
On April 4, Biasetti was able to join the Chicago Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., and view the World War II museum and monuments. He found this very exciting, and the warm greetings they received at the airport made him proud.
Biasetti is survived by a son, Victor (Donna) Biasetti Jr. and a daughter, Julie Ann (Robert) Wright, along with lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I had the opportunity to write a column on Biasetti that ran in the May 3 edition of The Herald-News. I will always remember him as a sharp, smart and caring person, one whom could be depended upon.
“Coke” Biasetti, you are missed and your work while here was greatly appreciated.
A fond farewell
For several years past, Robert “Bob” Randolph would visit me in the newsroom around the anniversary of the Battle of Midway with interesting stories.
Randolph would precisely quote in detail each event that took place and was very proud to have served. I would look forward to meeting with him as well. He served as a scout bomber aboard the SBD plane.
I never thought this year would be the last year I would meet with Mr. Randolph or May 31 would be the last column I would have written of him.
Randolph passed away Dec. 11. He is survived by his wife, Helen “Jean” (McNiff) Randolph; his children, Robert D. (Linda) II, Dennis (Mary Anne) and John (Julie) Randolph; his grandchildren, Kris, Melody, Jennifer, Dennis, Bobby, Katie, Joe, Eric, Melissa, and Michelle; and 15 great-grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Antoneete (Zupancik) Randolph, and his brothers, Louis, Dick and Charles Randolph.
He retired from Illinois Bell and was a former volunteer for the New Lenox Fire Department. He was a member of the VFW and American Legion in New Lenox and Joliet Moose No. 300, and he was inducted into the Mazon/Grundy County Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mr. Randolph, you and your wonderful stories will be missed. Rest in peace. I will always commemorate June 4 in remembrance of Bob Randolph.
The Untamed Motorcycle Association donated $300 to two wounded warrior Marines from Echo Company 4th Recon Battalion in Joliet to make their Christmas a little better.
A ceremony was held Dec. 8 at the U.S. Marine Corps facility on McDonough Street in Joliet.
The recipients were Sgt. Myles Lytle and Cpl. Chad Willis.
Home from deployment
Army Pfc. Robert R. Sage, the husband of Nicole and son-in-law of Stephen and Ruta Hansen of Bolingbrook, has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name given to anti-terrorism military operations involving U.S. troops and allied coalition partners. U.S. troops serve in south, southwest and central Asia, the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, islands in the Pacific and in Europe.
Sage is an infantryman and radio transmit operator assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. He has served two years in the military.
Welcome home, and happy holidays to you and your families. May this season bring you lots of joy and happiness!
Jean Edwards is looking for veterans that are home for the holiday. She can be reached at 815-773-7172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.