Joseph Carlton Petrone, 93
Joseph Petrone, 93, died peacefully, with his wife at his side, on March 24 in Naples, FL. He lived an honorable and active life, as an Iowa farm boy, as a Lieutenant in Patton’s 3rd Army in the Battle of the Bulge, as a White House Military Aide under Eisenhower, as Military Attache in Paris, and Ambassador to the European Office of the UN in Geneva under Reagan- and a treasured husband of 58 years.
Born Nov 30, 1922, in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Joe and Ada Petrone, he attended Marshalltown schools and graduated from West Point in 1944 (after three years with no vacations, due to the war).
He joined General Patton’s army after the Normandy Landings (later he helped organize the 3-day ceremonies for the 25th Anniversary attended by the likes of Gen. Omar Bradley and French President General deGaulle, and thousands of veterans).
He served in post-war assignments in Puerto Rico (pre-tourism), Chicago (he called it a “soldiers’ town”), Iran (the Shah was just a poor king, with oil $1 a barrel), in DC as Aide to the Quartermaster General and as a White House Aide), and the British Staff College in Camberley, England.
In 1956, while in Washington, he met his future wife, Augusta Henderson, of Boston. They were married in 1958 and, after a honeymoon in Portugal, were assigned to the Petroleum Distribution Command in Fontainebleau, France.
After a “5-year honeymoon” in Fontainebleau, he was assigned to Ft. Hood, TX, where Joseph deployed with the Third Corps to Ft. Benning, GA, in preparations for “invasion” of Cuba during the Missile Crisis.
From Ft. Hood, Joseph was assigned to the Defense Supply Agency in Alexandria, VA, and then to Seoul, Korea as the Sub-Area Petroleum Officer. It was a one-year “hardship tour,” but Augusta joined him for the whole year, where they lived in a new hotel (since torn down and replaced).
In 1967, Joseph was named Assistant Military Attache to France. He retired from the Army in June of 1970. During their 6 civilian years in Paris, Joseph presided over Memorial Day Ceremonies at the WWI Aisne-Marne cemetery in Seringes et Nesles, one of 13 beautifully-maintained US military cemeteries in Europe.
They re-located to Marshalltown, IA from 1976-86, participating in local and national politics and serving as members of 2 US Presidential Delegations (to Madagascar and Paris/UNESCO). They moved to Des Moines for a year, to help run the Iowa Reagan/Bush’84 campaign under Gov. Branstad.
After caring for his wife through cancer and chemo, Joseph was assigned to Geneva, Switzerland, as US Ambassador to the, then, 129 country “good” UN. The Petrones moved permanently to Dublin, NH in 1989, where they continued active in music and efforts for good government.
Services and burial will be private. The family requests any memorials be sent to whichever candidate who can best lead our country in these challenging times.