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Ambassador Joseph Petrone dies

A Marshalltown native and the son of an immigrant Italian tailor, who would rise to ride with Patton’s tanks and later be nominated by the then-President Ronald Reagan to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Europe, has died.

Joseph Carlton Petrone Jr. 93, passed away at his Naples, Fla. home Thursday.

He was born Nov. 30, 1922 in Marshalltown to Joe Sr. and Ada Petrone.

Joe Jr. had a distinguished military career.

He served in the Iowa National Guard (1938-40) and graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1944.

That was followed by 26 years of service in the US Army (1944-70).

He retired as a colonel, which included active duty in Europe during World War II with Gen. George Patton; England, as a student at British Staff College; the White House, as military aide to President Dwight Eisenhower, and in the Paris Embassy as US Military attache.

After retiring from the military, Joe Jr. lived in Paris several years.

In 1987, President Reagan nominated him as Ambassador to the European Office of the UN and Specialized Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.

After U.S. Senate confirmation, he served in that post for two and one-half years.

Joe Jr. married Augusta Henderson of Boston.

They moved to Marshalltown in 1976 to 1608 W. Main St., Joe Jr.’s boyhood home.

Later, Dublin, N.H. became their principal residence for many years before moving to Naples.

Petrone remained active in Republican politics, serving on numerous candidate campaign committees and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

He supported the candidacies of George W. Bush in 2000 and John McCain in 2008.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe Sr. in 1964, and Ada in 1976.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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