McKeesport resident receives high school diploma for 90th birthday
Peter Joseph DiCecco may be the oldest member of McKeesport Area School District's class of 2014.
The lifelong McKeesport resident received his high school diploma at his 90th birthday party at St. Patrick Church on June 29.
DiCecco was draped in a blue cap and gown when Assistant Superintendent Harry Bauman presented the document.
“It's a surprise,” DiCecco said. “I got a good family and everything ... We all get along together if anybody needs anything.”
“He knew nothing of it, so for his 90th birthday we had the party and we had his graduation,” daughter-in-law Iva DiCecco said. “(It was) very emotional. He was very happy.”
“It was nice to learn a little bit about his service,” Bauman said. “There's so few World War II veterans around right now. It was just a spectacular honor.”
DiCecco, a middle child of Theresa and John DiCecco, went into the Army in January 1943 on behalf of his older brother, Anthony.
Peter DiCecco explained that Anthony was drafted but could not serve because he was supporting the family through a job at National Tube. Theresa could not speak English and John DiCecco could barely move because of a stroke.
The youngest brother, Mario, was not old enough to join the military, so Peter went in Anthony's stead.
DiCecco said he had expected to graduate in a few years, but when he joined the service he was 17.
“Oh boy, the way things happen, I tell ya,” he said.
Bauman grew up across the street from the DiCeccos in Christy Park and is good friends with DiCecco's son Peter DiCecco Jr.
DiCecco Jr. and Iva DiCecco went to the district about a month ago to discuss the Carol Stipkovits Memorial Scholarship Fund.
It was during that time the family and Bauman discussed DiCecco receiving a diploma through a program designed for veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
The district needed to see DiCecco's discharge papers and the family had to complete other paperwork.
He was a truck driver in 377 Quartermaster Truck Co., served in New Guinea and reached the rank of corporal.
He earned the Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze service star.
DiCecco said he was offered the title of sergeant, which came with more time in the service.
He declined the opportunity and was honorably discharged in January 1946. He then went to work in a factory of the former Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. and later the Kelsey-Hayes Co. instead of going back to school.
He met his wife, Charlotte, after coming home from the Army. She moved to McKeesport from Wyano at age 15 with her mother, Emily Teti.
Emily Teti was friends with DiCecco's mother prior to Peter's discharge, and would translate his letters from English to Italian so Theresa could understand them.
Charlotte, 86, and DiCecco will celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary in November.
“I worked every day. He had two jobs and worked every day (and we) got together at night,” Charlotte said of their secret to a long marriage. “We got along real good. Everything's real good with us.”
DiCecco said he's unsure if he will attend college now that he officially graduated from high school.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport wrestling promoters hope for smashing success with anniversary show
- McKeesport middle school students get taste of crime-scene investigations
- Former Clairton resident killed
- Firefighters douse blaze at abandoned McKeesport house
- No one hurt in Homestead rowhouse fire
- Interest strong in redeveloping former Long Run Children’s Learning Center in White Oak
- Shoppers vexed by choice between getting best bargains, spending time with family
- ‘Nutcracker’ offers even more treats for Grand Theatre audience
- Vigil walk to help finish Noah’s Ark
- McKeesport Area, South Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward musicians head to holiday parades
- McKeesport groups reach out with holiday meals