HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. –Louis Carlucci, a World War II veteran who grew up in the Chambersburg section of Trenton and called Hamilton home for more than 60 years celebrated his 100th Birthday on February 19.
Carlucci, now a resident of Greenwood House, a care home in Ewing Township, celebrated his big birthday with his two daughters, Dawn and Susan, with a “window visit” to ensure that Poppy, as Louis is known to his family, is kept safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As Greenwood House celebrated Lou’s birthday inside, family members gathered outside his window yelling birthday wishes.
A lover of sweets who doesn’t count calories enjoyed his birthday cake with a big “100” candle on it. He opened more than 130 happy birthday wishes from around the U.S., Italy and Argentina.
Louis’s 100th Birthday celebration honored his life that began as a boy growing up in Trenton’s famed Chambersburg Section – commonly known as “The Burg.” At the time the one vibrant neighborhood was filled with blocks of row homes rich with Italian immigrants such as Louis’s father, Anthony Carlucci and mother, Lucy Radice who emigrated from the Appenine Range village of San Fele in Italy at the turn of the 20th Century and married here.
Growing up on Mott Street, Louis graduated from Trenton High School and went to work at the American Cigar Company’s manufacturing plant. It was there that he met Emma Rendemonti, whose family emigrated from Rome. The two married in Florida while Lou was serving in the U. S. Army Air Corps.
In August 1942, during World War II, Lou joined the U.S. Army. As a private first class, he was first trained as an airplane armorer, maintaining aircraft weapons, loading bombs and ammunition. At the end of his service, he was a corporal in the 9th Air Engineer Squadron, 571st Squadron. Lou’s clerk typist duties including driving a Jeep to various Army camps in the Philippines delivering GI’s mail, a job he liked.
Lou left the Army on February 22, 1946 shortly after turning 25 years old after serving in the “Asiatic Pacific” according to his discharge papers.
Back home, raising a family after World War II, Lou began working at the General Electric (GE) Central Air Condition. His only GE disappointment began when CEO Jack Welch retired. When it was time to move to the suburbs, the Carluccis, like most Burg residents, went to neighboring Hamilton Township in 1954.
Even as GE went through several company changes from Ingersoll Rand and American Standard Louis continued to work at the East State Street location until his retirement in 1984.
Louis’s wife, Emma, passed away on All Saints Day, November 1, 1997. In addition to their daughters, Dawn and Susan, they grew a family of seven grandchildren and nine great-children. They lost their son, also named Louis, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard and later became a Washington, D.C.-based U.S. State Department employee who traveled the world. A close family, Lou and Emma would travel the world as far as Tobago, Germany, and Peru while he was on assignment.
Dawn and Susan are hoping that community herd immunity and widespread vaccinations will make it possible for Lou’s extended family to visit inside, hug him like crazy to try and make up for more than a year of isolation.
To honor Louis on his 100th Birthday, an American flag was flown in his honor over the U.S. Capitol.
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