Vol. 25, No. 3 • Mailed monthly to over 13,500 homes in the Gateway & Parkrose Communities Free • July 2009
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Longtime Argay resident Joseph Colasuonno succumbs
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Longtime Argay resident Joseph Colasuonno succumbs

Joseph Colasuonno
Joseph Colasuonno died peacefully at his home in the Argay neighborhood of Portland on May 19. He was 89 years old.

Joseph Jerome Colasuonno was born Jan. 11, 1920 in Portland to Jerome and Mary Colasuonno. His sister Anna was born in 1917. They resided in Southeast Portland and owned Colasuonno & Son Grocery, specializing in Italian products.

Joe Colasuonno attended Washington High School and later attended Willamette University in Salem for three years.

He had a long and distinguished military career.

He entered the service in 1941 as an Air Force flying cadet. He received his pilot’s wings in May 1942 and was assigned to the Middle East as the pilot of a B24 Liberator bomber. In World War II he was assigned to the 98th Bomb Group, Ninth Air Force, and also served in Korea and Vietnam. He was rated a Command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours and received over 19 awards during his military career. One of the awards of which he was most proud was the Medal of Honor First Class by the Vietnamese government. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1969 as a full colonel after 28 years of dedicated service.

In 1955, Joe married Linda John. They traveled extensively throughout Europe during his military career and after retirement settled in their Argay residence in the Parkrose area of outer Northeast Portland. Linda passed away in 2003.

After retirement, Joe worked as a club manager at Portland Golf Club and later at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge.

Joe was a lifetime member of the Royal Rosarians, which he joined in 1983. He served on the council from 1987 through 1990, and was the editor of the Rosarians’ newsletter, “The Reminder,” for several years.

Joe was also a member of the Club Paesano and was a club president. He was the author and editor of the Club Paesano 40th anniversary publication, which was filled with photographs, history and stories of the club.

Joe is survived by daughter, Jackie; son James; and grandsons Joseph, Nathan and Scott of Portland; granddaughter Lisa Tomlin of Seaside; three great-grandchildren, Tori, Haley and Ryan; and nephew Dennis Smith of Anchorage, Alaska.

Interment was at Willamette National Cemetery. Remembrances can be made to St. Therese Parish in east Portland.
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