Born in Warren, a son of the late Giuseppe A. and Lizetta (Longano) Vitullo he spent his first 20 years in Warren schools and as an employee and draftsman for a Connecticut construction company. He entered the military in 1940 and spent the second 20 years of his life in the United States Army, retiring in 1961 as Major.
His military career included World War II service in the Pacific Theater as an Armored Amphibian Platoon Leader in six assault landings on Saipan, Tinian, Leyte, Kerama Retto, Ie Shima and Okinawa. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received in Ie Shima. In Korea, he was a Tank Company Commander and Order of Battle Intelligence Officer and was awarded a Bronze Star. Later, he was the Commander of the Order of Battle Intelligence section of G-2 Seventh Army Europe and Battalion Commander 1st Medium Tank Battalion 68th Armored Regimen, and was a Military Advisor to the Vietnam Army in Vietnam.
He also received the following awards and campaign ribbons: Army Commendation Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Device, WWII Victory Medal, Army and Air Force World War II Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Overseas Services Ribbon with Numeral 5, Philippine Liberation Medal with Bronze Star, United Nations Korea Service Medal, Army/Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Presidential Unit Citation.
Upon retiring from the Army, he became the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Arthritis Foundation from 1964 to 1981. He was a past State Commander of the Italian-American War Veterans, a member of the American Legion, and a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans. He was the Secretary and Past Chairman of the Verazzano Committee from 1967 to 1978 and was a Life Member of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America.
In 1974, he became a Masonic member of the Overseas Lodge #40 F & AM, rising to the 32nd degree. He was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Providence, a member of the Rhode Island Shrine, and past President and Music Director of the Rhode Island Shriners Oriental Band.
Recently, he and his wife Constance were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Town of Warren for their years of service to the community. In his spare time, he enjoyed painting, woodcarving, playing and writing music, reading and writing stories.
Mr. Vitullo was the devoted father of Rena E. Correia, the late Constance A. Vitullo and Roland E. Vitullo and his wife, Robin. He was the grandfather of Constance Correia, John Correia and his wife Valerie, Jakob and Luke Vitullo, and the great-grandfather of Sienna Rose and Wyatt O’Brien Correia. He was the brother of the late Valentine Cavanaugh, Clara Montecalvo, Rose Adams, Elvira Petrone and Melba Dyson.
Arrangements are with Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren, where the family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. Funeral services follow at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the funeral home, with burial following in St. Alexander’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Farmsteads of NE, 213 Center Road, Hillsborough, NH 03244. See www.wjsmithfh.com.
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