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Steve Buzzelli and his daughter, Rita Ann Buzzelli Klein were both born and raised in Akron, Ohio. Cemented together with the close family ties of Italian immigrant families, they both carried in their hearts an appreciation for lives lived in love for each other and a compassion for all those that they encountered along the way. While just barely completing high school (he had to take both junior and senior English together his last year of high school since he failed junior English the year before) Steve, a “rubber worker,” generously supported his oldest daughter’s college education. Rita now holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from The University of Akron. She taught at the high school and university levels as well as served in Student Affairs administration at the University of Akron. Steve died much too soon in 1988 at the age of 68. Rita, now retired at age 72 has had the privilege of giving life to Steve’s Story, which was very close to being forgotten.
An Unexpected Journey into World War II. An innocent project to preserve a family keepsake turned into an unexpected 2-year journey into World War II for the daughter of the main author, Steve Buzzelli. Enthusiasm, exhaustion, boredom, frenzy, agony and ecstasy pours forth from words and images gathered by her father between 1942 and 1945. A partnership between the primary author of this story and his daughter (not yet born when this story was collected) gradually took shape. Propelled by curiosity, cluelessness, and unending love, “Steve’s Story” has materialized in a form meant to memorialize his experience for his descendants and his family. The authors hope that as the reader peruses these pages they come to appreciate the goodness and decency of this soldier and realize that they too carry that spirit in their souls.