Syl entered into rest on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at home, with his family at his side at the age of 92. Born in Rome, N.Y. February 17, 1921, he was the son of the late John B. Puccio and Josephine (Destito) Puccio.
He attended Rome area schools and at age 17, joined Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC's) where he served in the Adirondacks of N.Y.
In 1939, Syl volunteered for the U.S. Navy and completed basic training in Newport. R.I. His first duty station was aboard the USS Constellation, a Civil War ship which was still in service. Shortly after, assigned to the USS West Virginia BB48 in San Diego, CA, which eventually ported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After surviving the attack, he remained at Pearl Harbor until 1945. During this time, he rapidly attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was later stationed in Annapolis, MD, where he met his future wife, Margaret Mouery. They were united in marriage on May 2, 1947 at The Little Church Around the Corner in New York City.
Syl was employed by Revere Copper and Brass for 35 years as a Steel Fabricator; a trade he learned in the Navy.
In February 2012 he was honored by the U.S. Navy for his life saving actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor which saved nearly 400 shipmates. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor Distinction. His actions on December 7, 1945 have been documented in many historical publications. Through all the recognition he received, Syl never considered himself a hero. In the summer of 2012, he was honored with a return trip to Pearl Harbor by the Honolulu Navy League. A memory he treasured every day since his return.
Since the late 1960's he was an active member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. He was very grateful for the warm embrace of the Pearl Harbor Survivors by all those at the Arthur Moran Post in Camden, N.Y. It was considered the Chapter 7 survivors adopted home.
Throughout the years, Syl was often asked to speak with students in the area schools as well as across the country via internet, including students at Phillips Middle School and Phillips High School in Wisconsin
Syl is survived by his two daughters and sons-in-law; Patricia and Patrick Trophia of Rome, Pam and Gary Selden and one son and daughter-in-law John and Sheryl Puccio all of Woodstock , GA, five grandchildren Lisa (Trophia)and Sean Cronlund of Delmar, NY, Lori (Trophia) and Jake DiBari of Rome, Carla Selden, Madison and John Puccio all of Woodstock, GA., and three great grandchildren; Caroline, Miranda and Esmee Cronlund of Delmar, NY. Syl is also survived by sisters Mary Jane Benedetto of Rome, NY, Lucille Bevelaqua of Centereach, NY and Theresa Spinelli of Utica, NY.
Syl was predeceased by his wife Margaret, sisters; Concepta Guido, Katherine LoRusso, Carmella Grasso and one brother, Joseph Puccio.
A special thank you to the nurses and volunteers of Hospice Care and to the staff at Rome Hospital on 2 North. Their care, patience and compassion shown to our father and for their support will always be remembered.
Funeral Services with full military honors will be held on Wednesday at St. John the Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio. Friends may call at the Nicholas J. Bush Funeral Home, Inc. 218 W. Court St., on Tuesday from 4 -7- p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution can be made to: Hospice and Palliative Care Inc., 477 Middle Settlement Rd., New Hartford, N.Y. 13413.