Emil Piccolotti

On this day in Mendocino history…

Seven children facing camera
The Piccolotti children, c. 1935. Back row, left to right: Fred, Albert, George. Front row: Henry, Emil, Louis with baby Alice in front of Henry.

August 10, 1946 – Emil Piccolotti died at the Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado at the age of 20. He had enlisted in the United States Army in January 1945, and at the time of his death, he was a Private First Class in the 608th Military Police Battalion. The Beacon reported that he had been ill for a long time, suffering from “a malady contracted while serving in the South Pacific Theatre.”

Emil was born in 1926, the son of Pete and Rosa Piccolotti. The Piccolotti family owned a ranch 14 miles up Big River from Mendocino, and Emil and his 7 siblings helped with the farming. In addition to providing food to the logging camps, the family brought truckloads of fresh produce into Mendocino to sell to the townsfolk.

Emil began his military service in the final months of World War II. “He answered the call of his country shortly after he became 18 years of age. He served with honor and earned the respect of his comrades in arms through his ever present eagerness to carry his share of the common burden that brought glorious victory to our nation.”

His remains were sent home by train, accompanied by a military escort. Emil was laid to rest in the family plot in Rose Memorial Cemetery. “The cortege was led by the American Legion Colors with Color Guards, and firing squad commanded by Roy Jordan. Danny Francis acted as Chaplin in the absence of Rev. Kent. Albert Canepa sounded taps at the close of the service and Commander Allen Ryan and Past Commander Thomas Burnie of Sequoia Post 96, The American Legion, furled the flag and presented it to the military escort who in turn presented it to the family of the deceased.” Pall bearers were J. E. Cruttenden, Robert E. Jackson, Frank D. Martella, Frank J. Lewis, Peter Cecchi, and Robert Amundsen.

In addition to his parents, Emil was survived by four brothers, Albert of Rockport, Louis of Fort Bragg, George of Sacramento, and Sgt. Henry Piccolotti of San Bernardino; two sisters, Mrs. Ida Balassi of Sacramento, and Alice Piccolotti of Mendocino.

Two events in one day! Sunday, August 14. The “Stump to Ship” walking tour to learn about Mendocino’s logging history at 11 am. At 3:30 pm, Katy Tahja leads a “Sunday Afternoon with the Illustrators” discussion about cartoonists of the 70’s and 80’s on the coast. Call 707-937-5791 for more info.