Obituary: Peluso, Ernie

J. Rayniak photo

Ernest Peluso holds a colorized photograph of himself taken just before he got out of the Navy in 1945. The WWII veteran survived the sinking of the aircraft carrier USS Bismark Sea off Iwo Jima and was in the water all night until he got picked up by a destroyer. J. BART RAYNIAK The Spoksman-Review

September 2, 2013 - Updated: 6 a.m.

PELUSO, Ernie (Age 87) Ernie Peluso, a WWII Veteran of the US Navy and retired employee of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation of 34 years, died in Coeur d’ Alene Idaho on Thursday August 28, 2013. He was 87 years old. Ernie was best known among his friends as the elk hunter. Over the years he had hunted various game but chose elk in Northern Idaho to be his favorite. It was hunting that brought him to Chattaroy, Washington in 1949 with a wife and two children in tow. Born in Pennsylvania and lived in Kentucky until enlisting into the Navy, he spent most of his life in Chattaroy where he and his wife Geraldine raised 13 children. He recently said he had worked hard in his life. It was evident as he made a confortable home for his family on 17 acres providing livestock and a garden, and worked strenuous shifts at Kaiser. Often he recollected his most challenging experience in the Navy in WWII as a Coxswain on the USS Bismarck Sea. On February 21, 1945 his ship off the shore of Iwo Jima was sunk by two Japanese Kamakazi fighters. Among over 600 sailors surviving the attack he believed he was alone and treaded water in the Pacific Ocean for ten hours through the night before the crew of a Navy destroyer rescued him. After almost all his children had grown and moved away he sold the small farm and moved to Post Falls, Idaho to live out the rest of his life. He enjoyed retirement and hunting, fishing, enjoying time spent with friends and family. After surviving cancer and battling Parkinson’s disease, his health declined. He completed his life with joyous visits from family and friends and with his wife of 65 years by his side until her death in 2011. Ernie Peluso was husband to Geraldine and father of Ernie, Angie, Frank, Joe, Debbie, Teresa, Helen, Sean, Tony, Carmen, Jacqueline, Robert and Gary. Survived by his brother John in Newport, Kentucky and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Ernie was proceded in death by his wife Geraldine and two sons Joseph and Frank. Services will be held at English Funeral Chapel in Post Falls, Idaho on Tuesday September 3rd, at 2 pm with Father Nolan officiating.


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