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Marine who waited more than 60 years for dress uniform dies

A Northland Marine who recently got his dress blue uniform after a wait of more than 60 years has died. World War II veteran Paskie "Tony" Campetti lost his battle with cancer Wednesday morning. But not before getting to wear his dress blue unifo...

A Northland Marine who recently got his dress blue uniform after a wait of more than 60 years has died.

World War II veteran Paskie "Tony" Campetti lost his battle with cancer Wednesday morning. But not before getting to wear his dress blue uniform for the first time this summer and experiencing a few magic months with his family in his final days.

Campetti doctored his birth certificate when he was 15 years old so he could join the Marine Corps and fight in World War II. He said he did it because his buddies were going, and he wanted to go with them.

He fought in the Pacific Theatre for two years, but after leaving the Marines, he never got his dress uniform.

This summer, at 79 years old and battling abdominal cancer, Campetti finally got his "dress blues."

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Campetti passed away in his sleep Wednesday. He was in his own home.

"The guy, he'd do anything for you," said Harold "Jim" Melde, a friend of 40 years. "He was always there."

Melde was one of the people responsible for getting Campetti his dress blues.

"He kept asking me a couple times a week, wanting to know if that uniform was here yet," Melde said.

Melde said Tony's last few months were good ones, celebrating his 80th birthday and standing up from his wheelchair at his granddaughter's wedding.

"He was able to give her away, which is something she wanted him to do," Melde said.

Now, the Campetti family is making preparations for a farewell to husband, father and grandfather.

Melde will say goodbye to a best friend, and he's not really sure how to do that.

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"You really don't," Melde said. "I told his wife, though, that I'd be the last one to leave the cemetery."

Funeral arrangements are being made through Williams-Lobermeier Funeral Home in Duluth.

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