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MICHAEL "MIKE" COLALILLO

Michael "Mike" Colalillo, 86, of Duluth, the last Medal of Honor recipient of Minnesota, passed away Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, in Ecumen Bayshore Care Center.

Mike was born Dec. 1, 1925, in Hibbing, the son of Carlo and Victoria (Jannone) Colalillo. He served in the United States Army during World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during combat. He returned to Duluth and was employed by Interlake Iron Works Company. Mike retired from the Port Authority as a long shoreman He married Lina Nissila on Nov. 16, 1945, in Duluth. They made their home in the west end of Duluth for many years.

Mike was a member of the Medal of Honor Society, Duluth Hall of Fame, a life member of the American Legion and V.F.W., Disabled American Veterans, Raleigh Breakfast Club, and the Italian-American Club. He also coached youth hockey with Bob Watt.

He enjoyed fishing, having lunch with the guys on Fridays, and traveling with Lina to Medal of Honor Conventions. He received one Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a French Campaign Ribbon.

The family would like to thank the staffs of Ecumen Bayshore and Senior Friends for their excellent care and concern for Mike these past months.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Lina; daughter Joann; brother Patrick; and sisters Carmella, Concetta, Nikki, and Mary.

Mike is survived by his son, Al (Terry) Colalillo of Hayward; daughter Michele (Rodger) Schneeberger of Meadowlands; two grandsons, Mike A. Colalillo and Nick Bakken; and three great-grandchildren, Michael Colalillo II, Daijia and Dilin Bakken; brother Albert Colalillo of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and sisters Jennie Price of Duluth and Grace Otterson of Cloquet.

Mike was a great husband, father, and grandfather.

VISITATION: 3-7 p.m. with prayers at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, in Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E. Second St., Duluth. Visitation continues at 10 until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, Jan. 7, in St. James Catholic Church, 721 N. 57th Ave. W., Duluth. Burial at Forest Hill Cemetery with full Military Honors by the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.

Memorials preferred to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, 5209 Ramsey St., Duluth MN 55807.

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home (218) 727-3555.