Felice John Tulli

Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, May 13, 2024
Matthew Funeral Home And Cremation Services, Inc.
2508 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, New York, United States


10:15 am
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
St. Charles RC Church
200 Penn Avenue
Staten Island, New York, United States

Obituary of Felice John Tulli

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Felice John Tulli, a World War II veteran who saw action in the second invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Tuesday in his Bay Terrace home where his daughter, Terry Tarangelo, was by his side. He was 100.

Mr. Tulli, who was named after his paternal grandfather, but known to the world as John, was born on Feb. 3, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan where he spent his formative years together with his brothers, Ed, Hugo, Danny and his sister, Ida Marmo, who are all now deceased.

Mr. Tulli never completed high school. He dropped out in order to join the military.

And as the story goes, he lied about his age in order to enlist in the U.S. Army when World War II was raging — partly as a way to be closer to his brother Danny.

Mr. Tulli’s brother Hugo also was a member of the military having served as a U.S. Marine and stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

Mr. Tulli was a private first class in the 29th Infantry Blue and Grey Division’s 116th Battalion of the U.S. Army.

When he enlisted on Feb. 13, 1943, he was initially sent to Camp McCain in Grenada, Mississippi, and later to England for training in preparation for the stealth launch of “Operation Overload” better known now as D-Day.

He landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on June 8, 1944, two days after the D-Day invasion. Members of his platoon were the first replacements for their 29th Infantry Division’s second wave in Normandy.

When U.S. troops were advancing to the Cherbourg Peninsula, they were bogged down by fighting from hedge to hedge and experienced great difficulty in capturing Saint-Lo.

Mr. Tulli was assigned to a listening post during the advancement. He was wounded on Sept. 14, and shipped back to England for surgery.

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the last major German offensive campaign which took place from Dec 16, 1944, to Jan. 25, 1945.

Both brothers were in the second wave of the invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, but fortunate to return to the United States.

After the war Mr. Tulli received a 10-day pass to Denmark for the displaying of the troops and exhibition of tanks from all the Allied countries. He also visited Paris and then came home aboard the Liberty Ship.

He received an honorable discharge on Dec. 11, 1945, at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Mr. Tulli is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal having been injured in the Normandy Invasion.

In 2014 the French Republic presented Mr. Tulli with the French Legion of Honor Award Medal to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

He also was awarded the European–African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Combat Infantry Badge, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.


Upon returning to the states, Mr. Tulli enrolled in a trade school, where he learned the art of watchmaking and jewelry repair.

After meeting and dating a young woman by the name of Catherine (Kay) Dorothy Napoli at an Italian-American social event in Manhattan, Mr. Tulli married on June 23, 1951, and the couple decided to settle in the Bronx.

In time, the Tullis would become the parents of three children — Terry, John and Rita.

They relocated to Westerleigh in 1957 in order to be closer to the Tulli brothers and their families.

During his early days, Mr. Tulli was a staffer at the former Tavern on the Green in New Dorp, the Riviera Chateau in Oakwood and the Boulevard Hotel in Grant City.

He would eventually open the doors to his own business in New Dorp he called Tulli Jewelers, where the husband-and-wife team worked side by side.

The business had a successful 36-year run.

Upon their couple’s retirement, the Tullis traveled the world with friends and spent winters in Florida since they both loved to play golf.

The Tullis were happily married for 66 years until Mrs. Tullis death in May 2017, after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

And inasmuch as Mr. Tulli was unable to play golf at age 100, he continued to meet with members of The Fairway Club for lunches at the LaTourette Golf Course in New Springville.


Mr. Tulli was a longtime honorary member of the Pvt. Joseph F. Merrell - Fr. Vincent Capodanno American Legion Post 1368 and looked forward to their monthly meetings and other planned events.

In November, as a way to celebrate Mr. Tulli’s upcoming 100th birthday — and for his outstanding military service as part of The Greatest Generation, — the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation recognized him at their annual Golf Outing Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn, with a Special Military Award.

In June Mr. Tulli was to have attended a trip to Normandy sponsored by the Boston Wounded Veterans to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

In speaking of the trip, Mr. Tulli’s daughter, Terry Tarangelo, noted that her dad will be there in spirit.

“My dad’s greatest joy was spending time with his family especially his grandchildren, Michelle Spinelli (Alfred), Michael Tarangelo (Lauren), Kasandra Untisz (Matthew), Nicholas and Christopher Tulli, Candice Schultz (Steve), twins Daniela and Alessandra Sirabella, Stephanie Keegan ( James), and his great-grandchildren, Matthew, Juliette and Amelia Untisz, twins Delia and Natalie Tarangelo, Andrew and Nicholas Tesauro, Mattea Marie Spinelli and James, Shawn and Christian Keegan,” Tarangelo went on to explain.

Mr. Tulli’s grandchildren said collectively, “If you knew our grandpa, you loved him.”

Rita Sirabella, Mr. Tulli’s daughter, noted that her dad “was a man of love, laughs and life.”

And his son, John L. Tulli said, “He was our masterpiece.”

Mr. Tulli is survived by his above-mentioned children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation for family and friends will be in Matthew Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc. on Victory Boulevard in Willowbrook on Monday, May 13, from 4 to 8 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 14, in St. Charles R.C. Church, Oakwood, at 10:15 a.m.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations in Mr. Tulli’s name may be made to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation at T2T.org or to The Boston Wounded Veterans www.theyfoughtweride.com

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