The Nardolillo brothers – Francis, John, William, Peter and Joseph – were born in Albany to John and Rosemary Grauer Nardolillo. Together with three sisters, they grew up on Fulton and Van Zandt Streets.
The attraction to the United States Marines began with Francis, the oldest, and carried down to Joseph, the youngest brother. Because he was only 17, Francis needed his parents to sign for him when he left Philip Schuyler High School in his junior year in 1950 to enlist. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart and was a P.O.W. from October 27, 1952 until the end of the War on August 27, 1953. Francis, who lived in Albany, worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 35 years until his retirement. Francis just recently passed away.
John wanted to join the Corps in 1953, but was only 15 at the time. Two years later, at the end of his junior year at Cathedral Academy, he enlisted and was stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. A Colonie resident, John worked with the Laborers Local 190 and served as the union’s president for 22 years.
William, of Guilderland, joined in 1960. He served with the 2nd and 3rd Marine Tank Battalions aboard ships in the Atlantic and Pacific, and also did a tour in Okinawa. When William was transferred out in 1963, his battalion was preparing for a tour in Vietnam. He was a member of Local 190, and then worked for Clarity Publishing and the State Assembly.
Peter joined in 1963, the day after graduating from Philip Schuyler. In March 1967, Peter was stationed for a year near Da Nang with the 1st Force Logistic Command, where his unit came under rocket and mortar fire. Peter was among those instrumental in constructing the Albany Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Colonie Veterans Memorial. He worked for Local 190 for 30 years.
Joseph was drafted into the Army after graduation in 1969. Instead, he went to a Marine Corps recruiter, explained that all of his brothers were Marines – and the rest is history. Joseph lived in California, and as a member of the Teamsters, worked in the production end of numerous newspapers for 30 years before returning to the Capital District.