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Veterans honored with street signs bearing their names in North Brunswick

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The intersection of Joseph Street and Fela Avenue in North Brunswick will be known as Di Silvestro Way, and the intersection of Chestnut Street and Willow Avenue will bear the name Ricker Way.

On Aug. 28, council representatives and family members gathered for the secondary street sign naming ceremonies to honor township veterans.

Salvatore Di Silvestro was born on Feb. 22, 1938, in Sicily and moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1952. He moved to New Brunswick in 1957.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in October 1961, according to the proclamation read during his ceremony. He began his training in Fort Dix but was then sent to school in Colorado to become a clerk typist.

In 1962, he was stationed in France for 20 months where he worked in office headquarters in supply maintenance.

After returning home, he served in the Army Reserves for two years.

He was honorably discharged on Sept. 30, 1967, according to the proclamation. He earned the Good Conduct Medal-Marksman (Rifle M-14).

Di Silvestro worked as a barber since 1963. He owned Town and Country Barber on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick for 20 years before retiring in 2006, according to the proclamation.

He has been a member of American Legion Joyce Kilmer Post 25 in Milltown for 30 years and is also a member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s in New Brunswick. He is active with the Senior Center in North Brunswick as well as the North Brunswick Pioneers.

Di Silvestro has been married to his wife Ann for 53 years. They have one son, Nicholas, and one grandchild.

The late William E. Ricker, Sr. was born on June 29, 1915, in New Brunswick.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 16, 1941. He served in World War II in its entirety. He was stationed at Sheffield Barracks on Pearl Harbor in the Military Fire Corp. He served during the attack on Pearl Harbor and in the Asian Theater, according to his proclamation.

Ricker was honorably discharged in 1945. He earned the American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star and the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal.

He moved to Chestnut Street in North Brunswick in 1947. He was a member of the VFW organizations in North Brunswick, New Brunswick and Spotswood; the Milltown American Legion; and the Milltown Order of the Cooties. He volunteered at area VFWs and with the VFW programs for children.

Ricker served in the Honor Guard in the Memorial Day Parade in North Brunswick; he would fire the 21-gun salute.

The Ricker family assisted the Special Olympics as sponsors and chaperones as well as hosting picnics for participants and their families.

William Ricker passed away May 16, 1982. He was married to Clothide (Bahash) for 37 years. They have four children, the late William E. Ricker Jr., the late Joseph R. Ricker, MaryEllen Bybel and her husband Robert and Kathleen Anne Ambrosy and her husband David. They also have 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

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