September 1, 1895 (Danbury, CT) – January 6, 1919; 23 years old
Last local address: 46 Spring Hill Avenue, Norwalk
Entered the service on October 3, 1917
Serial number 681474
Unit: 304th Regiment, Company I
Born to Joseph Cantone (1844-1899) and Louisa Badaracco Cantone (1865-?). Three brothers John (1892-1957), Toney [severely wounded in WWI] (1893-?), Romeo (1896-1928). Three sisters, Augusta “Gussie” Cantoni Ghiotto (1888-1970), Sophia Cantoni Stratton (1889-1957), and Mary “Mamie” Cantoni Hanford (1899-1986).
The last name is also spelled Cantonie in some documents.
Worked as a hatter at Crofut & Knapp Hat Company in Norwalk prior to service.
Died of lobar pneumonia and tuberculosis in a French hospital after the war ended. More than likely related to the Spanish Influenza outbreak.
From an unknown newspaper dated January 23, 1919, found in newspaper clippings in the Norwalk History Room, Norwalk Library
NEWS RECEIVED OF DEATH OF NORWALK BOY
John Cantoni of 46 Spring Hill Avenue received last evening a telegram from Washington bringing news of the death from pneumonia of his brother, Cook James Giachiana Cantoni, of the Transportation Service, in Paris, on January 6. Cook Cantoni went to Camp Devens in the first draft and sailed soon afterward for France where he went through the harrowing experiences of the war without injury, cooking for 80 men. After the fighting was completely over, in fact, several months later, he was taken seriously ill with pneumonia, and died on January 6, giving his life in the service of his country, not by the enemy’s bullets but by the dread summons of death through disease. He makes one more of Norwalk’s boys, whose name will be placed in gold letters upon the glorious roll of honor board. He was well known in Norwalk and was a member of Norwalk Aerie Number 588 F.O.E. He was before his entrance into the service, a hatter by trade, employed with the Croffut & Knapp Company. He is survived by three sisters and three brothers, Mrs. Sophia Stratton of Danbury; Mrs. Gussie Ghiotto of 9 High Street, Norwalk; Miss Mary Cantoni, also of 9 High Street; John of Spring Hill Avenue; Romeo of 24 High Street, and Anthony, who is in the service in France, now on his way into Germany. The last letter from this soldier, who has so recently passed away, was received on January 9, and at the time he wrote that letter he was in good health.
From The Norwalk Hour August 13, 1921
BODY OF JAMES CANTONI ON THE WAY TO AMERICA
Will Arrive at Hoboken on August 28 and Burial Will Be in Danbury
The body of Head-Cook James Grachina Cantoni who died of influenza on January 16, 1919, at a Paris hospital, after serving through the entire war, will arrive at Hoboken, New Jersey about August 25 according to a telegram received today by John A. Cantoni of Broad Street, brother of the deceased. The telegram was from the Graves Registration Service at Hoboken, advising that the body would be sent from Hoboken to Cornell’s Funeral Parlor on White Street, Danbury, whence funeral arrangements will go forward. The funeral will be held at St. Joseph’s Church in Danbury. Burial will be in the Lake Kenosia Cemetery. Cook Cantoni was a member of Norwalk Aerie, No. 588, F.O.E., and was a hatter by trade, employed by the C & K Hat Company. He was born in Danbury. Surviving him are three sisters and three brothers: Mrs. Sophia Stratton, Danbury; Mrs. Jussio Ghiotto, Norwalk; Miss Mari Cantoni, Norwalk; also John, Romeo, and Anthony all of Norwalk.
Private Cantoni is buried in New Saint Peter Cemetery, 71 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT; Section 1, Lot 69 ½, Grave 6.