January 6, 1916 (New York) – August 10, 1998 (Norwalk, CT); 82 years old
Married Angela Bonati (1917-2004) on October 19, 1946, in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Three daughters Lisa L. LaMorte Eastright (1947-), Nancy D. LaMorte Tillson (1952-), and Christina “Tina” LaMorte Spangenberg (1959-).
Local address: Tierney Street, 24 Orchard Street, 1 Quincy Street, 5 Outlook Drive, 5 Skytop Drive, and 199 Gregory Blvd, D-2; all in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Enlisted on September 8, 1941.
Discharged on August 29, 1945.
MOS: 521, Basic Training – Armored; 055, Clerk; 814, Operations NCO
Unit: 14th Armored Infantry, 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion
Born to Daniel J. [born in Italy] (1892-1982) and Laura Tozzi LaMorte (1892-1966). Two sisters, Lucy LaMorte Hill (1918-2013) and Rose N. LaMorte Arciola Thompson (1926-1999). One brother, Francis [also served during WWII] (1924-2017).
Norwalk High School Class of ’34
Photo provided by Tina LaMorte, daughter of Nicholas.
Nicholas, his mother, and his 8 years younger brother Francis “Frank”, who was also in the Army years later; photo from Tina Lamorte.
Graduated from Norwalk High School in 1934, NYU in 1938, and Hartford College of Law in 1941.
Injured on November 24, 1944, in France. Recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. Also the recipient of the European – African – Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon with one service star, the American Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Ribbon.
From The Norwalk Hour March 23, 1942
Private Nicholas LaMorte, a local attorney, has been transferred from Fort Knox to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel LaMorte of 1 Quincy Street. Private Nick, in a letter to this department, writes as follows:
“I’ve arrived at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas by motor convoy across Kentucky and Tennessee, after having spent six months in Fort Knox. It certainly felt good to be on the move again even though I wound up 600 miles further away from the glorious state of Connecticut. I’ve been getting The Hour steadily and I always look forward to reading the News From Camp Column. I’m sorry that I have not written more often, but I doubly regret that many other Norwalkers have not written once in a while. I’ll probably write enough now to fill a book. First of all, let me say that my greatest regret in leaving Fort Knox (perhaps I should say it is my only regret) is my separation from five grand buddies, Bill Ripley, whom most Norwalkers know and who incidentally is now a Corporal which is only a beginning for him; Lew Henry who is toiling in the reproduction department and soon will be a Staff Sergeant; Andy Flasko from Fairfield and John O’Brien from Waterbury, both of whom Norwalkers will remember played basketball in Norwalk during their Christmas furloughs; Andy is now a Corporal and has been chosen to enter Officers’ Candidate School on the Post and John is an expert gunner and tank mechanic and will join me in two months; and there is Walt Provencher, who comes from Maine but who will probably settle down in Connecticut after hearing Andy extol on the virtues of Fairfield and three Norwalkers guffaw and start praising Norwalk and then O’Brien put in a weak word for Waterbury. Well, I left other Norwalkers at Fort Knox, among them, Ike Lee and Tony Federici, both cooks, and Corporal John Dennin from Wilton, who is assistant postmaster. They are in the school area, and thus I have not had many chances to see them as when we were in the Replacement Center. By the way, two days before I left, Colonel Keeler and Mr. Foote dropped in and paid me a visit and it was a real pleasure to see them; they were on their way to Florida, but they came to Knox to check up on the gold situation. I showed them the way to the Replacement Center where we visited some more Norwalkers in the 8th Battalion; all the Connecticut boys there were more than happy to see the Connecticut markers. If I see any more Norwalkers here or any other things of interest, I shall let you know promptly. I trust that this has been read by some friends of mine in some distant camp and that they will soon write you and let me know about them.”
From The Norwalk Hour December 12, 1944
T-SGT NICK LAMORTE BREAKS LEG IN FRANCE
TSgt Nicholas D. LaMorte, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel LaMorte, 1 Quincy Street, was injured in France on November 24th according to a telegram received by his parents from the War Department. In a letter, Sgt LaMorte relates he broke his right leg while he with other members of his company were in the woodlands seeking out Germans. They received instructions to retire from the woods and while the Americans were on their way out, LaMorte’s right leg turned under him when he struck a soft spot of terrain. LaMorte asks his folks not to worry about him as he is receiving good care.
From The Norwalk Hour March 13, 1945
SGT LAMORTE NOW IN HALLORAN HOSPITAL
Technical Sergeant Nicholas LaMorte, who was wounded in action in France in November, arrived in the United States yesterday morning for treatment at Halloran Hospital, Staten Island, and within a few hours after receipt of a War Department telegram telling of his arrival, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel LaMorte of Quincy Street, and other members of the family were en route to greet the local soldier. TSgt LaMorte, a Norwalk attorney before he went into the service, sustained a broken leg among other injuries. He recently received the Purple Heart Medal. In addition to his parents, relatives who went to visit with him yesterday were his sisters, Miss Rose LaMorte and Mrs. William A. Hill, and his aunt, Mrs. Rose Noviello.
From The Norwalk Hour February 11, 1976
Nicholas D. LaMorte Masters The Game For Great Many Years
Nicholas D. LaMorte of Norwalk was introduced to the checkerboard by his father at an early age. Mr. LaMorte has never hardly ever left it when he is seeking a means of relaxation. He has acquired skills and abilities, which have led to a record of winning over a period of 40 years.
“My father was a very good checker player… I learned the fundamentals of the game from him when I was about 10 years old…and eventually, I was able to occasionally beat him at the game, Mr. LaMorte said, he and his father, Daniel A. LaMorte who lives in Florida, and at 83 is still keenly alert and active, when they meet during vacation periods still enjoy sitting down to a few good games of checkers.
Mr. LaMorte pointed out that there is “absolutely no degree of luck” involved when two skilled players compete in the game. For, unlike card playing, both players have all 24 checkers on the board at the beginning of the game and every move emphatically counts, with the first few basic moves invariably foretelling the probable outcome of the game.
In fondly recalling the summer of 1935, when he was on vacation from college, Mr. LaMorte said he operated a checker concession at Roton Point Park, at a fee of 10 cents a game. He remembers that he won 93 consecutive checker contests, taking on all comers often a half-dozen or more players at a time, collecting the sum of $9.30, which he said was quite a lot of money for a day’s work during those middle-depression years.
Beginning as a 19-year-old college student, Mr. LaMorte soon mastered the many variations of checker playing. He said he always liked competing against top players, and over the years he has met and held to a draw or defeated YMCA, state, and Army checker champions, and on several occasions, even world or former world champion checker players.
Mr. LaMorte recalled that when the great master of checkers, Millard Hopper, a long-time world champion, was demonstrating his superb skill in the game in Army camps during World War II, he played Mr. Hopper a game each night for three successive nights and managed to hold the great player to three draws in three games.
“I had read his books and carefully studied his various techniques of playing the game,” Mr. LaMorte reflected.” And previously…when I was attending law school…I had a similar experience at the Hartford YMCA, where I competed against another world champion of the game, the famous William Ryan, and our game ended in a draw!”
Mr. LaMorte says he also has read several books on the game written by Mr. Ryan. And in acquiring a considerable degree of knowledge of various techniques and strategies in playing the game, he soon became a master of the checkerboard.
Mr. LaMorte modestly recalled one amusing and unforgettable occasion when he played against a robot in Stamford. The mechanical man playing with amazing skill in making quick, methodically correct moves, easily defeated his Norwalk challenger.
“And you couldn’t cheat in a game…if you did, the robot would wipe the checkers from the board in one swift move of his metal claw-like hand,” Mr. LaMorte reflected.
In emphasizing the fact that most anyone who is interested in acquiring a high degree of proficiency as a skilled checker player, can easily do so within a reasonably short period of time.
Mr. LaMorte outlined the important rudiments that a novice player could learn and study; thoroughly familiarize himself with the basic, preliminary moves and stages of play development o the board; he must read everything available in the local libraries on the subject, thereby becoming a real student of the game; and equally important, one must play constantly, competing against the best players around.
Mr. LaMorte, who said he has always found checkers to be a great relaxing pastime and recreation used to display his amazing skill in the game by playing as many as a half-dozen competitors at the same time, often in a series of contests in the same day.
Over the past 45 years, Mr. LaMorte has compiled a fabulous total of winning games. He has also demonstrated his superior skill in many exhibitions, especially while on vacation in Florida.
Mr. LaMorte, who graduated from Norwalk High School in the Class of 1934, received his BA degree from New York University in 1938, and was awarded his law degree from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1941, has been a practicing attorney in the Norwalk area since 1945.
In September 1941, after having successfully passed the state bar examination, he entered the U.S. Army for duty in World War II. He served with the 6th and 14th Armored Divisions in the European Theatre until the end of the conflict and received his discharge in September 1945.
Married in 1946 to Angela Bonati of Norwalk, he and his wife have three daughters – Mrs. Robert (Lisa) Eastright, of Norwalk, a teacher in the Old Greenwich Elementary School in Old Greenwich; Mrs. David (Nancy) Tillson, of Norwalk, a teacher of Spanish at Brien McMahon High School and Miss Christina LaMorte who attends Norwalk High School.
Mr. LaMorte has a brother, Francis J. LaMorte, of Norwalk, and two sisters, Mrs. Rose Thompson of California, and Mrs. William (Lucy) Hill, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who, Mr. LaMorte said, also excels at checker-playing. Mr. and Mrs. LaMorte reside at 199 Gregory Boulevard, East Norwalk.
Buried in Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section 19, Plot 186. Photo from findagrave.com.