Specialist Paul J. Sturino, 21, Rice Lake, Wis., died Sept. 22, 2003, in Iraq while serving with the 101st U. S. Army Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles” out of Ft. Campbell, Ky.
He was born Sept. 14, 1982, at Cumberland, Wis., to Dino and Christine (Peer) Sturino. He grew up in the Barron County area and was a 2001 graduate of Rice Lake High School. In his senior year, he also attended welding classes at WITC-Rice Lake under the youth option program and received a certificate in welding.
While in high school, he excelled in wrestling, lettering in a sport that he had participated in since third grade.
He was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Haugen. A veteran of the Iraq war, he was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and ice fishing and working on cars and trucks.
He enlisted in the U. S. Army after graduation. He completed basic training and advanced training in field artillery at Ft. Sill, Okla. He was transferred to Ft. Campbell, Ky., where he received paratrooper training. He was then deployed to Iraq in March of 2003.
Surviving are his mother and stepfather, Christine and Roy Wetzel of Rice Lake; his father, Dino Sturino (fiancé Christine Straate) of Elm Grove; a brother Alonzo Sturino (U. S. Army stationed in El Paso, Texas; a sister, Amy Sturino of Rice Lake; stepsister, Amy (Chris) Bauer of Chetek; stepbrother, Wade Wetzel of Hudson; maternal grandparents, Marilyn and Arnold Peer and maternal great-grandmother, Mildred Anderson, all of Cumberland; and his paternal grandmother, Gloria Sturino of Kenosha.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, George Sturino.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday from Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Haugen, with Father Dave Obert and Rev. Rick Lund officiating. Burial with full military rites will follow at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spooner.
Visitation Tuesday, Sept. 30, from 4-8 p.m. at the Jarocki Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Rice Lake, and also at the church on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.