They grew up near each other on Webster Street in Riverside.
After they began dating, they walked together from home to Riverside High School.
And when he went off to combat in France in World War II, their letters filled the silence.
When he returned, they were together again. For decade after decade.
On Monday, March 9, Michael Chiaccio, 92, municipal clerk and tax collector for Riverside Township from June 1960 to December 1989, died at Virtua Memorial Hospital - two days after his wife, Elizabeth D'Alessandro Chiaccio, 89, died there.
Though he carried several township responsibilities through the years, daughter Darlene Reppert said, "he always found time for his family. He had a good woman behind him."
Mr. Chiaccio graduated from Riverside High in 1941. He served in the Army infantry during World War II until, wounded in France, he helped process troops to and from their units there.
After being discharged in January 1946, he married Elizabeth D'Alessandro in April 1946.
He took night classes in finance at the Wharton School while working in accounting for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked for the railroad from 1946 to 1960, commuting daily from Riverside, his daughter said.
He helped govern the township as an elected committeeman from January 1955 to June 1960, the first Democrat and the first Italian American to be chosen, she said.
From the time he was 17, he had been a member of Riverside Fire Company 1.
Besides his work as municipal clerk and tax collector, his daughter said, he was custodian of school moneys for the Riverside Township Public School District in the 1960s and secretary of the Riverside Sewerage Authority from June 1960 to December 2014.
Richard Horton, Sewerage Authority chairman, said in an interview that "he served his country and his town very well."
"He was the type of guy that never got angry at anybody," Horton said. "Always tried to help people out."
Elizabeth D'Alessandro graduated from Riverside High in 1942 and, before and after marrying in 1946, worked in administration at the RCA office in Camden until 1955.
Mrs. Chiaccio later worked for 28 years as an administrative assistant to the president and the vice president of the former Riverside Savings & Loan Association.
She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and of the PTA at St. Peter's Church in Riverside.
Besides daughter Darlene Reppert, Mr. and Mrs. Chiaccio are survived by daughters Carolyn Scazzuso and Michele Shelton, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and Mrs. Chiaccio's stepbrother, John.
Life celebrations were set from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 15, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, March 16, both at the Sweeney Funeral Home, 337 Bridgeboro St., Riverside, before a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Peter's Church, 101 Middleton St., Riverside.
Donations may be sent to www.kidney.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.sweeneyfh.com.