THE HORSE SOLDIER IS SADDENED TO ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF ANDY DeCUSATI

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Andy DeCusati, a longtime employee of The Horse Soldier, passed peacefully on June 4, 2024 following a brief but valiant fight against pancreatic cancer.

Andy was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. As a young boy growing up he had two passions, his faith and the Civil War. In September of 1979 Andy decided he wanted to be an infantryman like his Civil War heroes, so he joined the United States Marine Corps. After all, isn't the Marine dress blue uniform similar to the Union uniform? A dark blue coat with sky-blue trousers. (Guess you can tell which side he favored!) After graduation from high school he began active duty on June 24, 1980. While in the Marines he got his wish and served as an infantryman in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division and saw a good part of the world. Just like the Marine Corps hymn says, Andy was "in every clime and place" but never had to fire a shot in anger. Upon being discharged from active duty in July of 1983 he returned to New Haven.

In 1986 he married Lori Paige of Milford, Connecticut. Andy and Lori had two sons Joseph, born in 1990 (who followed his father’s footsteps into the Marine Corps) and James born in 1995. In September of 1996, the couple packed up the boys and left New Haven and moved to Gettysburg, Pa. Andy’s employment with The Horse Soldier began in 1997.  He worked full time until Lori's unexpected death in 2000. At that time he left The Horse Soldier for another position that would give him more time with his boys. With the help of friends he was able to return to The Horse Soldier part time weekends.

In 2002, Lisa Mattson, also a Horse Soldier employee, and Andy were married, bonding initially over a shared love of history – particularly after finding that the 2 regiments they were each most interested in were in the same brigade and fought shoulder to shoulder at Gettysburg.  They also shared a deep love for Gettysburg, as both moved here from elsewhere, as well as exploring other historical sites, books, old movies, and anything chocolate. They were married nearly 22 years at the time of his death.

Andy returned to full time employment at the shop, helping customers, writing item descriptions for the web page, and occasionally manning the front counter. His faith was still his main passion with American Military History second. He had a huge wealth of knowledge of history and militaria spanning a large range, from the Roman Empire through World War II, and was always happy and enthusiastic about sharing what he knew.

He was also a published author, penning a heartfelt book about his cousin, Joseph De Cusati of New Haven, CT, who was killed in action while on a bombing mission over Germany. He was the only member of his ten man crew to be killed, and was the last man in his squadron to die in World War Two. Initially buried in the American Military Cemetery in Cambridge, England, his body was returned to the United States after the war and laid to rest in New Haven. Over the years, Joe's name and his story slipped into oblivion.  Andy recorded his discovery of Joe's existence and extensive research into Joe's history, his military service and his death while serving as a radio operator on a B-24 nicknamed "Linda Lou".

Andy was very well liked and had a large and varied collection of friends.  He will be sorely missed.

A memorial service and military burial are being planned; we will update once plans are set.

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