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Peter Marasco


Peter Marasco passed away peacefully on February 14, 2022, at Wesley Acres in Des Moines. His extraordinary life reflected his creativity, drive, and charisma; he turned dreams into realities with hard work. He had a deep love for his family and cherished his friendships. Visitation for Peter will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church on February 21, 2022, at 10 AM, followed by mass at 11 AM. Interment of ashes will be held at Glendale Cemetery the following day at 10 AM.


Peter was born on October 22, 1932, to Umberto and Rosa Theresa Marasco in Soveria Mannelli, Italy, where he spent his childhood. Leaving Italy in 1956, even before getting his citizenship, he was drafted into the U S Army. He served honorably and proudly in Germany from 1957 to 1959.


Peter came from Italy speaking no English but left this earth with two college degrees from Drake University. Peter taught art in California and in Iowa. His students remember him fondly as the teacher they would never forget. While Peter was good at shaping minds and hearts, he was also good at shaping art himself, creating numerous large sculptures across the Des Moines area. His most recent sculpture was commissioned by the City of Clive for Campbell Park, on the street where he lived.


Peter loved his adoptive country but left part of his heart in Italy. In Soveria Mannelli he enjoyed lingering over five-hour meals with friends, taking passegiatas on Corso Garibaldi, and feasting on figs and chestnuts. Pete’s love for Italy brought him to help find and establish a sister city for Des Moines: The Province of Catanzaro in Calabria, Italy. He leaves many close friends there.


Peter and Anna traveled extensively, frequently with family or close friends. Nevertheless, in the summertime when Canada called, Peter headed to the wild, vast lakes of Ontario and Manitoba, where he searched for ever bigger walleye and northern pike.


In his civic life, Peter had been a member of the Knights of Columbus, the former Stemma d’Italia, and Society of Italian-Americans, where he served as secretary.


Peter is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Anna, son Albert, daughter Emily (William) Ricke; grandchildren Brandi, Riley, Peter, Isabella, and Elena; brother Camillio Marasco and sister Ricky Harkin; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Peter’s memory may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Church, which will send the contributions to the Church of San Giovanni Battista in Soveria Mannelli.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the caregivers at Wesley’s John’s Harbor, who cared for him like family.