He was born on Oct. 21, 1942, and grew up on a farm in Champaign Urbana, Ill. His family moved to Grand Island in 1945, and he lived there ever since.
Puppet attended Bishop Duffy in Niagara Falls and played football for his high school. He was one of the bigger linemen at 6' 4" and 315 pounds, but by chance this small school football team had an offensive line that weighed more than the line of the Buffalo Bills at the time. They won most of their games handily.
After high school, Puppet took up welding and quickly turned his newfound craft into an art form. After working as an ironworker for many years, he eventually switched over to building drag bikes and started a company called Race Visions. His motorcycles soon broke records. He had a huge impact on the drag racing scene, which extends to this day, having built bikes for such renowned riders as Elmer Trett, Brian "SpiderMan" Johnson, Larry McBride, Jim "Da Judge" McClure, Tony Lang, Tommy Smith and many others.
Puppet is the son of James Joseph (deceased 1998) and Dolores (Smith) DiTullio. He leaves behind two daughters and two grandsons: Nicole Buscemi and her sons, Dante and Aiden, of Sierra Visa, Ariz., and Jaimy DiTullio of Albany. He is also survived by two sisters, Judy Penque of Grand Island and Diane Muscoreil of Wilson, and by a brother, Dick DiTullio of Grand Island.
Friends of Puppet are invited to a get-together at the home of Dick and Debi DiTullio at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Their address is 1731 Huth Road, Grand Island. RSVP if attending.