Friday, August 9, 2013

The Friday Five - In Memoriam

17. March 1919 - 4. August 2013
Last Sunday, my dad quietly passed away. He was 94 years old. Five facts about my dad.

1. Dad served in the Army Air Corps. during World War II. Attained the rank of Sergeant. He was in New Guinea and the Philippines. Was in the battle of Luzon. Dad got to be with his hero, General MacArthur. Pulled sentry duty to guard the General's residence in Manilla and occasionally chauffeured the General in his staff car.

An amusing story Dad told was while on sentry duty. Mrs. MacArthur and young son accompanied the General to Manilla after the island was retaken and secured. She didn't like to see the guard soldiers standing out in the rain, so she had the General order a small shelter to be built. After a long day of drilling Dad was sitting down while on guard duty when a Major came by. The Major called Dad on the carpet for sitting down and then roared, "And where did you get the chair?" "Mrs. MacArthur brought the chair to me, sir..." The Major threw his hands up in the air and walked away.

2. In 1951, Dad graduated from Portia School of Law (now New England School of Law) and in April of that year, passed the bar exam. Though he practiced general law, his specialty was criminal law. In 1968, he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. Not many lawyers attain this. The highlight of his trip to Washington DC, was a tour of  Speaker of the House, John McCormack's office (Mr. McCormack was from Massachusetts) and the House of Representatives. Dad was also invited to sit in the Speaker's chair in the House. In 1970, Dad was admitted to practice before the U.S Military Court of Appeals.

3. He was a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and a District Deputy. Loved history, political debate and politics; was a Town Meeting member. He self-published a political newsletter, The Iconoclast, and was instrumental in getting Proposition 2 1/2 passed.

4. When I first saw the picture of Dad as a young man (taken when he was about 20 years old), I thought with his dark eyes and thick, wavy, dark hair, he resembled the actor, Tyrone Power. Dad loved that. comparison.

5. Besides the law, Dad's passion was singing, and he had a beautiful voice. He had some classical training and wanted to be the next Pavarotti. He sang in his church choir, and his signature solo was Schubert's Ave Maria. He also sang with the Senior Center Goldenaires and eventually became the musical director. I have no doubt Dad will be taking over as the director of the Heavenly Choir.

He was wicked smaht and a fun guy to be with. Click on Joseph Todisco to read his obit.

I'll miss you, Pal, and yeah, you were as handsome as Tyrone Power.


  1. My heart goes out to you.
    I wish you the strength and grace to get through this time.
    Look after yourself too.

  2. I'm so sorry that your Dad has passed away. Thoughts are with you.

  3. Hi De. I'm SO sorry. I remember soooo many visits to your house, my second home in high school, and how your Dad always smiled. Remember visiting him at his Boston office when we took the T into the city one day? And, I'll never forget how you were with me at my Dad's wake on your birthday in 1981; now I wish I could be there for you. Your tribute is wonderful - how did I not know he loved to sing?! Sending you so many hugs across the miles.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, CJ. Sending you many virtual {{{hugs}}} and prayers.