ASHTABULA — Joseph Anthony “Papa Joe” Mozzocco, age 91, of Ashtabula, Ohio, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.
Papa Joe was born to Nicola and Lucia (Colantino) Mozzocco in Ashtabula, Ohio, on July 22, 1921.
A Veteran, Joe proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and three Bronze Stars. Previous to the war, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Joe retired from the City of Ashtabula and served many a drink as a bartender at the Enricco Fermi, Blue Skies and the Crows Nest.
He was an avid sportsman, playing semi-pro football for the Ashtabula Triangles; and played and managed many competitive fast pitch softball teams in the area. Joe was a life-long New York Yankee fan, Connecticut Ladies basketball, and the Cleveland Browns. In latter years, Joe was a passionate Bocce player, participating in leagues in Ashtabula and Erie. He enjoyed passing his knowledge of the game to beginners. PaPa was honored with Bricks bearing his name in the walkways of the Alta House in Little Italy, Cleveland and the Wickliffe ITAM Club.
He was a lifetime member of East Ashtabula Club, Sons of Italy of America 1169, and a proud member of the La Nouvo Aurora Society in Erie, Pa.
Papa Joe was a humble man who celebrated life daily and where ever he traveled he made friends. Never known for being a patient man, he was a loving and caring father and the love for his grandchildren was limitless.
Survivors include his daughters, Sharon (Tim) Hensley and Lauri Henson; sons, Larry (Tara) Mozzocco, Bobby (Bonnie) Thompson and John (Deb) Vocca; grandsons, J. Caleb and Josh Mozzocco; granddaughters, Samantha (Grant) Walker, Jodi (Tony) Pasanen, Lucia and Lydia Mozzocco; great-grandchildren, Clara and Lily Walker, Ally, Delaney and A.J. Pasanen; brother-in-law, Sam Calabris; sister-in-law, Vicki Mozzocco; and numerous nieces and nephews.