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.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife, Clara (Thompson) Mozzocco; son, Joseph Anthony Mozzocco II; sisters, Rose “ Dolly” Knuebel and Lydia Calabris; kid brother, Nick M. Mozzocco; nephews, Ricky Knuebel and Brian Calabris; and his parents.
The family would like to Thank the following for their dedication and care, the Hospice of the Western Reserve, especially Rochelle Goodwin; and the staff at ACMC, Dr. James Lambros, Dr. James Cho, Dr. Yisa Summonu and Dr. Heniff, Coleen Kabrinski RN, Amanda Gilmore NA, and Don Shaughnessy.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated 12 p.m., Noon, on Saturday, July 6th, in Our Lady of Peace Parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, with burial to follow in Saint Joseph Cemetery.
Visitation will be Friday evening, July 5th, from 5 to 8 p.m. at GUERRIERO FUNERAL HOME, 1550 West 19th St., Ashtabula, who has charge of arrangements.
Obituary and condolences at starbeacon.com.