Joseph “Joe” Samuel Mansicalco was born in St. Louis to his parents Josephine and Francis Maniscalco. His father was an immigrant from Sicily, Italy while his mother was born in Amercia. He grew up in St. Louis with 5 siblings. Joe’s father passed away when Joe was only ten years old. After only one year of high school Joe enlisted in the US Navy and served from 1945 – 1947.
While in the Navy Joe went to school for parachute rigging in New Jersey and then was sent to California where his tour of duty enabled him to join and play the navy’s baseball team. When asked about ball, he used to say, “I wasn’t just good, I was DAMN GOOD!”
Joe married his wife Jaqueline in 1947 and was married for 67 years when she passed away five years ago. Together they adopted David Edward at 9 months and five years later a daughter, Antoinette Kay at 9 weeks old. After his discharge from the Navy, Joe Drove department store trucks. But for 3 years of his life he owned a tavern on The Hill in St. Louis called Belle Vista. One Christmas his grand daughter asked him how he was able to start up a restaurant without any experience, to which he replied, cutting his hands, “Big Balls.”
Joe spent his last couple of years at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James. There he was a devout Catholic and attended services at regularly. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow Veteran Residents. He also loved their poached eggs and spaghetti and meatballs. In June of 2019 he was nominated by his peers to be featured as Veteran of the Month.
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