Joseph P.'s Story

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Joseph P. Mesquita, 98, of Gloucester, husband of the late Gertrude (Tarbox) Mesquita, passed away on June 7, 2016, at his home. Joe was born in Gloucester, Mass., on May 4, 1918, son of the late Joseph P. and Edna (Amero) Mesquita. Joe attended Saint Ann's and the Sawyer schools. When Joe was two months old, his father passed away and his grandparents, Capt. Joseph and Mary Mesquita, raised him. Joe was a lifelong member of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. He was employed by Universal Coat Company when he was young, and in 1935 Joe married Gertrude (Gay) from Hamilton, Mass. They were married for over 62 years before she passed away. In 1936, Joe was an AB Seaman aboard the tanker SS Halsie from Boston to Baytown, Texas, then back to Baltimore, Md. He worked for Gorton’s in 1936, in charge of quality control, and retired from Gorton's after many years of service. He went to the Beverly airport in 1940 on the weekends to learn how to fly small planes, Piper Cubs, with Shel Knowles. In 1938 he worked on the crate box loading and unloading lobsters with his Uncle Jim Mesquita in Clarke’s Harbor, Nova Scotia. Joe joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1941 and then went on in 1944 to enlist in the US Marines, where he served proudly during WWII. In 1947 he joined the Sea Scouts where he was stationed at Parris Island, N.C., then was assigned to the pilot Ready Room in Cherry Point, N.C. Joe received shipping notice and was assigned to Marmara, California Air Base to load planes onto the carriers that were sent to the Pacific. After Joe returned to Gloucester, he was a charter member of the AMVETS Post 32 and also a life member of the Elks. He was head of the bowling team of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Annisquam Village. Joe was a Member of the Canadian Dory Races and he started tuna fishing out of Gloucester in the Merrimac Tuna Tournament. He was a member of the Cape Ann Tuna Club and The United States of America Tuna Tournament, where a few years later, Joe captained the Barbara C. Kockham. He fished with Khaki Rose on the “Four Roses” where he caught a 785-pound tuna. Joe was a board member of the Gloucester Housing Authority and enjoyed playing softball for the Cape Ann Vets with Earle Foote. Joe’s grandfather, Capt. Joseph Mesquita, purchased the original crown used for the crownings which is still used to this day and displayed in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Joe is survived by his daughter, Donna (Danielle) Mesquita; nieces, Sharon Bertolino and Sandra Doucette; cousins, Bennie Rose, David Rose, Elmer Miller and many others. He was predeceased by his daughter, Cynthia (Mesquita) Cooney, wife of the late Harold "Kippy" Cooney, and their son, David Cooney; his aunt, Mary Mesquita, married to Captain John Dalmar, Frances Doucette and her husband, Able Doucette; and his cousin, Rosalie Harty.
At Joe’s request there will be no visiting hours. His Memorial Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, 142 Prospect St., Gloucester, on Friday July 8, at 11 a.m. Family and friends are cordially invited. His burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery on Poplar Street. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Office of Veteran’s Services, City Hall, 9 Dale Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930. Please make checks payable to “Veteran’s Services." Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, MA. Online condolences may be given at www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
Published on  July 5, 2016
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