A Tribute to World War II Veteran Joseph Molinaro

By Ricky Freni

During this time of Memorial Day observances for those individuals who served their country bravely in World War II, Ricky Freni wrote the following tribute to his father-in-law, Joseph Molinaro

Joseph Molinaro enlisted at the early age of 16 years old. He couldn’t wait to be 18 as his buddies were already in the military.

He grew up on Cottage Street in East Boston, playing baseball and working odd jobs before joining the Navy. He was trained at the Bainbridge Maryland Naval base and served on the USS Wilkes Barre and then the USS Little Rock.  He loved the Navy and stayed in touch with his Navy brothers through the years. He looked forward to their reunions in Buffalo, N.Y., where the USS Little Rock is docked and now a museum.

While in the Navy he served as an artillery expert repairing and maintaining the weapons. He also loved to box and was a Golden Gloves champ during his service in the Navy. After leaving the service, he helped build the Progressive Club in East Boston and also finished school.

He worked for the MWRA for over 30 years. He also worked as an usher at the Boston Garden for 30 years. He was a longtime member of St Mary’s Holy Name Society and help started the Little Ricky Foundation for Autism.

He loved to sing, and he had a great set of pipes. He also loved to golf and would enjoy his trips with his old East Boston and Revere friends, but his true love was his wife, Josephine, with whom he shared 63 wonderful years of marriage. Their children Jodi, Carol, Joe, and Peter provided him many grandchildren which he adored. “Marlo,” as he was affectionately referred to by his friends and family, will never be forgotten as he brought laughter and stories when he walked into a room with his never- ending smile and his famous, “Hey my pal”. His military service made him the incredible man he became over the next 67 years. Joseph “Marlo” Molinaro was one of the great ones. He would give you his last two bucks if you needed it. He would put everyone before himself. He was a man’s man and is truly missed by his family and friends. God bless Joseph Molinaro, World War II Veteran and a man who loved America.

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