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About Joe Cicchinelli

Joseph Mario Cicchinelli was born on the 27th of August 1923 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Joe’s father Mario left Italy in 1909 and immigrated to the U.S. Mario Cicchinelli was born in 1888 in a place not far from Rome. Before coming to the U.S., Mario also stayed a short periode of time in England, and he spoke English pretty well.

In the same year as when Mario arrived in the U.S. he married a girl named Caroline, but sadly Caroline died in 1918.
With his first wife Caroline, Mario had 3 children: Edith, Caroline and Margaret.
In 1918, Mario was remarried to Philomena and with his second wife he had 7 more children, Mary-Lee, Andy, Frank, Florence, Joe, Tony and Lenora.
Joe’s sister died somewhere in 1927/1928 of tuberculosis.
Joe has vivid memories about the time know as the Great Depression. His father being unemployed, and with all those mouths to feed, everybody in the family had to put in their share. Joe remembers selling newspapers at the age of seven, together with his brother Tony, earning only pennies.
After a week of hard work, Joe would have enough money to buy his father a pack of Five Brothers Tobacco. Joe remembers his mother Philomena as a good wife, provider and cook. Although Joe remembers that, besides having to sell newspapers, he also had to do some small other duties, but most of the duties in and around the house would be done by his many sisters.
Almost at the age of hitting puberty, Joe was faced with the ugly phenomenon of racial issues. Many of times during this period, Joe had to prove himself and he got into fights and learned how to stand his ground.
Joe remembers that somewhere around the 1930’s, he and his family moved to Massillon, Ohio. During the 30’s Joe went to Longfellow Junior High School, after elementary school. In 1941, Joe graduated from Washington High School and discovered his musical skills. Joe loved to play the clarinet and after hard work he finally was able to buy himself a secondhand clarinet and started to take lessons. In the year Joe graduates, he also meets the love of his life, his future wife Jean. Joe remembers meeting his future wife Jean on a festival and describes her as “a pretty blond girl”. At first Jean would have nothing to do with Joe, but after a bet (Joe doesn’t remember what the bet was about), she loses and has to keep her promise to go out on a date with Joe. From that point on, everybody knew that Jean was “Chick’s girl” (Chick is Joe’s nickname). Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Joe joined the Army.