OBITUARY

Lucille Rita Scurzi

March 26, 1919December 23, 2020
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Lucille Rita Maffucci Scurzi, 101 of Temple, TX passed away December 23, 2020 in Temple. She was born March 26, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York to Michele Maffucci and Rosa Toglia Maffucci. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, Temple. Funeral services will be held at 8:30am on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at St. Luke's Catholic Church, Temple. Burial will be held at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery at a later date. She married Joseph Ralph Scurzi June 14, 1943. Her brothers and sisters were: Jessie Maffucci Ambrosio, Jean Maffucci Deil, James Maffucci, and Rose Maffucci Hadala (all deceased). Lucille graduated from Richmond Hills High School in Queens, NY in 1936. She majored in French (3 years) and won multiple awards in French. After high school, Lucille had to work to help support the family. She went to work in New York at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency – and worked there 7 ½ years. She started out counting paper ballots for the Major Bowes Amateur Hour. She often saw Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis, Carmen Miranda and other famous people who came into the office. She worked for Mrs. Nelson, who was a radio time buyer (only 3 networks at that time). When WWII broke out and the men went to fight, she became a Junior Executive in charge of radio estimating. She had a private office in the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Ave & 43rd Street in Manhattan. She would ride the train an hour to work and home every day – going through Grand Central Station to the Graybar Building. Lucille met Joseph Ralph Scurzi at a skating rink in Cypress Hills in Brooklyn, New York. Joe used to skate backwards so he could look at the girls skating. One day Lucille caught his eye! They dated a couple of years and became engaged in 1942. That same year, the war broke out after Pearl Harbor. Joe joined the Army Air Corps and wanted to fly. The army signed him up and sent him home and told him they’d let him know when they had training schools available. He was eventually called up and went to flight school. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant and received his silver wings May 20, 1943 in the Army Air Corp (became the U.S. Air Force). Joe was stationed in Washington State after graduation. Lucille took a train from New York to Spokane, WA to meet up with Joe to get married. Her boss at JWT arranged for a room for her in Spokane at the Hotel Davenport. The next day after she arrived, she went to the Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in Spokane to make arrangements to get married. She got the call from Joe that he could get away. He actually went AWOL and took a bus to Spokane. He checked into the Davenport in a separate room and the next day they went to the Cathedral to get married. Monday morning, July 14, 1943, the priest conducted a nuptial mass for them. Two sisters who worked in the church were their sponsors. There was a photo studio in the hotel and they were able to get pictures taken of them on their wedding day (they were glad they took time for that otherwise they would not have any pictures of their wedding day). Joe had to leave right away after that, so they did not get a honeymoon. Lucille was all alone in the hotel room after Joe left to go back to his base. The maid in the hotel realized she was alone and introduced her to some people from Texas, Captain and Mrs. Godbey. They felt so sorry for her being alone on her wedding night, so they took her out to the Officer’s Club at the base dinner and a movie (Mission to Moscow). That was how Lucille spent their “honeymoon”. Lucille stayed about a week in Spokane in the hotel and then rented a room in Euphrata near Moses Lake for a weekend. Lucille then went back to Spokane and Joe was sent to Salt Lake City, Utah for more training. Lucille and the wife of Joe’s bombardier, Jeanne Henry, followed their husbands where ever they were sent for training. Joe was so good, he was chosen to be first pilot, so he was sent to multiple places for special training. There was about six months of trainings in Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, and Muroc, California in the desert. The wives would get small apartments where the men were in training, and the men would join them when they could. The last place they went was to Hamilton Field in San Francisco, California, where they said goodbye to their husbands, not knowing where they were going or how long they would be apart. In December 1943, Joe left to fight in the war (it was a secret where he was going). Lucille thought they would fly to the Pacific area, but found out later that they actually flew around the coast of Florida and across the Atlantic to North Africa, Libya, then up to Italy. Joe was with the 15th Air Force and lived in tents outside in the mud near Foggia, Italy. Lucille went back to New York and lived in her mother’s house at 389 Crescent Street. They made the living room into her bedroom. She had a phone put in (their first phone). She went to work for Sperry Gyroscope working with figures in downtown Brooklyn, New York. After she got back to New York, she received a V-mail from Joe which said “Tomorrow I fly my 50th mission and then I’ll be coming home. Nothing can stop me now”. Six weeks after the V-mail, Lucille received a Western Union telegram saying Joe’s plane had been shot down on August 6, 1944 and he was missing in action. Lucille kept working and her boss worked her so hard so she wouldn’t be thinking all the time about Joe being MIA. It was agonizing wondering what had happened to Joe, was he alive, was he a POW? Six weeks went by with no word. Then on September, 20, 1944 she got a phone call at home at 6:00 in the morning – it was Joe and he was calling from the Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. He told her what happened to him: his plane was shot down over Yugoslavia. The crew parachuted out of the burning plane, and the plane landed in a tree. His ankle was severely injured when he landed. Luckily, the Chetniks (Yugoslavs) got to Joe first. They rescued him and put him in a wagon and covered him with hay to hide him. They prearranged with the Americans to take Joe and keep him until the Americans in Italy could fly in to get him. Joe was taken from Italy in September 1944 and flown to the Army Regional Hospital in Coral Gables Florida. The military had converted the Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida into a military hospital, and that is where Joe finally was taken. When they were checking him in, he got off a gurney and hopped to a pay phone to call Lucille. She had no idea if he was dead or alive, and she was so happy to hear from him. They operated on Joe’s ankle and told him he was going to be in the hospital a long time. So, Lucille flew to Florida and the Red Cross got her a room across from the hotel/hospital. Joe would hobble across the road, or use crutches, to see Lucille (this is when Bob was conceived). After six months, Joe was released from the hospital. In April 1945, Joe and Lucille went to Atlantic City, New Jersey for R&R before reporting to Bakersfield, California for Joe’s next assignment. They rented a house in Oildale, California. By this time, they knew that Lucille was pregnant with Bob. Shortly after arriving in California, they found out the Joe had San Joaquin Fever (Valley Fever) and they put Joe in the hospital in Bakersfield. He was in the hospital a long time, and it was getting close to Lucille’s due date. The doctor didn’t think she could have a natural delivery because she was so small, so they scheduled a C-section at the end of June 1945. Joe’s uncle Dick Scurzi and Aunt Dora had Lucille come and stay with them in San Francisco since Joe was still in the hospital. Lucille’s water broke on July 11th, so Dick’s wife Dora called Dr. Stangolini who said to meet them at the hospital. Outside, Dick said “St. Francis” and the taxi driver asked “hospital or hotel?” Here is a very pregnant Lucille in early labor and Dick says “hospital of course”. The chief of obstetrics checked Lucille and told her he thought she could deliver naturally. She was so disappointed….she really wanted a painless delivery. She labored a long time, and Bob was born at 4:25 am on July 12, 1945. Dick and Dora had been trying to have a baby and couldn’t so they decided to adopt. The day after Bob was born, Dick and Dora received their baby boy, Jimmy Scurzi. He was born on July 13, 1945. So, there were two newborn babies in the house. Joe was still in the hospital in Bakersfield, but was granted emergency leave so he could come and see is new son. Joe was in the hospital for another month. When he was released, Joe and Lucille and baby Bob moved to Bakersfield. They lived in the guesthouse of a mansion. Lucille remembers they had an earthquake about a month after moving to Bakersfield. After Bakersfield in May of 1949, they moved to Mather AFB in Sacramento, California. They lived in the Yolo Apartments (where Bob learned to walk and got a Red Flyer wagon). Next, they moved to Auburn, California where they lived in a log cabin resort. Lucille and Bob stayed there while Joe was sent TDY to Selma, Alabama for instrument school. Before reporting to Selma for school, they went to New York to see family for Christmas. They stayed with Lucille’s sister Jean Deil. Jean took care of little Bobby while Joe and Lucille went out. They went to the Bert Parks show in the NBC Studio, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. That night, the show was “Why You Think You Deserve a Second Honeymoon”. Joe, so handsome and in uniform, was picked and told the story about how Lucille traveled all the way from New York to Spokane, Washington on a train by herself, how he had to sneak off base to meet her in Spokane to get married, how he had to go back right away so he wouldn’t get caught being AWOL, and his being sent off to war, being shot down, injured, and they never had a honeymoon. Of course, he won!!! They brought Lucille on stage, gave her two dozen red roses and a Poodle puppy. They also won a Keystone movie camera and a suit from Saks Fifth Avenue. They won a trip to the Poconos at a mountain resort with a heart shaped bed and mirrors on the ceiling. That night they went to the Copa Cabana where Vic Damone sang “Slow Boat to China” and Joey Lewis performed too. It was very exciting for them. After school in Alabama they went back to Sacramento, California to Mather Field. Joe’s next duty station was Guam. In February 1950, Lucille and Bob went to back to Mama’s house in New York to wait until a house was ready for them in Guam. Joe let them know their house, a Quonset hut, was ready so Lucille and Bob took a train to San Francisco then took a ship, the Darby, to Guam. In June 1950, the Korean war broke out and they stopped allowing family members to travel to and from Guam. Lucille and Bob just barely got to be able to be with Joe in Guam, and they stayed on Guam during the Korean war (June 18, 1950 to December 1951). While on Guam, Joe flew air to sea rescue missions where B-17’s dropped boats down to rescue people. He also frequently flew to Japan. Lucille and Bob went on a trip to the Philippines on a ship with their friends the Webster’s. They stayed at the same hotel in Manilla where General McArthur stayed. The family left Guam on the Sultan (with a stop in Hawaii) on their way to Ft. Carson, Colorado. They lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado from December 1951 – March 30, 1952 where Bob went to first grade. In April 1952, they moved to Reno, Nevada and lived in the Arroyo Street duplex. Bob went to Veterans Memorial School for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. Bob went to Southside School for 4th and 5th grades from 9/54 to 6/56, and 6th grade at Otis Vaughn from 9/56-11/56. In December 1956, they moved to Rabat, Morocco. They were on the ocean on the Upshur for Christmas. They sat at the Captain’s table since Joe was the Troop Commander on the ship. Joe was attaché’ to the American Embassy in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. They lived on the economy at #9 Rue Branly (Aviation) where they had a large concrete wall around the villa with broken glass on top for protection. They had a gardener and a maid. Bob went to 6th through 8th grades there from 1/57 to 6/59. They were able to travel to Italy, Austria, Germany, England, and France from Morocco on vacations. In August 1959, they left Morocco and flew on a C-121 to Charleston, South Carolina. They visited New York and New Jersey on their way to their new assignment at Ellsworth Airforce Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. In September 1959, they stayed in the Tip Top Motel apartments while their house on 4821 Capital Street was being built. In January 1960, they moved in to their new house in the South Conway area. In September 1961, Joe became the Deputy Base Commander and they had to sell their house and move on base (Wherry housing). Bob went to high school in Rapid City until they built a high school on base. Bob was in the first graduating class of Douglas High School in 1963. Bob went to Black Hills State College in Rapid City for 3 years. In June 1966, Joe was promoted to Colonel and was transferred to Warren AFB in Cheyanne, Wyoming. Bob joined the army in 1966 and Joe retired from the Air Force in April 1968. Joe and Lucille moved to Orlando, Florida November 18, 1968 where they built a house and lived for 32 years. Joe started looking for things he wanted to do and went to work for AG Edwards and became a stock broker. He didn’t like the selling part, but liked working with stocks. So, he quit and went to work as manager of the State Food Stamp distribution center. He worked for the State for a few years. He then became a board member at the Navy Credit Union. He was the treasurer and then became the Chairman. He was very successful as the chairman, where he invested the credit union’s money and did very well. He was required to take business trips and attend annual national conventions for the credit union, and Lucille got to go along. They traveled to places like Nashville, Atlanta, San Diego, Atlantic City, and Reno. Joe loved to play golf and was an avid bridge player. Lucille loved to entertain and was a marvelous cook. People loved her Italian food! She was always involved in the Officer’s Wives functions. She was in charge of the Fashion Shows, and modeled in the shows. She loved clothes and wore them beautifully (she still does!). She has always loved singing and dancing and is an excellent ballroom dancer. She and Joe loved to dance together. She was also a member of Red Hat Society. Unfortunately, Joe got lung cancer and stopped working. He went through strong chemotherapy and then did low-dose maintenance chemo for quite a while. He did well for many years. In June of 2000, Joe and Lucille moved to the Meridian Retirement Community in Temple, Texas. Lucille soon became invaluable to the Meridian as a tour guide for prospective residents, showing them the cottages and apartments. She took over administration of the Meridian Singers and the Red Hat group. She loved the dinner dances that were frequently held. On August 26, 2002, Joe passed away. He was buried with honors at the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas. In March 2019, Lucille celebrated her 100th birthday with many friends and family. The staff at the Meridian did a wonderful job of making her feel special, and family helped to make it a great party. The local news station came and did a beautiful segment on her that showed on the news and was posted on Facebook. Family and friends who came from out of town were: Granddaughter from Alabama Cindy Chancey, husband Greg, children Judd, Abbykate, and Jackson and Cindy’s mother Harriet; nieces from North Carolina Jane Dickens and Jo Ann Sauter (they surprised her); great nephew from Houston Brian Dickens and his girlfriend Helina; nephew from California Bill Hadala; great-nephew from Dallas William Michael Hadala and his wife Shannon; and niece from California Helen Scurzi. George Deyman, a childhood friend of Bob’s, came all the way from Maine for the party. Longtime friends George and Judy VanRiper, and Gisela Melton also attended. Lucille lived at the Meridian for 20 years (the longest living resident). She loved the Meridian and was their greatest Champion. She suffered a series of falls in 2020 and during rehab caught Covid-19. She fought long and hard to survive, but there were too many things to overcome. There will be funeral mass at St Luke and burial at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery at a later date. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.crawfordbowerstemple.com for the Scurzi family.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021

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OTHER SERVICES:

  • Burial

Memories

Lucille Rita Scurzi

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Pearl Burke

January 1, 2021

I met Lucille in early 2019, she invited me to join the Meridian Red Hat Society. She gave me all the details and even gave me a hat for the luncheon since my husband and I had just moved to the Meridian. She was one of the most energetic, warm - hearted people I have ever met. She will be missed.

Dorothy Coppin

December 29, 2020

I do not know anyone in this lovely family. I just want to say that was the sweetest, most wonderful obituary I have ever read! Felt like I was along for the amazing ride of their lives and enjoyed every minute. God Bless!!

Brenda Veselka

December 27, 2020

Bob & Bonnie,
My heart breaks for the loss of your mother Lucille. I am praying for the family for the days to come. Thank you for loving her so well. May the God of all comfort fill your hearts today and always.
Love in Christ Jesus,
Brenda Veselka

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Biography

Lucille Rita Maffucci Scurzi was born March 26, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York to Michele Maffucci and Rosa Toglia Maffucci. She married Joseph Ralph Scurzi June 14, 1943. Her brothers and sisters were: Jessie Maffucci Ambrosio, Jean Maffucci Deil, James Maffucci, and Rose Maffucci Hadala (all deceased).
Lucille graduated from Richmond Hills High School in Queens, NY in 1936. She majored in French (3 years) and won multiple awards in French. After high school, Lucille had to work to help support the family. She went to work in New York at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency – and worked there 7 ½ years. She started out counting paper ballots for the Major Bowes Amateur Hour. She often saw Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis, Carmen Miranda and other famous people who came into the office. She worked for Mrs. Nelson, who was a radio time buyer (only 3 networks at that time). When WWII broke out and the men went to fight, she became a Junior Executive in charge of radio estimating. She had a private office in the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Ave & 43rd Street in Manhattan. She would ride the train an hour to work and home every day – going through Grand Central Station to the Graybar Building.
Lucille met Joseph Ralph Scurzi at a skating rink in Cypress Hills in Brooklyn, New York. Joe used to skate backwards so he could look at the girls skating. One day Lucille caught his eye! They dated a couple of years and became engaged in 1942. That same year, the war broke out after Pearl Harbor. Joe joined the Army Air Corps and wanted to fly. The army signed him up and sent him home and told him they’d let him know when they had training schools available. He was eventually called up and went to flight school. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant and received his silver wings May 20, 1943 in the Army Air Corp (became the U.S. Air Force). Joe was stationed in Washington State after graduation. Lucille took a train from New York to Spokane, WA to meet up with Joe to get married. Her boss at JWT arranged for a room for her in Spokane at the Hotel Davenport. The next day after she arrived, she went to the Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in Spokane to make arrangements to get married. She got the call from Joe that he could get away. He actually went AWOL and took a bus to Spokane. He checked into the Davenport in a separate room and the next day they went to the Cathedral to get married. Monday morning, July 14, 1943, the priest conducted a nuptial mass for them. Two sisters who worked in the church were their sponsors. There was a photo studio in the hotel and they were able to get pictures taken of them on their wedding day (they were glad they took time for that otherwise they would not have any pictures of their wedding day). Joe had to leave right away after that, so they did not get a honeymoon. Lucille was all alone in the hotel room after Joe left to go back to his base. The maid in the hotel realized she was alone and introduced her to some people from Texas, Captain
and Mrs. Godbey. They felt so sorry for her being alone on her wedding night, so they took her out to the Officer’s Club at the base dinner and a movie (Mission to Moscow). That was how Lucille spent their “honeymoon”.
Lucille stayed about a week in Spokane in the hotel and then rented a room in Euphrata near Moses Lake for a weekend. Lucille then went back to Spokane and Joe was sent to Salt Lake City, Utah for more training. Lucille and the wife of Joe’s bombardier, Jeanne Henry, followed their husbands where ever they were sent for training. Joe was so good, he was chosen to be first pilot, so he was sent to multiple places for special training. There was about six months of trainings in Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, and Muroc, California in the desert. The wives would get small apartments where the men were in training, and the men would join them when they could. The last place they went was to Hamilton Field in San Francisco, California, where they said goodbye to their husbands, not knowing where they were going or how long they would be apart.
In December 1943, Joe left to fight in the war (it was a secret where he was going). Lucille thought they would fly to the Pacific area, but found out later that they actually flew around the coast of Florida and across the Atlantic to North Africa, Libya, then up to Italy. Joe was with the 15th Air Force and lived in tents outside in the mud near Foggia, Italy.
Lucille went back to New York and lived in her mother’s house at 389 Crescent Street. They made the living room into her bedroom. She had a phone put in (their first phone). She went to work for Sperry Gyroscope working with figures in downtown Brooklyn, New York. After she got back to New York, she received a V-mail from Joe which said “Tomorrow I fly my 50th mission and then I’ll be coming home. Nothing can stop me now”.
Six weeks after the V-mail, Lucille received a Western Union telegram saying Joe’s plane had been shot down on August 6, 1944 and he was missing in action. Lucille kept working and her boss worked her so hard so she wouldn’t be thinking all the time about Joe being MIA. It was agonizing wondering what had happened to Joe, was he alive, was he a POW? Six weeks went by with no word. Then on September, 20, 1944 she got a phone call at home at 6:00 in the morning – it was Joe and he was calling from the Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. He told her what happened to him: his plane was shot down over Yugoslavia. The crew parachuted out of the burning plane, and the plane landed in a tree. His ankle was severely injured when he landed. Luckily, the Chetniks (Yugoslavs) got to Joe first. They rescued him and put him in a wagon and covered him with hay to hide him. They prearranged with the Americans to take Joe and keep him until the Americans in Italy could fly in to get him. Joe was taken from Italy in September 1944 and flown to the Army Regional Hospital in Coral Gables Florida. The military had converted the Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida into a military hospital, and that is where Joe finally was taken. When they were checking him in, he got off a gurney and hopped to a pay phone to call Lucille. She had no idea if he was dead or alive, and she was so happy to hear from him. They operated on Joe’s ankle and told him he was going to be in the hospital a long time. So, Lucille flew to Florida and the Red Cross got her a room across from the hotel/hospital. Joe would hobble across the road, or use crutches, to see Lucille (this is when Bob was conceived).
After six months, Joe was released from the hospital. In April 1945, Joe and Lucille went to Atlantic City, New Jersey for R&R before reporting to Bakersfield, California for Joe’s next assignment. They rented a house in Oildale, California. By this time, they knew that Lucille was pregnant with Bob. Shortly after arriving in California, they found out the Joe had San Joaquin Fever (Valley Fever) and they put Joe in the hospital in Bakersfield. He was in the hospital a long time, and it was getting close to Lucille’s due date. The doctor didn’t think she could have a natural delivery because she was so small, so they scheduled a C-section at the end of June 1945. Joe’s uncle Dick Scurzi and Aunt Dora had Lucille come and stay with them in San Francisco since Joe was still in the hospital. Lucille’s water broke on July 11th, so Dick’s wife Dora called Dr. Stangolini who said to meet them at the hospital. Outside, Dick said “St. Francis” and the taxi driver asked “hospital or hotel?” Here is a very pregnant Lucille in early labor and Dick says “hospital of course”. The chief of obstetrics checked Lucille and told her he thought she could deliver naturally. She was so disappointed….she really wanted a painless delivery. She labored a long time, and Bob was born at 4:25 am on July 12, 1945. Dick and Dora had been trying to have a baby and couldn’t so they decided to adopt. The day after Bob was born, Dick and Dora received their baby boy, Jimmy Scurzi. He was born on July 13, 1945. So, there were two newborn babies in the house.
Joe was still in the hospital in Bakersfield, but was granted emergency leave so he could come and see is new son. Joe was in the hospital for another month. When he was released, Joe and Lucille and baby Bob moved to Bakersfield. They lived in the guesthouse of a mansion. Lucille remembers they had an earthquake about a month after moving to Bakersfield. After Bakersfield in May of 1949, they moved to Mather AFB in Sacramento, California. They lived in the Yolo Apartments (where Bob learned to walk and got a Red Flyer wagon). Next, they moved to Auburn, California where they lived in a log cabin resort. Lucille and Bob stayed there while Joe was sent TDY to Selma, Alabama for instrument school.
Before reporting to Selma for school, they went to New York to see family for Christmas. They stayed with Lucille’s sister Jean Deil. Jean took care of little Bobby while Joe and Lucille went out. They went to the Bert Parks show in the NBC Studio, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. That night, the show was “Why You Think You Deserve a Second Honeymoon”. Joe, so handsome and in uniform, was picked and told the story about how Lucille traveled all the way from New York to Spokane, Washington on a train by herself, how he had to sneak off base to meet her in Spokane to get married, how he had to go back right away so he wouldn’t get caught being AWOL, and his being sent off to war, being shot down, injured, and they never had a honeymoon. Of course, he won!!! They brought Lucille on stage, gave her two dozen red roses and a Poodle puppy. They also won a Keystone movie camera and a suit from Saks Fifth Avenue. They won a trip to the Poconos at a mountain resort with a heart shaped bed and mirrors on the ceiling. That night they went to the Copa Cabana where Vic Damone sang “Slow Boat to China” and Joey Lewis performed too. It was very exciting for them.
After school in Alabama they went back to Sacramento, California to Mather Field. Joe’s next duty station was Guam. In February 1950, Lucille and Bob went to back to Mama’s house in New York to wait until a house was ready for them in Guam. Joe let them know their house, a Quonset hut, was ready so Lucille and Bob took a train to San Francisco then took a ship, the Darby, to Guam. In June 1950, the Korean war broke out and they stopped allowing family members to travel to and from Guam. Lucille and Bob just barely got to be able to be with Joe in Guam, and they stayed on Guam during the Korean war (June 18, 1950 to December 1951). While on Guam, Joe flew air to sea rescue missions where
B-17’s dropped boats down to rescue people. He also frequently flew to Japan. Lucille and Bob went on a trip to the Philippines on a ship with their friends the Webster’s. They stayed at the same hotel in Manilla where General McArthur stayed.
The family left Guam on the Sultan (with a stop in Hawaii) on their way to Ft. Carson, Colorado. They lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado from December 1951 – March 30, 1952 where Bob went to first grade. In April 1952, they moved to Reno, Nevada and lived in the Arroyo Street duplex. Bob went to Veterans Memorial School for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. Bob went to Southside School for 4th and 5th grades from 9/54 to 6/56, and 6th grade at Otis Vaughn from 9/56-11/56.
In December 1956, they moved to Rabat, Morocco. They were on the ocean on the Upshur for Christmas. They sat at the Captain’s table since Joe was the Troop Commander on the ship. Joe was attaché’ to the American Embassy in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. They lived on the economy at #9 Rue Branly (Aviation) where they had a large concrete wall around the villa with broken glass on top for protection. They had a gardener and a maid. Bob went to 6th through 8th grades there from 1/57 to 6/59. They were able to travel to Italy, Austria, Germany, England, and France from Morocco on vacations.
In August 1959, they left Morocco and flew on a C-121 to Charleston, South Carolina. They visited New York and New Jersey on their way to their new assignment at Ellsworth Airforce Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. In September 1959, they stayed in the Tip Top Motel apartments while their house on 4821 Capital Street was being built. In January 1960, they moved in to their new house in the South Conway area. In September 1961, Joe became the Deputy Base Commander and they had to sell their house and move on base (Wherry housing). Bob went to high school in Rapid City until they built a high school on base. Bob was in the first graduating class of Douglas High School in 1963. Bob went to Black Hills State College in Rapid City for 3 years.
In June 1966, Joe was promoted to Colonel and was transferred to Warren AFB in Cheyanne, Wyoming. Bob joined the army in 1966 and Joe retired from the Air Force in April 1968.
Joe and Lucille moved to Orlando, Florida November 18, 1968 where they built a house and lived for 32 years. Joe started looking for things he wanted to do and went to work for AG Edwards and became a stock broker. He didn’t like the selling part, but liked working with stocks. So, he quit and went to work as manager of the State Food Stamp distribution center. He worked for the State for a few years. He then became a board member at the Navy Credit Union. He was the treasurer and then became the Chairman. He was very successful as the chairman, where he invested the credit union’s money and did very well. He was required to take business trips and attend annual national conventions for the credit union, and Lucille got to go along. They traveled to places like Nashville, Atlanta, San Diego, Atlantic City, and Reno.
Joe loved to play golf and was an avid bridge player. Lucille loved to entertain and was a marvelous cook. People loved her Italian food! She was always involved in the Officer’s Wives functions. She was in charge of the Fashion Shows, and modeled in the shows. She loved clothes and wore them beautifully (she still does!). She has always loved singing and dancing and is an excellent ballroom dancer. She and Joe loved to dance together. She was also a member of Red Hat Society.
Unfortunately, Joe got lung cancer and stopped working. He went through strong chemotherapy and then did low-dose maintenance chemo for quite a while. He did well for many years.
In June of 2000, Joe and Lucille moved to the Meridian Retirement Community in Temple, Texas. Lucille soon became invaluable to the Meridian as a tour guide for prospective residents, showing them the cottages and apartments. She took over administration of the Meridian Singers and the Red Hat group. She loved the dinner dances that were frequently held.
On August 26, 2002, Joe passed away. He was buried with honors at the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas.
In March 2019, Lucille celebrated her 100th birthday with many friends and family. The staff at the Meridian did a wonderful job of making her feel special, and family helped to make it a great party. The local news station came and did a beautiful segment on her that showed on the news and was posted on Facebook. Family and friends who came from out of town were: Granddaughter from Alabama Cindy Chancey, husband Greg, children Judd, Abbykate, and Jackson and Cindy’s mother Harriet; nieces from North Carolina Jane Dickens and Jo Ann Sauter (they surprised her); great nephew from Houston Brian Dickens and his girlfriend Helina; nephew from California Bill Hadala; great-nephew from Dallas William Michael Hadala and his wife Shannon; and niece from California Helen Scurzi. George Deyman, a childhood friend of Bob’s, came all the way from Maine for the party. Longtime friends George and Judy VanRiper, and Gisela Melton also attended. Lucille lived at the Meridian for 20 years (the longest living resident). She loved the Meridian and was their greatest Champion. She suffered a series of falls in 2020 and during rehab caught Covid-19. She fought long and hard to survive, but there were too many things to overcome. There will be funeral mass at St Luke and burial at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery at a later date.