January 13, 1918 ~ June 18, 2002
Mistretta, Thomas V. Born in Jamestown, New York on January 13, 1918 to Charles and Josephine Mistretta. He was married o Lillian Miller from 1942 to 1956 (year of her death); then married Euretta Myers from 1957 to 1969; and then married to Gladys Fergeson from 1976 to 1998 (the year of her death). He is survived by a daughter, Marilyn, in Ankeny, Iowa, and a son, Charles, in La Mirada, California. His eldest son, Thomas J. Mistretta preceded him in death in 1981. In addition, he had 7 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter. His various musical accomplishments included scholarships while in grammar and high school for his violin education at Chautauqua Institute near Jamestown, NY and also Interlochen Music School in Michigan. At 12 years old, he took part in the Major Bowes broadcasts and won first place. He was the highest ranking senior at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received a scholarship to Europe with all expenses paid, but could not take advantage of it because of WWII. He graduated from Oberlin with a Bachelor's degree. After college, he was stationed at the War College in Washington, DC, and played clarinet in the U.S. Army band. He served 4-1/2 years in the Army, two of which he spent in the Air Transport Command in the Burma theatre. During that time, he was asst. concertmaster and professional soloist with the Calcutta Symphony. In addition, he had his own 15-minute weekly radio program that was beamed to all troops in that area. He organized and was dean of the Take Hai College in Dumdum, India, which offered 24 different subjects to the GI personnel. Because of his organization of the Take Hai college, he received the Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement. In 1947, he obtained a Master's degree from the University of Southern California. He retired in 1978 from the Compton School District after teaching grade school and junior high band and orchestra for 37 years. He played violin with several Southern California orchestras, including Torrance Symphony, Downey Symphony, Beach Orchestra, Peninsula Orchestra, El Camino College, Musician's Union Life Member's Orchestra, and the Solo Repertory Orchestra. A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 22, 2002 at 10:00 am at White & Day Colonial Mortuary, 901 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Diabetes Association.
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