Thomas
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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  1. Tom, I will remember you as a person who put his heart into all he did. Your skill and talent at whatever you put your hand and mind to was awesome, to say the least. One special memory I\’ll cherish of you is your effort at trying to cheer me up after my Mother died; I\’ll always remember the yogurt and the rose. Thank you for the love you gave to me and mine. You will be missed very much ! Love to you always. Your daughter-in-law, Alfreda

  2. Hi Marilyn, I\’m so sorry that you have had so many tradgies in the past year. Alf let me know about your dad\’s passing. I gather that you are going to stay in LA for a few days to tie up loose ends. As I saw your dad\’s house a few years ago I would say you will have a lot to do. It\’s surely not easy as I had to do that with my aunt in 2000 and know of the intense memories as well as the sadness that goes into all of the work. I\’ll be with you in spirit and thought. Let me know when you return from the west coast. Yours in Sadness, Pat Schmidt

  3. Mr. Mistretta changed my life forever. I was a student of his during his tenure at Willowbrook JHS in Compton. He opened the door to music for me which started me on a path to many beautiful adventures in life and allowed me to branch out in areas I would not have been able to do without knowing and understanding the joy of music. I have always wanted to find and thank Mr. Mistretta for adding this value in my life, and came across his obituary. I hope his family knows that he taught many of us the joys of music. I played violin.

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