Frank Mastronardi

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 12, 2008

JACKSON  — Frank Mastronardi, 86, passed away Friday Oct. 10, 2008 at Heritage House in Vicksburg. Visitation will be from 4 until 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home on High Street in Jackson, followed by a wake at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Peter Catholic Cathedral in Jackson. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m.  Tuesday at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg.

Mr. Mastronardi graduated in 1941 from St. Aloysius High School, where he was the president of his senior class and editor of its paper, “The Quill.” He served as president of the Sacred Heart Fraternity.

He was a prisoner of war and recipient of both the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross Medal and the Purple Heart.

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He was a radio operator on the U.S. Air Force B19 Bomber- “The Man O’ War.” Mr. Mastronardi was credited with saving some of his crew before being the last to bail out when their plane was shot down over Nazi-occupied France. Once he had landed, he was taken by Gestapo soldiers. He spent some time in solitary confinement and was then transferred to Stalag I, the German POW camp. He was there 15 months.

Mr. Mastronardi returned home to take care of his ailing mother. He began working at Sears & Roebuck in 1947 and, after his mother’s death, he was transferred to Jackson in 1960 and was the credit manager until December 1980.

After taking an early retirement from Sears in January of 1981 he began a job as community affairs officer with Deposit Guaranty National Bank, retiring from there in 1993. His work ethic and dedication brought him much recognition and his achievements many rewards throughout both his work career and his community service.

He served as past president of the Goodwill Industries, The Birth Right, and St. Peter Cathedral Senior Adult Ministry, as well as other organizations in the community. He served as a greeter at each of the Palace Exhibitions in Jackson in his retirement years. Mr. Mastronardi was a member of the American Legion.

He was a dedicated member of St. Peter Cathedral in downtown Jackson, where he was a regular Saturday afternoon reader and served on many committees and volunteered himself for any project where he could be of help.

He had a great love for classical music and the beauty of nature — trees, flowers, animals. He enjoyed collecting books, especially those concerning his passion — positive thinking — and those of his Catholic faith.

He leaves behind the Jim and Trudy McGuire children: Patty Henry of Vicksburg and husband Ike; Peggy Dyer of Stuart, Fla., and husband Nick; and Jimmy McGuire of Camano Island, Wash., and wife Cathy; and six children and three grandchildren, William “Mack” Henry of Vicksburg, Melissa Henry Rains of Germantown, Tenn., his godchild, husband David and daughter Claire Elizabeth; Jennifer Redmond of Georgia and two sons, Trevor and Tyler, and Stephanie Jackson of Asheville, N.C., Michael McGuire of Oxford,and Sheila McGuire of Camano Island, as well as a dear friend, Betty Barber of Clinton and his St. Peter Cathedral “family” of Jackson.

Memorials may be made to St. Peter’s Senior Adult Ministries, P.O. Box 57, Jackson, MS 39205.