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Dorothea Polst
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Obituary for Joseph Marlo

Joseph Marlo
Marlo, Joseph Charles Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Friday December 1, 2017. Beloved husband of Carol Marlo (nee Gebhart). Loving father of Marietta (Gary) Hess, Melissa (Pat) McLear, Jennifer (Scott), Joseph Marlo, Helen Marlo (Larry D’Arcangelis), Amy Marlo (David Lo), Frank Karen Marlo, Daniel (Giovanna) Marlo, and David (Mary Michael) Marlo and grandfather of 18. Dear brother of Dolores Pozzini and the late Clementina Rancilio.

Joseph C. Marlo lived an extraordinary life. He was the beloved son of Francesco and Giuseppina Marlo, Italian immigrants who settled in Sesser, Illinois. He was the cherished younger brother of his sisters, Dolores and Clementina. At the age of two, he returned to Italy with his mother and sisters due to his mother’s poor health, while his father remained in the United States. Surrounded by loving cousins, aunts and uncles, Joseph and his family lived in Italy until 1946. Joseph lived through the tragedy of World War II in Cuggiono, a small city near Milan, Italy. He also spent time in Milan attending a school to learn tool and dye making. Joseph persevered in living through Mussolini’s reign, and the bombings, rations, poverty, and devastation of World War II Italy. Remarkably, at the risk of his own life, and along with his aunt Teresa, Joseph helped to shelter Jewish families during the Holocaust, thus saving many lives. At his core, he knew how to grasp opportunity in the midst of adversity.

In 1946, he returned with his mother to America, was reunited with his father, and settled into life in St. Louis, living on “The Hill.” His sisters and their husbands soon followed. Intelligent and hard-working, Joseph joined the Air Force, nobly serving his country, and learning English along the way. In 1957, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. After spending several years in the private sector, he joined AVSCOM—Aviation Systems Command for the US Army, and had a distinguished career before retiring in 1989. Never one to sit idly, Joseph then embarked on a second career of being a tax preparer for H & R Block, which he enjoyed immensely. Much to the dismay of his long-time clients and coworkers, he retired in 2009 at the age of 80!

On a blind date, Joseph met Carol and the lovebirds soon married on September 6, 1958. They loved to go dancing! They were devoted parishioners of St. Joan of Arc parish in south St. Louis. After selling their house of 53 years, they moved to Delmar Gardens West and Joseph greatly enjoyed his friends and the community there. He was a faithful and devoted husband for 59 years, and spent the last decade patiently helping his aging wife with her health needs. Blessed with nine children, Joseph was an exceptional father. He regarded each child as a unique and special gift from God. He spent countless hours coaching soccer and softball teams, weekly trekking to Soulard Farmer’s Market to buy fresh produce for the family, helping his children through the transitions of life, and constantly instilling values along the way. Recognizing the power of education, he sacrificially provided the means to help each of his children through private elementary/secondary schools, universities, and graduate schools, always encouraging them to persevere and overcome. Joseph, known as Papa, had eighteen adoring grandchildren and was a true hero and inspiration to all of them. His wonderful sense of humor, bad jokes, and silly side brought countless hours of joy to his grandchildren and children. He loved each of his sons and daughters in law as his own.

Joseph was a man of great integrity, honor, courage, self-sacrifice and generosity. He was an impeccable gentleman his entire life. Joseph was a man of quiet, but intense faith, who modeled faithful commitment to God throughout his life, and who graciously acknowledged His blessings. His greatest pride and joy in life was his family, and he left an unmatched legacy of the importance and love of family. Joseph was loved by many, and will remain forever in our hearts and lives. Diagnosed with cancer in June 2017, he valiantly fought to overcome it, and inspired all those around him with his optimism and courage. One of Joseph’s favorite sayings was “Time is your most precious commodity; use it well.” In every way, he exemplified this in his nearly 89 years of life, and his example lives on in the many lives of those he touched.

Funeral Mass Tuesday, Dec. 5th, 10am at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Interment private. Memorial contributions to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital or Masses preferred. Visitation Monday, Dec. 4th, 3:30 – 7:30pm at Bopp Chapel. www.boppchapel.com
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