The local community is fondly remembering Mr. Filippo Mastrocola, a founding member of the Sons of Orsogna Club of Everett, and beloved resident of the city for many years.
Mr. Mastrocola was one of the founders of the club in 1966 and was a member until his passing on Feb. 13, 2019, at the age of 101.
“My brother, Antonio, and I are still active members of the club,” said Mr. Mastrocola’s son, Aldo Mastrocola, the legendary photographer for the Everett schools known for his meticulousness and professionalism during each photo assignment.
Aldo said his father was a farmer in Italy before coming to the United States in 1966. He went to work as a laborer in the construction industry, with his son, Antonio, later joining him in the industry before his retirement.
Aldo became the first member of the family to attend college. He graduated from Northeastern University where he received a degree in Engineering and Electronics. Upon his retirement as an engineer, Aldo started a professional photography business.
Aldo said he was very proud of his father, who inspired his sons to work hard and be gentlemen at all times.
“He had some formal education and the life education to guide him through the years to do what’s right,” said Aldo. “In Italian, an educated person means a well-behaved person. He was a very resourceful person and lived by the motto, ‘We made the trains run without coal.’’’
“That saying means during the war (Mr. Mastrocola served in the Italian Army and was a prisoner of war), when things were tough, they made the best of it,” said Aldo.
Mr. Mastrocola lived a long and glorious life, filled with the love of his family and an appreciation for his heritage.
“My father was a member of the last generation of what I call a storyteller,” said Aldo. “He remembered life through stories. Without taking notes and without the benefit of a notebook, my father remembered everything though his own memory. And through the irony of life, in the last few months of life, he lost it all because he suffered from Alzheimer’s.”
Aldo said he and his brother will carry on the inspirational messages of his father’s stories. These were life stories, how his family built a house in Italy, how previous generations going back centuries set the foundation for the family.
“I called my father ‘the encyclopedia of the Mastrocola Family,” said Aldo.
What Mr. Mastrocola’s family and all who knew him will remember warmly is how this patriarch, husband, father, grandfather, and brother would be congenial and courteous to everyone he met on each occasion.
“He was a real social person – he would talk with anyone, anywhere,” related Aldo, who has that same sociable and kind nature.
Everett has a lost a great one, another link to its proud past when immigrants arrived and forged a life for themselves, set a foundation for their families, and made this city their home.