PRICE - Our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, Joseph Antonio Cha, age 87, passed away peacefully March 31, 2009 while surrounded by his family.
He was born May 27, 1921 in Kenilworth to Michael Angelo and Mary Pavignano Cha and then moved to Mutual, where he lived for 27 years.
After graduating from Carbon High School, he moved to Berkeley, Calif., where he lived with his half-brother, John Scarci, and his wife. Joseph worked at the Alameda Naval Air Station.
About a year after World War II began, Joseph enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He attended basic training in Monterey, Calif., and was inducted into the Army Air Corps at Fort Ord on Nov. 6, 1942. He was sent to La Junta, Colo., where he was a member of the 1007th Two Engine Flying Training Squad. He taught army cadets to fly and became certified in engine and airplane maintenance.
Upon completion of his training, hen volunteered to go overseas. He was sent to North Africa on the USS America troopship. He was a mechanic and crew chief in the 90th Photo Recon Wing Third Photo Group Twelfth Photo Recon Squadro on the P-38 airplane.
During his two and one-half years overseas, he served in Tunisia-La Marsa, Sicily, Naples, Foggia, Arno, Southern France and North Apennins-Po Valley.
During his seven campaigns, he was awarded the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. He was also issued a unit citation, good conduct medal, victory medal and European-African-Middle Eastern service awards.
When the war in Europe ended, he was ordered to go to Japan. After traveling on a Hawaiian shipper through the Panama Canal, his ship was notified that the war in Japan had ended. He was ordered to go to New Jersey. Upon arrival in New Jersey, his orders to report to Seymour Johnson Field in Goldsboro, N.C., were changed to Fort Douglas, where he was discharged on Oct. 4, 1945.
After the war was over, he went back to the Naval Air Station in Alameda, but didn't like the large city. He decided to return to Mutual and work in the coal mines. It was in Price that he met his wife, Marion D'Ambrosio, who was the sweetheart of his life. They were married on July 29, 1953. Together, they raised seven children. They also have eight grandchildren.
He is a member of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Stella de America Lodge 77, American Legion Post 21 and United Mine Workers of America Local 9958.
Survived by his loving wife Marion; children, Joseph, Wellington; Stephen (Pam), Wellington; Julieanne (Richard Wentz), Salt Lake City; Elena Hatch (Jack), Helper; David, Provo; Marianne Filbert (Randall), Battle Ground, Wash.; and James (Jennifer), West Jordan; eight grandchildren, Mallorie and Christopher Hatch; Joshua and Stephanie Cha; Mandilyn and Samantha Cha; Katelen and Kaston Cha; two brothers, Fredrick (Vesta), South Dakota; Laurence (Vera), Helper; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceded in death by his parents and half-brother, John Scarsi.
Funeral Mass Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m., Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, 210 North Carbon Avenue. Vigil service Friday evening, 7 p.m., Mitchell Funeral Home, 233 East Main Street. Family will be at Mitchell's Friday and Saturday one hour prior to service. Committal, Price City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Notre Dame Building Fund, 185 N. Carbon Avenue, Price, UT 84501.