Joseph Mordente, 92, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on 12 August 2019. Joseph was a first generation American born in Bronx, New York in 1927. He graduated from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School.
In early 1945 at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Marines; but the war ended before he saw any combat. He remained in the Marines being rapidly promoted, receiving a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in 1948 and then married his beloved wife of 64 years, Betty Jane Dennard, of Jacksonville, Florida late that year. In 1950 he went to Korea as a rifle platoon leader, participated in the Inchon landing and then fought at the Chosin Reservoir. He was in Item Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. He received the Bronze Star for valor as well as the Purple Heart at Chosin, but was most proud of the fact that he walked out of the Chosin on his own two feet.
Though he loved serving in the Marines, Marine life kept him far from family; so, he resigned in 1954. But civilian life was not to his liking, so he joined the Army in 1957. He had tours in Germany in the late 50’s and volunteered for Viet Nam serving as a military advisor to a province chief in 1964. At the end of a tour on the General’s Staff as the G-2 (Intelligence) at the joint American-Italian base in Vicenza, Italy from 1967 – 1970, hereceived the Legion of Merit. He was also granted an honorary Knighthood by the Italian government which meant a lot to him.
He retired in 1971 as a Lt. Colonel and moved to Florida where Betty was from. He completed a degree in sociology from the University of Nebraska, and took a job with the Florida prison system as a classification officer and later a classification officer supervisor. He retired from the prison system in 1983 and moved to Orange Park, Florida. His hobbies included wood carving and wood working. He was an avid reader of history and a great story-teller. After the death of Betty in 2013, he lived with his daughter, Betty Jo in Columbia, South Carolina.
Joseph is survived by his daughter, Betty Jo Kubin, sons Marc, Brigadier General Patrick (retired), and Darrell, his son-in-law John, and daughters-in-law, Deborah, Marissa, and Helen, 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
His remains will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery.