John Joseph (Bartholomew) Mollica
John Joseph (Bartholomew) Mollica age 94, passed from this life, in the care of his daughter Nina (Mollica) and her husband Keith Neuberger, in Chattanooga Tennessee, on April 27, 2022.
John was born in the Burditt Hill section of Clinton Massachusetts on March 27, 1928 at his family’s home, the last of 10 children to be born, and to pass.
His parents were Italian immigrants, Dominico and Agatha (Settevendemie) Mollica - his siblings, Angelo, Arthur, Alexander, Joseph, and Edmund Mollica, Mary Pozzi, Marguerite Goffart, Sylvia Moore, and Emma Pupecki.
John was married for 61 years to Palmina (Pam) Alessandrini Mollica. Since her passing in 2014, she was every day in his heart. John and Pam have three children who survive them: John (and wife Patsy) Mollica, of Princeton, MA; Nina (and husband Keith) Neuberger, of South Pittsburg, TN; Joseph (and wife Allison) Mollica, of Concord, NH. As well, three grandchildren: Matthew and Karen Mollica; Benjamin Mollica and Carolyn Richardson; MaryJohannah and Jayson Murray, and twelve great-grandchildren.
As a young boy, John began a life of never-ending curiosity and learning. It was consistent with that of a child during the lean financial times of the Great Depression, yet full of fun, food, freedom, family, sports, play, swimming, fishing, hiking and of course Boy Scouting. In 1944, John was the waterfront director at Camp Wanocksett in Dublin NH, and proudly an Eagle Scout.
When World War II broke out, with three brothers in the armed services, and a recently widowed mother, John was not permitted to join the US Navy until near the war’s end. Returning from military service, he went back to high school graduating in 1949 from Clinton High School. John went on to get certified, as an electrician, at Coyne Electrical School, riding the train, 40 miles each way, every day to and from Boston. His first “real job” was at the Colonial Press Book Manufacturing — the nation’s third largest book manufacturer — working in the research and development lab, as an electromechanical technician, aiding in the development of many patents, including in the 1950’s, the first industrial use of microwaves in a non-communications application — a garage size oven used to dry the (previously air-dried) glue in book bindings.
In the early 1960s, John began to work for a fledgling company called Nylon Products (now NYPRO/ Jabil) in Clinton Massachusetts, leading a team in the operation and maintenance of all of Nylon’s industrial machines. Amongst many projects, he worked tirelessly helping develop a challenging unique machine, which aided Nylon Product’s manufacture, of a Dennison Corporation product, that is used billions and billions of times each year. This short thin plastic loop attaches price tags and product information onto clothing through-out the world. During this time, John again pursued schooling, graduating from the Worcester Industrial Technical Institute in hydraulics and electronics. His final effort for NYPRO was to aid its move from its outgrown original building.
John managed the renovation of the decades-abandoned behemoth Bigelow Carpet mills in Clinton; turning them from ruins, with trees growing up through the roof, into a world-class precision molding facility. John‘s industrial career ended in the mid-1970s when he pursued another dream of his - teaching. Over the course of a single summer, he created, a new 4-year, high school, Plastics Technology program in Massachusetts, writing the curriculum frameworks, by himself. John began teaching this new program in the Fall at Keefe Tech in Framingham. By the late 1970’s, he completed his Bachelors Degree in Industrial Education at Fitchburg State College.
John retired from his 2nd career in 1989. In the 60s, 70’s and 80’s, the family spent many weeks each summer on the beaches of Cape Cod in North Truro. Having invested in property, in Cotuit, during that era, John and Pam decided to design and build their spacious and overnight guest-accommodating retirement home on the Cape, which scores of friends and family, have great memories of. John and Pam integrated themselves into their Cape Cod community, for 25 years, volunteering with multiple civic organizations and efforts.
John, throughout his 94 years, enthusiastically and continually developed himself as a master of multiple technologies, learning how to use them within their limits of material, time, and space, creating innovations to serve new purposes. John loved ocean fishing, food, grilling, watching wildlife, history, a good Jack Daniels, and music of all genres from Handel to Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”
In 2014, when Pam passed, John moved to Tennessee to live with his daughter Nina and husband Keith, sharing their mountain home. Recently, he had moved to Morning Pointe assisted living in Chattanooga where he lived among his waning greatest generation friends, enjoying their southern food, live music, and gardening. There, John survived Covid twice and a tornado that demolished the senior-community’s buildings. As he grew older, John remained astutely aware, sharing perspectives on the events, people and eras in which he had lived.
If one wishes, donations can be made in the name of John Joseph Mollica to ‘Wounded Warrior Project,’ P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516, or www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences and memories.
Services entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home, Chattanooga, TN,
His family offers a true gratefulness, to all with whom John had an opportunity to share his life…
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