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Coda - Final Notes and Obituaries for Jim Misitano's Parents and Siblings

(Obituaries edited to remove names of grandchildren of Jim's parents)

Philip Joseph Misitano
  • Birth: June 28, 1921, Altoona, PA
  • Death: November 28, 1995, Altoona, PA
  • Marriage: September 22, 1960, to Alice Myers
  • Military Service: July 6, 1942 to October 26, 1945

Obituary in Altoona Mirror, November 29, 1995

Philip J. Misitano, 74, Box 50 RD4, Bloom Road, Died Tuesday morning, November 28, 1995, at his residence following an apparent heart attack.

He was born June 28, 1921, in Altoona, the son of Francis Antonio and Frances (Mollica) Misitano. He married Alice C. Myers September 22, 1960, in Cumberland, MD.

He retired as owner of Philip J's Red Coat Lounge in 1980, after 10 years of service. Prior to that, he was a self-employed contractor.

Mr. Misitano was a 1940 graduate of Altoona High School.

He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving as a technical sergeant with Company M, 318th Infantry, 80th Division, and received the Bronze Star Medal.

Mr. Misitano was a member of the Blair County Game, Fish and Forestry Association, the National Rifle Association, the A&J IAIA American Legion Post and the VFW, and was past president and board member of the Altoona Rifle and Pistol Club.

Surviving are his wife, two daughters; two brothers: Vincent James and Thomas C, both of Altoona; and two granddaughters.

An Uncle that Liked to Argue

Not sure how this one started, but somehow the subject of whether Catholic baptism would remove any and all sins from a person arose. I was about 10 years old and attending a Catholic grade school, so Catechism was one of the core classes taught there. I knew the answer was that no matter what grievous sins one had committed, if they hadn't been previously baptized, then they would be forgiven all of their prior sins upon baptism. At the time I was a pious little scamp, and had an excellent memory, so I knew for sure that I was right and my Uncle Phil was not. A serious theological discussion was had, and neither side ever gave an inch in the argument. I would later credit this argument with my Uncle with instilling in me the fortitude to continue in the face of adversity when I have certainty on my side, and even later (much later) would learn to reflect that being absolutely right in an argument is not necessarily a winning tactic to employ when further discussion and cooperation among the parties is important.

At another time when the family was gathered at my grandparents' house, Phil mentioned a riddle that may have been new at the time, but is ancient now. The basic premise is that three guests check into a hotel, and are charged 30 dollars, so they pay 10 dollars each. (These figures were not unreasonable at the time...) Later that evening, the hotel manager realizes that they were overcharged, as the room rate should only have been 25 dollars. He gives the bellhop $5 in singles, and tells him to refund the guests. The bellhop realizes on the way to the room that he can't make exact change for the guests, so he gives each guest one dollar and pockets the other two dollars. The riddler then states that the guests paid 9 dollars each for a total of 27 dollars and the bellhop got 2 dollars, which totals 29 dollars, so who got the other dollar? Phil (and a majority of his brothers) would argue vigorously that the bellhop got the other dollar. No amount of explanation of the actual mathematics behind these transactions would convince Phil that he was wrong. I have no idea whether he firmly believed the "bellhop got the other dollar" story of if he just enjoyed arguing the point with my pre-teen self.

As I write and reflect on these stories, my present-day self thinks that the uncles may just have been having fun among themselves at the expense of the unsuspecting but sincere precocious youngster.

   - Jim Jr.


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