It is so important to spend time with those that we love. I cherish the time that I was able to spend with him. He was also a P.O.W in WWII. I am thankful for his service and thankful for all the lives that he touched. You will be missed and I will always love you. May you rest in peace, Papa.
Some kind words from my Uncle:
Long time auto dealer Joe Boccalero died of natural causes this past Wednesday at Verdugo Hills Hospital, near his home in La Canada, CA.
Joe was the President of Domenich Basso Inc., Chrysler Jeep in Los Angeles for 40 years and worked at the family owned business since 1941.
Joe was born in Globe, Arizona in 1921, the son of a copper miner, a fact of which he was very proud. His family moved to Los Angeles and settled near what is now the USC Medical Center, northeast of the civic center of LA.
After graduation from neighborhood Lincoln High School he was admitted to attend Loyola University to study medicine until he was called on for a little 'time out' to serve Uncle Sam in WWII, where he fought in the European Theater with General George Patton's battle group.
Joe fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was captured and survived as a POW for 5 months until the end of the war. He received the Bronze Star for bravery and the Purple Heart for wounds received in battle.
After the end of the war, Joe returned home to continue to work at the family automobile business started in 1921 by his father in law, Domenich Basso, an Italian immigrant who obtained his first De Soto-Plymouth franchise in 1932.
Joe worked in every department of the dealership and specialized in fleet sales as he assumed responsibility for the new car sales department Joe recognized the opportunities in supplying fleet vehicles to business' as well as bidding on city, county and state fleet offerings.
Joe assumed the presidency of the dealership in 1963 on the passing of his father in law and continued to grow the business for his family and for Chrysler Corporation.
Joe had great relations with both the local zone office of Chrysler in Los Angeles, as well as establishing liaison with the VP's and Presidents of Chrysler in Detroit. His attitude of 'getting it done the Italian way', had many field managers and local zone VP's shaking their heads at his wise Genovese logic.
Loyalty to customer, product and the factory were Joe's guiding tenants.
Joe and Domenich Basso Inc. were recognized as the 'municipal fleet' supply dealership of Los Angeles for many decades from the 1950's through the 1990's.
When Joe retired in 2003 after his wife Alberta experienced a severe stroke, he became the last of the breed of old time dealers in Los Angeles, who suffered through the Great Depression, fought in the second Great War, became a member of the 'Greatest Generation' and brought all those experiences with him as he established his business career in the automobile industry.
We salute the old soldier as he passes in review.