PAUL EDWARD MANTARRO JR.
FEBRUARY 17, 1935 - NOVEMBER 5, 2018
Paul Jr. was born to Paul Mantarro Sr. and Domenica “Micia” Ciraolo Mantarro in Albany, New York, and passed away at his home on Monday, November 5th with his family at his side.
As one of the seven children of Paul Sr. and Micia, who immigrated from Sicily, Italy, Paul took pride in his family’s immigrant journey and their heritage. In 1939, the family moved from their farm in New York to a Spanish style home on the banks of the Tuolumne River in Modesto, Calif. There, Paul grew from a boy to a teenager enjoying the river and all it had to offer. Paul attended Ceres schools and is a member of the Ceres High School Class of 1953 who celebrated their 65th reunion this past month.
In the 1940s, Paul’s father, uncles and brothers all began their lengthy careers at Stanislaus Food Products in which Paul would soon follow. Paul began his career at Stanislaus Foods in his teens and retired after 47 years of employment. He was a machinist, who left a lasting legacy of hard work and dedication at the Cannery.
Paul always enjoyed engines and things that moved. He spent his early years riding his scooter around Modesto. In 1963, Paul proudly served in the California National Guard. He also had a number of hobbies, which included bowling. It was through his five nights a week bowling at McHenry and Modesto Bowls where he met the love of his life, Vonnell Willett, in 1964. Vonnell was smitten with Paul and they soon set July 10, 1965, as their wedding date.
Paul and Vonnell have two children – Lisa and Michael. They instilled in their children-commitment, dedication, loyalty and hard work. In their early years, Paul enjoyed several hobbies such as coin collecting where he was a member of the numismatic society, bottle collecting where he was a member of the Jim Beam Bottle and Specialties Club in addition to his passion for bowling.
In the early 1970s, Paul also was introduced to Go-Karting and from that point forward, Paul’s love of engines, speed and karting became the focus of his energy. Paul’s ability to synchronize an engine and maximize its performance became his hallmark. Over the years, he was actively involved in several karting clubs, including the Mill Minders Kart Club, Yosemite Kart Club, Atwater Kart Club and Kerman Kart Club. He was a member of the International Karting Federation and worked tirelessly to bring racing enthusiasts to the local tracks.
Not a weekend would go by where you couldn’t find Paul checking engines and helping others at the tracks that he loved so much. In the later years after retirement, in addition to the track, Paul could be found at swap meets and drag races enjoying every minute.
Paul was preceded in death by his siblings – Santo Mantarro, Donald Mantarro, Mary Atwell, Josephine Andreotti, Charles Mantarro and Anna Hill. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Vonnell, and his children – Lisa Mantarro Moore and her husband, Randy Moore, and Michael Mantarro and his wife, Nelly Gonzalez Mantarro. Paul is also survived by his grandsons whom he loved so much – Austin Mantarro Moore, Aiden Mantarro Moore and Logan Gonzalez Mantarro. Paul will be greatly missed by his many nieces and nephews who survive him as well as all his karting enthusiasts.
Services for Paul will began on Tuesday, Nov 13, with a viewing at 4pm, followed by Rosary at 6pm at Salas Brothers. A funeral service will be held at 10am on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at St. Stanislaus Church located at 709 J Street with a graveside observance to follow at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon and reception will follow at the Tuolumne River Lodge located at 2429 River Road, Modesto.