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Joseph Cortopassi Sr.

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Joseph Cortopassi Sr. Obituary
Joseph Cortopassi, Sr.

Joseph Cortopassi Sr.'s movie ended Monday night after 87 years in the making. This was an epic about the life of an immigrant's son who overcame all obstacles to achieve the American Dream. Beginning in an impoverished neighborhood in St. Louis, we first see Joe clawing his way through adolescence during the Depression. Joe's toughness of character leads him to success as he becomes his high school's football hero. The next challenge is the outbreak of World War II, during which Joe achieves officer status in the U.S. Army Air Forces. The director is not finished honing our hero, as Joe must now endure the worst period of his life, his restaurant's startup phase. Although his business beginnings are grinding, Joe never yields and achieves success. With success comes leisure, and Joe stumbles upon golf. His new hobby fulfills his competitive side and becomes the center of social activities that produce lifelong friendships. Still, the director leaves us wondering if Joe will ever find the ultimate success in life - true love. A summer wind now blows as the heroine of this epic strides onto the screen with the beauty and elegance of Grace Kelly. Joe's movie now pivots to color. Perfectly cast, Gloria is introduced to Joe by her friend and neighbor. Taken immediately by his roguish good looks, she discovers - rather quickly - a principled man to whom she can entrust her heart. The second half of this 87-year epic becomes a love story as our two sweethearts stroll the golden shores of lakes and streams in search of beautiful trout. The autumn wind signals another change, and we see Joe and Gloria atop their hill, welcoming their friends and loved ones to gatherings. Our hero has mellowed into a role of support and counsel to his children and grandchildren. But when not needed as such, he quickly sweeps the love of his life off to exotic locations around the world. As we all know too well, the winter winds will not be denied. Last Monday night, Joe's movie ended with the poignant scene of Gloria at Joe's bedside. Although both sweethearts are now shown stooped by age, his toughness and her elegance are still clearly apparent to all. We all knew from the beginning how this movie had to end, and yet we still shed a tear as we stand and applaud. All of us who played supporting roles will never forget this epic tale of an American Dream. Join us as the credits roll this Tuesday at St. John Fisher in Rancho Palos Verdes at 11:00 a.m. Reception immediately to follow atop their hill. Our hero is survived by his co-star and wife Gloria; his children, Joe Jr. (Kathy), Melissa (John), Christine (Patrick); his grandchildren, Joe III (Courtney), Samantha, Stuart, John, Nichole; and great grandchildren, Leviticus and Nehemiah. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from May 25 to May 27, 2012
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