Joseph J. Marsiglia, 81, data processing manager for agency

September 24, 2002|By Linda Linley | Linda Linley,SUN STAFF

Joseph J. Marsiglia, a retired data processing manager for the state Department of Human Resources and World War II veteran who was wounded on Guam, died of heart disease Saturday at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 81.

Mr. Marsiglia retired in 1981 from the department's data processing administration. He also worked for nearly 14 years for the Anne Arundel County government, for which he managed the data processing department, and earlier was a credit manager and data processing manager for the former Equitable Trust Co. for five years.

Born in Baltimore, he was raised in the Walbrook area, the youngest of 12 children of Joseph and Margaret Marsiglia. He graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1941 and received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the Johns Hopkins University in 1954 -- attending at night with the help of the G.I. Bill.

He had enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1942, along with a nephew, Charles Serio, who was nearly two years younger. Both were sent to Parris Island, S.C., for training.

Mr. Serio said his uncle, whom he considered more like a brother, was a front scout for the 4th Marine Division and sneaked through Japanese lines to gather troop and artillery information.

Mr. Marsiglia was sent to Guadalcanal, Bouganville and then Guam, where he was wounded charging uphill to attack a machine-gun nest, Mr. Serio said. Mr. Marsiglia was shot in the face and spent more than two years recovering in hospitals before he was discharged in 1946. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Returning home, he married Doris Kilroy in 1946 and they lived in North Linthicum in Anne Arundel County from 1952 until 1990, when Mrs. Marsiglia died, said their daughter, Christine Burrows of Pasadena.

"My father was fearless and adventurous," she said. "He took flying lessons and learned to snow ski when he was in his 60s. He decided to go parasailing when he was in his 70s. After my mother died, he drove across country by himself. He loved traveling and said he regretted never seeing Africa. He had a love of life. Nobody could have lived life any fuller."

Mr. Marsiglia was a member of a number of professional organizations in data processing and finance, and a former president of the Anne Arundel branch of the Maryland Classified Employees Association.

He also was a member of the North Linthicum Improvement Association for 28 years, seven of them as its treasurer.

Mr. Marsiglia organized youth bowling leagues at Greenway Bowl in Glen Burnie and taught children as young as 5 to bowl. He also served as a coach, manager and vice president of the Linthicum-Ferndale Recreation Association baseball league and helped organize the North Linthicum Girls' Softball League with the Anne Arundel County Recreation Department.

He married Shirley A. Prodoehl in 1998, and they moved to the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9 a.m. tomorrow at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, 6405 Orchard Road, Linthicum.

In addition to his wife, daughter and nephew, he is survived by three other daughters, Katherine Brantner of Pasadena, Mary Beth Wolle of Glen Burnie and Julie Preiss of Tampa, Fla.; three sons, Michael Marsiglia and David Marsiglia, both of Essex, and Joseph Marsiglia Jr. of Lewes, Del.; a sister, Josephine Geppi of Baltimore; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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