Francis N. Viscardi, insurance salesman, dies

Veteran had served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War

  • Francis Viscardi
Francis Viscardi
April 21, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Francis N. Viscardi, a retired insurance salesman and veteran who served in the Army during World War II and the Korean conflict, died Sunday of bladder cancer at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

The longtime Woodlawn resident was 88.

The son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Viscardi was born in New York City and raised in Hell's Kitchen. He was a 1940 graduate of Commerce High School.

He was 17 when he enlisted in the Army during World War II and initially served with the Coast Artillery Corps before joining an infantry unit in Europe.

He was discharged from the Army in 1946 and was called back during the Korean War serving with an infantry unit from 1951 to 1952.

Mr. Viscardi, who was a member of the Maryland National Guard, was in his late 60s when he was contacted by the Army to serve during Operation Desert Storm, family members said.

"At first he thought it was a practical joke, as he was a practical joker," said his daughter, Annette Annechild of Delray Beach, Fla. "He was stunned to learn the voice on the phone was indeed the real thing. He would have willingly returned, but medical issues prevented his return to active duty."

Ms. Annechild said her father channeled his patriotism into raising funds for the USO.

Mr. Viscardi started working for Colonial Life Insurance Co. in 1946 in New York City, and after moving to Woodlawn in 1967, worked for Sun Life Insurance Co. for a year as director of manpower development.

For the past 20 years, he was an insurance adviser to the Patapsco Council 1960 of the Knights of Columbus, where he was also an active member, and helped establish The Knight's Out Inn, a restaurant.

He was the author in 2007 of "Educating your Dollars: High Finance for Young Adults."

Mr. Viscardi was a daily communicant of St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Woodlawn, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Wednesday.

Also surviving are his wife of 64 years, the former Anne Anastasio; and a son, Anthony Viscardi of Catonsville.

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