Paul Edward Mantarro Jr.
Feb 17, 1935 -Nov 5, 2018
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at St. Stanislaus Church, 709 J Street, Modesto for Paul Edward Mantarro Jr., 83, of Ceres. He passed away at his home on Monday, Nov. 4, 2018 with his family at his side.
Visitation will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 13 at Salas Brothers Funeral Chapel followed by a 6 p.m. rosary at 6 p.m. at the chapel.
A graveside observance will follow at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon and reception will follow at the Tuolumne River Lodge, 2429 River Road, Modesto.
Paul Jr. was born on Feb 17, 1935 to Paul Mantarro Sr. and Domenica “Micia” Ciraolo Mantarro in Albany, N.Y. As one of the seven children of parents who immigrated from Sicily, Italy, Paul took pride in his family’s immigrant journey and heritage. In 1939, the family moved from their farm in New York to a Spanish-style home along the Tuolumne River in Modesto. There, Paul grew from a boy to a teenager enjoying the river and all it had to offer. Paul attended Ceres schools and was a member of the Ceres High School Class of 1953 which 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 as a machinist at Stanislaus Foods in his teens and retired after 47 years of employment.
Paul enjoyed engines and things that moved and spent his early years riding his scooter around Modesto. In 1963, Paul served in the California National Guard. He enjoyed a number of hobbies, which included bowling. Paul enjoyed coin collecting where he was a member of the numismatic society. He also collected bottles and was a member of the Jim Beam Bottle and Specialties Club.
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 married July 10, 1965 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church with a reception at the Tuolumne River Lodge. They made their first home together in Salida and Modesto before moving into his childhood home in Ceres where they moved in 1978.
Paul and Vonnell instilled in their two children, Lisa and Michael, commitment, dedication, loyalty and hard work.
In the early 1970s, Paul also was introduced to go-karting and 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. He was actively involved in the Mill Minders Kart Club, Yosemite Kart Club, Atwater Kart Club and Kerman Kart Club. As a member of the International Karting Federation, Mr. Mantarro worked tirelessly to bring racing enthusiasts to the local tracks. Not a weekend passed where he wasn’t Paul checking engines and helping others at the tracks. In his retirement, Paul frequented swap meets and drag races.
In 1995, Paul and Vonnell became grandparents. Paul prided himself on building his grandsons’ first go-karts and attending their sporting events and activities throughout school.
He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Vonnell Mantarro of Ceres; his children, Lisa Mantarro Moore and her husband, Randy Moore, and Michael Mantarro and his wife, Nelly Gonzalez Mantarro; his grandsons, Austin Mantarro Moore, Aiden Mantarro Moore and Logan Gonzalez Mantarro; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by siblings Santo Mantarro, Donald Mantarro, Mary Atwell, Josephine Andreotti, Charles Mantarro and Anna Hill.