Dominick Spadea, 91, of Westmont, founder and owner of the old Spadea Manufacturing Co. in Westmont, died June 10 of a heart attack at his son's home in Cherry Hill.
Mr. Spadea, whose company manufactured screws and fasteners for more than 50 years, belonged to a long-gone era, said his son, Dominick G. "Mick" Spadea.
"For a man like my father, there would be no openings in jobs today. All the machine shops that used to be around are gone," he said.
The Camden native never made it to high school, his son said. His education came during World War II as a member of the Marine Corps in the South Pacific, where he served on Guadalcanal as a radar man. He set up equipment after the beaches were taken to help incoming ships and troops engaged in night fighting.
Mr. Spadea met Mary Ficchi, his wife of 65 years, at a dance ball for soldiers. Mrs. Spadea died last year.
"Theirs was a love story. . . . While she was in the nursing home, he would visit [her] five times a day," said grandson Tom Spadea.
"My grandfather wasn't a loud guy, not boisterous. He led by example. He just put his head down and did his duty," Tom Spadea said.
When Mr. Spadea returned from overseas, he got a job with EdSamm Manufacturing in Camden. He worked his way from sweeping floors to a position as a cost-estimater.
When Mr. Spadea decided to open his own business in early 1950s, his father gave him $1,000 to finance his first machine, Mick Spadea said.
"His business was a natural outgrowth of his experience overseas," said Mick Spadea. Under the GI Bill, his father attended technical school, he said. His company's contracts included work for RCA in Camden as well as from Honeywell and General Electric.
Besides his son and grandson Tom, Mr. Spadea is survived by grandsons Bill and John, and four great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Savior, 50 Emerald Ave., Westmont. A Funeral Mass will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.