“Look at that accomplishment. When you face the Lord, that’s the kind of thing you want to talk about.”
The mourner was studying the back page of the program for a funeral Mass at St. Isaac Jogues in Carney Nov. 6. It listed 37 names – the grandchildren of Nicholas Bernard Mangione Sr., the patriarch of a large extended family and a business empire that will continue his legacy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Mr. Mangione died Nov. 2 at age 83 of complications from a stroke.
The concelebrants listed in the program at his funeral Mass were Cardinal William H. Keeler, who enjoyed Mr. Mangione’s assistance on behalf of many archdiocesan efforts and became a family friend; Father H. Martin Hammond, the pastor of St. Isaac Jogues; Monsignor Joseph L. Luca, a long-time family friend; Father Timothy J. Fell and Father E. Gerard Huesman.
Also on the altar, among others, was Jesuit Father Brian Linnane, the president of Loyola College in Maryland, where Mr. Mangione was serving his third term on the board of directors when he took ill last month.
At several parts of the Mass, the concelebrants spoke Italian, a heritage that was proudly worn by Mr. Mangione, who was living in Baltimore’s Little Italy when his father died during the Great Depression.
“Go Navy, beat Army,” was the greeting of Monsignor John L. FitzGerald, the chaplain of the local chapter of the Apostleship of the Sea, in a nod to Mr. Mangione’s World War II service aboard the USS Caperton, a destroyer that saw heavy battle in the Pacific.
Mr. Mangione went to college on the G.I. Bill and raised a substantial family with his wife of 58 years, Mary.
“Without her running the whole house and minding the kids, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Mr. Mangione told The Catholic Review in a 2000 profile. “I got all the glory, and she did all the work.”
All 10 of their children attended the former St. Anthony of Padua School in Gardenville, one of the many parishes the Mangione clan continues to support. His causes also included countless schools, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.
“He loved interacting with people and was fierce about defending hearth and home,” Father Hammond said. “Another side was that he was a man of faith. He told people, ‘I thank the Lord every day for his blessings.’ He used to say that whenever there was another kid, there was another job.”
Mr. Mangione built a series of family businesses, with interests that include construction, golf communities, radio stations and health facilities.
Six of his 10 children graduated from Loyola College, where several excelled in men’s soccer. Nick Mangione Jr. helped the Greyhounds win the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II championship in 1976, and Sam Mangione was a regular on nationally ranked teams in the late 1980s.
Two of Mr. Mangione’s children met their spouse at Loyola College, where the family name is attached to both pools, and next year’s student body will include two of his grandchildren.
“He never lost his faith, never once,” remarked Alexandra Maria Juras, the oldest grandchild. “At the funeral home the other night, someone said Nonno had gone to a better place, and we all laughed, because life didn’t get any better than being Nick Mangione.
“A life with a wife, 10 children and 37 grandchildren never dies.”