Chris Mezzacappa Sr. – The Greatest Man of All Time

ice cream

Ice Cream for the grand-kids in the outdoor kitchen (2019)

Chris Mezzacappa Sr. – The Greatest Man of All Time

My dad was the greatest man of all time. Let me make my case.

Let’s start with the basics. He worked hard. Long days in extreme weather, digging trenches and laying pipe. Not easy work, certainly, but as my Grandpa always said, “The job was always the easiest part.” Beyond linear foot quotas and tight budgets; there was the mafia, the coalitions, the crackheads, the thieves, and the City of New York, all trying their best to stop good, honest work.

dad work book

Perhaps the only operating engineer that read Biomechanics textbooks (2019)

But what always stuck with me was my dad’s commute. Dad would often drive 1-3 hours each way just to get to the job site. He didn’t have to do this. He could have moved us to the city, or he could have taken a lower-paying job in New Jersey. However, this never crossed his mind. The young man wanted to raise his young family in a safe neighborhood with good schools and in a big house with backyard. He and Marybeth wanted to give their kids a shot at becoming teachers, doctors, pharmacists, engineers, and programmers, and that is exactly what they did.

old house stooop

The Mezzacappa’s (Chris Sr., Marybeth, Courtney, Chris Jr.) at their first house on Washington Ave in Matawan (1987)

I recently started calling my dad “The Alchemist” because he could transform any situation. After a long workday, he always walked in the front door happy and full of energy. This was the greatest moment of our day, and, speaking as a father, I could imagine it was also the best part of his. Nothing made us happier that giving our dad a big hug. In his work clothes, smelling of fresh-dug dirt and – more often than not – soft Brooklyn pretzels.

But we weren’t the only ones who got to see his bright, charming personality. Anyone who met my dad knew that he was the most positive, energetic man in almost every situation. Growing up, I always thought he was a little crazy. I’d say, “Dad, stop heckling everybody so much!”. And, while he did do his fair share of heckling, I see now what he was really doing. He broke tension and worked hard to make people feel included. On and off the job site – the hardest working man in the world.

mezzacappas my wedding

The Mezzacappa’s at Chris + Kelly’s Wedding (2015)

While we may feel that Dad’s life was unfairly cut short, I prefer to think about how much he lived in so short a time. He is truly going out on top, in his prime. An absolute legend. I challenge you all to live more openly and honestly, and spread the light of love to the world like my dad, Chris Mezzacappa.

dad and mom chris wedding

Chris and Marybeth at Kyle and Momoka’s wedding (2019)

A wake will be held on Saturday, January 11 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Old Bridge Funeral Home (2350 Highway 516, Old Bridge, NJ 08857). The final disposition will be held privately.

 

In lieu of flowers, please consider leaving a donation in my Father’s memory.

 

Please share you favorite thoughts and memories here or on this page.

football

The “All-County” tackle at St. John Vianney (1978)

Thank you. I love you all. I love you Daddy.

-Chris Jr.