Marcello DiPietro Sr., 84, paint chemist

Marcello DiPietro Sr.
Marcello DiPietro Sr.
Posted: March 21, 2014

For Marcello DiPietro Sr., being a paint chemist was sometimes like being a high-wire walker.

"From 1960 to 1974, he worked for M.A.B. Paints," his daughter, Cecilia Lynn, said. "He told us he walked the catwalk in the Spectrum, to check the paints" at one time in the now-demolished arena. "The paints were peeling because of the humidity.

"He needed to come up with a new paint," to withstand both the heat of the basketball crowds and the chill of the hockey rink, she said.

On Saturday, March 15, Mr. DiPietro, 84, of Marlton, who retired in 1984 from Glidden Paints, died of complications from lung disease at his home.

Born in South Philadelphia, he graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1948 and earned a bachelor's in chemistry at Rutgers-Camden in 1953. He then studied for two years at Temple Law School.

In his last three years in college, he worked part time in the chemistry department at the former Publicker Industries distillery, north of the Walt Whitman Bridge, his daughter said.

After graduating, he worked until 1959 "with the coating for the papers" on which Curtis Publishing Co., on Washington Square, produced its magazines. One perk of the job, she said, was that for free "he would bring home the Saturday Evening Post," the Curtis magazine.

With M.A.B. Paints, she said, his work took him far afield. He consulted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and "had a big part in the liquid chocolate" display at the visitor center at the Hershey Co.

While at M.A.B., Mr. DiPietro also owned a firm, Merit Coatings in Vincentown, from 1969 to 1979.

"I just think he loved being in the lab and mixing things up and seeing what he could come up with," his daughter said.

Ann Stumpo, a friend of Mr. DiPietro and his wife, Celestine, for 50 years, recalled times the families spent on Mrs. DiPietro's mother's farm. Mr. DiPietro, who worked with Mrs. Stumpo's husband, Anthony, "used to take the children for rides" on farm equipment.

Lorraine Farms is still in the family, producing vegetables, on Hainesport-Mount Laurel Road.

Mr. DiPietro was a founding member of Greentree Recreation Association in Mount Laurel and a baseball and basketball coach there from 1970 to 1976. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Order Sons of Italy in America, and the bocce club at Legacy Oaks at Evesham.

Besides his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 59 years; sons Marcello Jr. and Stephen; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

A viewing was set from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22, both at the Mount Laurel Home for Funerals, 212 Ark Rd., Mount Laurel, before a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 24 W. Prospect Ave., Moorestown.

Donations may be sent to www.holycrosshighschool.org. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mountlaurelfuneralhome.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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