WWII Veteran celebrates 100 years of family, faith, and a special talent

Thursday, June 18, 2020
WWII Veteran celebrates 100 years of family, faith, and a special talent
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"He surprised us all, we didn't know he was a painter." Community Journalist Matteo introduces us to a 100-year-old WWII Veteran who moonlighted as an artist.

PITMAN, N.J. -- "Seems like a dream," said Joe Moffa Jr. on the morning of his 100th birthday.

With a smile beneath his mask, he waved to his daughter and granddaughter through the windows of United Methodist Communities assisted living home.

"He's got that fire in him but he's also such a loveable guy," said Alex Ottinger, Joe's granddaughter. The two developed a special bond several decades ago.

After the passing of his wife, Joe Moffa, in his seventies, picked up a paintbrush.

He almost instantly mastered oil painting gorgeous landscapes.

Ottinger, then in middle school, was also an artist. With inspiration from her grandfather, she would grow up to become an art teacher herself.

Joe doesn't paint much anymore, but his new passions at 100-years-old are cracking jokes, watching Philadelphia sports, and making his family and assisted living staff happy.

He was born in Paulsboro in 1920. He served in the United States Army during World War II, fighting in Normandy, Italy, Africa and beyond. Back in his new home in Gibbstown, he started a hardware store with his brother. A man of faith, he was an active member in the St. Michael's Club. He also enjoyed billiards, darts, and playing cards.

Joe was a founding member of the Paulsboro VFW and a life member at the Gibbstown VFW. His family says he is incredibly patriotic and loves his country.

"We're so blessed to have him with us and he's so inspirational with my children," said his daughter, Annette Ogle.

"It's been wonderful having him part of our life for all these years."

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