Service Date: 04/04/2017 at 11:00 AM
Location:St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Funeral Mass will be celebrated with a reception to follow at St. Charles Borromeo, 7112 S. 12th St., Tacoma on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at 11:00 am. Rosary will be recited at Gaffney Funeral Home on Monday, April 3rd, at 7:00 pm.
James Paul Moceri a lifelong Pierce County resident passed away peacefully on March 27, 2017. He was 94. He was born Giacomo Paolo Moceri in a home in what was then the Italian neighborhood of Tacoma’s Hilltop, on January 30, 1923. He was the first born child of Italian Immigrants, Paul and Mary (Manza) Moceri. The family resided for several years in Seattle until they migrated to the Sumner Valley where they were berry and bean farmers. James was the first to drive berry trucks and eventually berry buses into Tacoma to pick up workers for the farm.
James attended Dieringer School and Sumner High School. Upon graduation from high school he attended and graduated from the University of Washington before attending the University of Chicago Medical School. World War II shortened his medical education when he was drafted into the Navy. While in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco he attended for a short time Stanford University. Upon discharge from the Navy he changed educational directions and entered Law School at the University of Washington graduating in 1949 and opening a Law Practice with his cousin Michael Manza in South Tacoma.
While at a dance at the Newman Club at the University of Washington he met his first love, Gloria Maria Boitano. They were married in 1949 and lived for a short time in Tacoma’s Italian community before moving to Tacoma’s west end and raising their five children.
James was well respected and became one of the great lawyers of his generation in the State of Washington. He was a trial lawyer who advocated for the injured against the more powerful. During his career he was responsible for jury and court legal decisions that protected and expanded the rights of the injured and disadvantaged. He was a former member of the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, The National Board of Trial Advocates, The Washington State Bar Association, The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, the past two time president of the National Association of Claimants Compensations Attorneys for the State of Washington which is now called the Washington State Association for Justice, and the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association.
Shortly before James retired from the practice of law his lovely Gloria passed away. James retired in 1986 and thereafter met and married Virginia Martelli.
James was able to travel through Europe (his favorite being Italy and Sicily), Australia, New Zealand, partook in several cruises and spent time every year at his Maui condo.
He may have left the Sumner Valley farm but farming never left him. He remained a great backyard farmer feeding his children, grandchildren and friends the vegetables he grew.
His Italian roots were always with him in his appreciation of good food and family. He found great joy in spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, with a smile quickly becoming fixed on his face when they were in his presence. He was a member of the Sons of Italy, the Society of Christopher Columbus, Amvets, The Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the Serra Club, was a Eucharistic Minister for his church and was known to many as a warm, giving gentleman who was respected by all.
He will be missed by many, including his Sister Michelina Shively (Ralph) of Tacoma; daughter Angela Moceri of Tacoma; son Paul Moceri (Susan Porter) of Van Zandt, Washington; son John Stephan Moceri (Vicki) of Tacoma; son George Moceri of Tacoma; daughter Victoria Moceri of Seattle; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; the daughters, spouses and extended family of his second wife, Virginia; brother-in-law Donald Martelli and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Gloria, his wife Virginia, and by his brothers Armand and Raymond.
Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home