A Florida native born in Key West and raised along the Florida shore, Mesa embodied the values of the greatest generation. Mesa landed at Normandy on D-Day at Fox Green Beach with the 6th Beach Battalion. His two superior officers were killed in battle and Mesa took charge in their place. Yet he would be the last person to tell you of his heroism. His testament is his years of service to God and country. He served 38 years in the United States Navy and 50 years as a Minister of Hospitality at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
A beloved family man, he is remembered by his wife Glenette and family as a loving husband, father and grandfather “who encouraged his friends and family to fight for what they believe and never judge anyone.”
ABOVE: Mario Mesa, Jr. and Glenette Whitworth were married in Deland, Florida on June 4, 1947. They met at Morrison’s Cafeteria on Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando when Mr. Mesa stopped in with his father to get tea and Glenette was working the register. They often dated around Lake Eola as pictured in this 1947 photo of the couple in front of the flower garden at Lake Eola.
ABOVE: WWII Veteran Mario Mesa, Jr. with his family at his retirement party in Orlando, FL, June, 1985.