James C. DiPaula Sr., a retired co-owner of a Fells Point wiping cloth company and World War II veteran, died Jan. 29 of multiple organ failure at a son's Crownsville home. He was 90.
Born in Baltimore, Mr. DiPaula was the son of Charles C. DiPaula, Baltimore's first Italian-American assistant state's attorney, was raised in the city's Lake Montebello neighborhood.
He attended Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington, and enlisted in the Army Air Forces in 1941.
Mr. DiPaula shipped out of New York aboard the Queen Mary, one of 12,000 troops aboard the former Cunard luxury liner bound for England, family members said.
A supply officer, Mr. DiPaula was stationed in England, North Africa and Italy during the war.
After the war, he returned to Baltimore, and with his brother-in-law, Edward Connelly, purchased the General Wiping Cloth Co. at Aliceanna and Chester streets, which had been established in 1939.
The company manufactured wiping cloths and rags.
"They sold rags to ships, hotels and hardware stores," said a son, James C. "Chip" DiPaula Jr. of Crownsville.
Mr. DiPaula retired in 1983 after selling the business.
In his youth, Mr. DiPaula had been a diver, and enjoyed playing football and baseball.
In addition to being a lifelong sports fan, he also coached the Roland Park Little League's Cubs baseball team for years.
Mr. DiPaula enjoyed traveling.
"Perhaps his most memorable trip was his visit to Rome as a guest of the ambassador to the Holy See, Jim Nicholson, and his audience with [Pope] John Paul II," his son said.
Mr. DiPaula, who had lived in Roland Park and later Towson, liked to attended Masses in the chapel at St. Joseph Medical Center.
A memorial Mass was offered for Mr. DiPaula at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson.
Also surviving are his wife of 57 years, the former Mary Patricia Callanan; another son, Dennis C. DiPaula of Boulder, Colo.; five daughters, Margaret R. Cavanaugh of Portsmouth, N.H., Mary Patricia DiPaula of Baltimore, Michelle F. Nelson of Cockeysville, Deborah N. Galli of Belmont, Mass., and Joan C. Duckett of Annapolis; and 11 grandchildren.