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Company I

Donald Katz 1916-2011

Donald J. Katz was born in Detroit, the first of three children of Sarah and Izidor Katz. He attended the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. As an Officer in World War ll, he served as a Captain in Patton’s 3rd Army and was part of the final push into Germany. His last assignment before returning Stateside was as head of the Nuremberg motor pool for the Nuremberg War trials.

Upon returning home, he joined his father Izidor and brother, the late Wilfred L. Katz, in the fledgling John R. Lumber Company, which later prospered and became a respected member of the greater Detroit business community. He was a dedicated member of the Rotary Foundation. He participated locally, nationally and internationally in this community service organization and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship honoring him as an advocate of the Foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding.

Don was a member and supporter of B’nai Brith and Technion. For 50+ years Don was a member and served on the Board of Temple Emanuel as an officer. For the past 15 years he was a member of Temple Kol Ami.

Beloved husband for 67 years to Bernice Katz. Dear father of Bruce (Andrea) Katz and Steve Katz. Loving grandfather of Emily (fiance Chris Magrin) Katz and Carly Katz. Devoted son of Izidor and the late Sarah Katz. Brother of the late Wilfred (the late Bernice) Katz and the late Marilyn Kaufman. Brother-in-law of Sydell (the late Sam) Leebove, Toby Berkower and the late Dr. Donald M. Berkower. Also survived by loving nieces, nephews and loyal friends.

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Company I

Frank Mucedola 1921-2007

Frank Mucedola (1921-2007) with his wife Adriana (1926-2017).

 Frank Mucedola, 85, of 7007 State Street Road, died peacefully Saturday, March 24, 2007, after his heroic battle with prostate cancer. At his side were his loving wife and family.

Frank was born in San Severo, Foggia, Italy, but lived most of his life in Auburn. He was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church. After the love for his family, music was his life. Frank was a performer, a teacher and a composer. For many years, Frank toured Auburn and central New York playing with the Sammy Speno Orchestra. He performed as a soloist with several symphony orchestras, such as the Syracuse Symphony and the New Haven Symphony. The highlight of his musical career was performing with the world-renowned Mantovani Orchestra from 1985 until his death. They toured the world including all 50 United States, performing for millions of people.

He owned and operated the Frank Mucedola Accordion School. He composed many pieces of music for the accordion; the most famous was the “Fox and the Hound,” which is played throughout the world. Frank was a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the American Accordionist Association, the Italian Heritage Society and the VFW.

Sgt. First Class Frank Mucedola was an Army veteran of World War II, having served with the 304th Infantry Regiment of the 76th Division as part of General Patton”s Third Army that fought through France, Luxembourg and Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star with the V Device for Valor for single-handedly taking out a German gun nest with a bazooka, that had his company pinned down during a night action.

The son of the late Felix and Angelina Mucedola, Frank is survived by his devoted wife, Adriana Coppola Mucedola; three sons, Felix and his wife, Mary Ann, Randolph and his wife, Amy, all from Auburn and Joseph and his wife Cathy, of Weedsport; a daughter, Anna Maria Tuori and her husband, Guy, of Cicero; sister, Dora Longo; brother, Anthony Mucedola and his wife, Margaret, all of Auburn; nine grandchildren, Felix, Mike, Frank, Joey, Diana, Adriana, Alexander, Guy and Jason; and several nieces and nephews.

Frank”s life defined the American experience… initiated as an immigrant, tested as a patriot, and demonstrated to all as a role model. His talents as a soldier helped free a continent, his skills as a musician brought happiness to millions and ultimately, his gifted ways as a husband, father and honor bound friend set an unparalleled standard for all who knew him.

This obituary was originally published in The Citizen (Auburn, NY).


Frank Mucedola’s Funeral –

March 28, 2007

After the mass, the funeral procession got to drive by my Dad’s accordion school one last time and then by City Hall where they rang the Wheeler Bell in honor of the passing of a veteran.  There was an accordion on the front steps where the mayor was standing as we drove by.

At the cemetery there were a couple of soldiers who played taps and then folded the American flag that laid over the casket and presented it to my Mother. It was a great tribute to him.

-Joe Mucedola (Frank’s son)

Frank Mucedola interview from 2003 published by the New York State Military Museum.

Sgt. First Class Frank Mucedola – 1944

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King Features

Jay Kennedy 1956-2007

Jay Kennedy and Jim Keefe – circa early 1990s

Jay Kennedy was the Comics Editor up at King Features from 1988 up until his untimely death in 2007 at the age of 50.

I first met Jay back in 1989. I was fresh out of the Joe Kubert School and he was interviewing applicants for a colorist position that had just opened up at King Features. Suffice it to say Jay saw some potential and ended up hiring me.

Jay was in his early 30’s when he started at King and signaled a changing of the guard in the Comics Art department. He seemed to have a very clear vision in what he wanted to accomplish at King. A fan of the medium, and underground comics in particular, he wanted to bring that sensibility to the comics page. For a field so entrenched in the mainstream it was quite the juggling act. I never fully appreciated his skill at this until after the fact. Over the years I saw him help bring a number of strips on board to King, among them such hits as Baby Blues, Mutts and Zits. And in a field that was dominated by men, he also championed women cartoonists, including Hilary B. Price’s Rhymes with Orange, Sandra Bell-Lundy’s Between Friends, Rina Piccolo’s Tina’s Groove, as well as Six Chix, which had a rotating series of strips all created by women.

Back around 1995 when they were shopping around for a new artist for Flash Gordon I started drawing up samples – and Jay promptly rejected those initial pages of mine. I tried my hand at it again months later and to my surprise Jay not only hired me as the artist but as the writer as well!

Suffice it to say it was an amazing opportunity for a cartoonist still learning the ropes. That first year I did the strip Jay was very hands on. He’d make me do changes to everything from the artwork to word balloon placement. Jay could be rather blunt giving a critique, but it was never mean-spirited. It all had to do with telling a better story. After that first year I was on my own.

I worked with Jay on staff for close to ten years. Too many memorable moments to pick just one… so I’ll end it with saying his legacy is the great strips he brought on board while at King. He also gave me my first big break into this field – and for that I owe him a lot!

-Jim Keefe, Flash Gordon and Sally Forth


In memory of Jay Kennedy King Features established the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Fund which is awarded yearly and “designed to acknowledge excellence among college-aged aspiring cartoonists”. The award is presented at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner.


Jay Kennedy was also the author of The Official Underground and Newave Comix Price Guide (Boatner Norton Press, 1982). It was the first price guide for the underground comix of the 1960s and 1970s. Much of the information in the book was based on Kennedy’s personal collection of more than 9,500 comix.

Kennedy’s underground comix collection was donated and currently resides at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

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Company I

Lorel Roestel 1924-2020

Lorel Wayne Roestel, age 95, passed away on February 28, 2020 in Spokane surrounded by his loving family. 

He was born August 13, 1924 in Spokane to Lorel and Ethel (Matson) Roestel. He married Beverly Watkins in 1947 and started a family raising seven children on a farm out on the Palouse. In 1962 they moved to Snoqualmie Valley, they returned again to Spokane in 2013 until his passing. 

His life revolved around his love for his family and his faith in his Creator Jehovah God. Grandpa loved spending time with his family of 7 children, 27 grandchildren, 37 1/2 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren!! 

He is survived by his sons Larry, Terry & David Roestel; his daughters, Sheryl Ripley, Mollee Raney and Pam Hillemann. He is preceded in death by his wife Beverly H. Roestel and by his son Garry J. Roestel. 

Memorial Service Information

Published in Spokesman-Review on Mar. 8, 2020

Pfc Lorel Roestel
Company I – 2nd Platoon
I-304-76
May 1945 – Schmölln, Germany


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Ramblings & Reviews

Cow-Guy VS Cosmic Cow

Francesco Marciuliano has once again brought up his hypothesis that my signature character Cow-Guy is just a pale reflection of the original Cosmic Cow (from Ted Knight’s iconic 1970s TV show, Too Close for Comfort).
See note below for the history of this feud.

First off, the markings on the cows are completely different. Secondly, Cosmic Cow has a red pencil, whereas Cow-Guy has a green mechanical pencil. It’s totally different!

Here’s hoping this finally lays to rest this ridiculous comparison.


For Cow-Guy’s mysterious true origins, check out The Origin of Cow-Guy!

  • Note: For those who take things too literally, the feud with Francesco listed above is fictional.