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Man helped found, build Mt. Pleasant Nativity scene

Brian Bowling
| Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
C. Paul Bando
C. Paul Bando

C. Paul Bando was a simple man who liked working with his hands and spending time with relatives and friends, his family said.

“He was a pretty good carpenter,” his son, Paul Bando said. “He refurbished the entire house we bought in the 1960s.”

Mr. Bando also was proud of being one of the founders and builders of the Mt. Pleasant Nativity scene, his son said.

A quiet man who inspired others by his deeds, Mr. Bando had his moments, said his grandson Patrick Josten.

“He was a man of few words, but when he said something, it either made you think or made you laugh,” he said. “It was always a surprise because he said so little, but from time to time he could get you laughing.”

C. Paul Bando, 97, of Mt. Pleasant died Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in the Harmon House. Born Nov. 19, 1920, in Boswell, he was the son of the late Antonio and Jennie Gatto Bando.

Mr. Bando's father immigrated from Sicily and worked as a coal miner until he broke his back, family members said. He then started an Italian deli, and Mr. Bando and his siblings delivered fruits and vegetables from the store in the community.

Mr. Bando graduated in 1938 from the former Ramsay High School. He served in the Marines in World War II in the South Pacific and Guadalcanal.

“A scorpion crawled up his pant leg while he was in a foxhole (on the island),” his son said. The scorpion stung him three of four times, putting him in a coma that doctors thought would be fatal, but he recovered.

Mr. Bando was a sergeant when he was honorably discharged, his son said.

Returning home, he got a job as a laborer for a railroad and then became a quality control technician for Permali Co. of Mt. Pleasant, a subsidiary of the British company that makes composite materials. The Mt. Pleasant plant made laminated wood products.

After he retired at age 62, Mr. Bando went to California to work for his daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Walter Josten, at Blue Rider Pictures for about seven years.

“He was pretty dedicated to the family,” said Paul Bando. During the war, “he would send his checks from the military home to support the family.”

Mr. Bando had a close relationship with his grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them, Paul Bando said.

A kind man, Mr. Bando enjoyed hanging out at the Mt. Pleasant VFW club and the Mt. Pleasant Fireman's Club, and playing slot machines, said his daughter Nancy Valego.

“He would have a beer every day with the guys,” she said. “He loved to go to The Meadows — loved to play the slots.”

Mr. Bando was preceded in death by his wife, Jean E. “Cookie” Faust Bando. He is survived by his daughters, Nancy Valego and her husband, John Martin, of Lilburn, Ga., and Patricia Josten and her husband, Walter, of Irvine, Calif., and his son, Paul John Bando of Mt. Pleasant; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A blessing service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Brooks Funeral Home, 406 E. Washington St., Mt. Pleasant. A funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. in St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant. Military honors will be provided by the Mt. Pleasant VFW and the American Legion Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517, or online at support.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, bbowling@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribBrian.

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