Michael was born in Gloucester on July 5, 1925, son of the late Leonard and Anne (Favaloro) Linquata.
Michael was an early graduate of Gloucester High School class of 1944 and was inducted into the army at Fort Devens on January 12, 1944. He was trained as a medical aid man and was first assigned to the 134th Infantry, 1st Battalion aid station in France. He was later transferred to D Company; 2nd Platoon as a combat medic in December and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. On January 4, 1945, Michael, left behind by his Company with 20 wounded men in his care, surrendered to the Germans. He was held in captivity as a POW for 88 days and was released on April 2, 1945.
Michael returned to Gloucester after the war and attended Suffolk University under the GI Bill of Rights. He was president of his class and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He remained a faithful and dedicated alumnus of Suffolk and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Commercial Science by the university in 1984.
When Michael finished college, he worked with his father and managed Progressive Fish Company. He married his wife, Lillian, in 1952 and they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in February of this year. They raised four children together and moved to Magnolia in 1966.
In 1957 Michael’s father, Leo, bought Seven Seas Wharf and together they built The Gloucester House Restaurant on this site. The restaurant opened in April of 1958 and has been in operation for nearly 65 years. In addition to the restaurant, Michael and his wife Lillian started 7 Seas Whale Watch in 1983. As he grew older and retired from managing the business, Michael would continue to come to the restaurant every day. Always the warm and friendly host, he loved to sit and visit with longtime friends and first-time customers, often telling them stories, ordering calamari for them to try, and sharing copies of his many writings.
Michael was ahead of his time when it came to Gloucester and understood the value of tourism to this community. Throughout the 1980s, he welcomed busloads of visitors to Gloucester to enjoy a whale watch, a lobster bake, and a visit to local attractions. He believed that tourism could work alongside the fishing industry and that Gloucester, with its rich history, impressive fishing fleet, museums, beautiful beaches, and colorful characters was the perfect draw. He was a true ambassador for the city as he greeted people from across the country who came to see and experience Gloucester.
Perhaps his best achievement is the Gloucester WWII Memorial located on Kent Circle. Built to honor the 5,665 men and women from Gloucester who fought in WWII, the memorial was conceived in 2002. Mike, along with designer and vice chairman Roger Armstrong and treasurer Mel Olson, worked with a committee of devoted local veterans to raise funds for the memorial, select an appropriate site, and oversee its construction. In addition, there was a tremendous effort under the guidance of Priscilla Kippen, Mary Ray, and Lucia Amero, along with the help of countless, unpaid volunteers, to find and record the names of all the Gloucester Veterans who served in WWII. The memorial was completed and dedicated on July 4, 2006.
Michael’s other accomplishments include: President of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, President of the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1979 President of the Gloucester Rotary, 2005 Paul Harris Fellow, Past Commander of the Gloucester VFW Post 1624, member of The City of Gloucester Harbor Improvement Commission, member of the Suffolk University Board of Trustees, and Chairman of the Gloucester WWII Memorial Committee. His military honors include 4 Bronze Stars, 3 Battle Stars, a Combat Medic’s badge, and a Presidential Unit Citation. In 2014, he received the French Legion Medal of Honor.
Michael is survived by sons, Leonard and his wife Dorothy, Lawrence, and Michael, all of Gloucester; daughter, Anne Rose Mortillaro of Naples, Florida; grandchildren, Lawrence Linquata of Phoenix, Arizona, Lillian Austin and her husband Joseph of Los Angeles, California, Nina Linquata of Phoenix, Arizona, David Linquata of Gloucester, and Eleonora and Vincent Mortillaro of Boulder, his sister Julia Scandalito, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by his sister Rosalie Parco and her husband Anthony, his sister Anita Curcuru and her husband Liborio, and his sister Maryanne McCollum and her husband Edward, and his brother-in-law Salvatore Scandalito.
The Linquata Family would like to extend their deepest appreciation to Deb Thibodeau and the staff of Beacon Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of Michael these past 10 months.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, Gloucester on Saturday, March 26th at 10:00 a.m. All attendees are required to wear face coverings during Mass. In addition, the Mass will be streamed live on www.streamography.com/michael-linquata Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Gloucester WWII Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 634, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com
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