Mario J. Ciappa, 96, of Mount Pleasant, SC, entered into eternal rest April 3, 2021, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Born May 7, 1924 in New York, NY, Mario was the son of the late Thomas Ciappa and Marian Galbo Ciappa. Mario married the love of his life, Audrey MacMaster, June 20, 1953 and remained happily married until her death July 7, 2014.
Mario served in WWII as a lead navigator and trainer for the B-24 aircraft and traveled the world. After an honorable discharge he attended Manhattan College in New York and graduated as a civil engineer. His first job was at Seelye Stevenson Value and Knecht (later renamed STV Incorporated). While at Seelye, he established a system of engineering change orders, which was adopted by the industry worldwide. Additionally, he served as the project manager building the Saturn V Assembly Building for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At the time, it was the largest building in the world and the first that had its own weather system.
Leaving Seelye in the 1960’s he established his own engineering firm, which engaged in design of airports, bridges, tunnels and wastewater treatment plants with offices in Islip and Rochester, NY. Mario eventually grew tired of the cold, northern winters and moved his family in January 1978 to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He accepted a job as an engineer for the City of Charleston where he eventually became chief engineer for the City of Charleston. During his tenure, he was incredibly pleased to have precepted the first master plan for the City. Through the 1980’s he managed the revitalization of Charleston and oversaw the rebuilding of the city after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Hugo. One of his proudest accomplishments was designing and implementing work to establish the Charleston Waterfront Park.
He is predeceased by his wife and parents and will forever be remembered as the patriarch of a large and loving family.
He is survived by his four children; Andrea Ciappa Hurley (Don), Thomas Andrew Ciappa (Debbie), Andrew Michael Ciappa (Mercedes), Michael Christopher Ciappa (Sheree); his sister, Marion McLellan (nee' Ciappa); his 11 grandchildren, Danielle Rivera (Wil), Jessica Ciappa Rowland (Brian), Natalie Ciappa, Nicholas Ciappa, Michael T. Ciappa, (Ally), Christopher G. Ciappa, Sandra Ciappa, Joshua Ciappa, Lena Hurley (AJ Overall), Mario G. Ciappa and Holly Hurley; and nine Great Grand Children, Jacob Rowland, Matthew Rowland, Emily Rowland, Jordin Brown, Maddox Rivera, Isla Rivera, Karter Brown, London Brown, and Kinsleigh Overall; his niece and nephew, Patricia Simone (nee' McLellan) (Lenny) and Thomas McLellan (Laura); his grand nieces and nephew, Alexandra Modaffieri (nee' Simone) (Anthony), James Simone and Thea Ferro (nee' Simone) (Matt).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mario`s memory may be sent to Meals on Wheels.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at https://www.mcalister-smith.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, Mt. Pleasant,
1520 Rifle Range Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.