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Highwood Bocce Club’s Peter Pieracci, Mario Massa and Paolo Giannetti at 2017 United States Bocce Federation National Championships held at Highwood Bocce Club. (22nd Century Media File Photo)
Alan P. Henry, Freelance Reporter
2:34 am CDT August 1, 2019

Mario Massa, nicknamed the “godfather of bocce” and a beloved fixture at the Highwood Bocce Club since it opened in 1969, died July 14, 2019 at age 100.

“Mario loved the game of Bocce and was dedicated to promoting the sport. He was instrumental in the emergence of the United States in international bocce competitions,” said the Highwood club in a statement.

“I start to play my game when I was a teenager and I was good and win a a lot,” he told WTTW in an interview last year. “It’s a beautiful game. Believe me.”