Joseph Muscarella, former president of Cosmos Minerals Corporation in Camarillo, Calif., died at home on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. He was 83.

Joseph Muscarella was born in Lodi, N.J., on March 27, 1929. His respect for higher education and sheer determination to succeed were the determining factors that influenced the decisions he would make in the future. While working to support a small family, he attended Rutgers University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Marketing from Rutgers in 1959, and he was employed concurrently by M &T Chemicals, Inc. Muscarella ultimately was appointed district sales manager of M&T Chemicals Inc., with responsibility for the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

Muscarella eventually accepted an offer from a California firm, Futura Metal Technology, a small supplier of corrosion-resistant equipment that specialized in titanium fabrication for the electroplating industry. By 1970, his small family had grown to 10 children. Once again, Joe saw the opportunity to accept a challenge involving uprooting his family and immersing himself into a more encompassing job. It wasn't long before Muscarella was appointed president of the company. Under his watch, Futura Metal Technology grew from a local supplier into a multimillion-dollar operation on a worldwide scale.

The entrepreneurial spirit drove Muscarella to start his own business. In 1982, he founded Alert Supply, a chemical distribution company in Agoura, Calif. Soon after, an opportunity to purchase a small company called Cosmos Minerals Corporation in Camarillo, Calif., arose. His vision, coupled with his experience in the manufacture of corrosion-resistant equipment, propelled the company to become a major supplier of this equipment to the pharmaceutical, chemical processing, pulp/paper and electroplating industries. The fabrication of exotic metals, including titanium, tantalum, niobium and zirconium, became the vehicle for worldwide success. Cosmos Minerals was reputed to be the world''s largest fabricator of tantalum products.

Joseph Muscarella was predeceased by his first wife, Rosina; and parents, Joseph Muscarella and Josephine Muscarella. He is survived by his 10 children: Joseph P. Muscarella III of Vista, Calif.; James A. Muscarella, of Los Altos Hills, Calif.; Nancy J. Patterson of Arroyo Grande; Michael R. Muscarella of Camarillo; John P. Muscarella of Camarillo; Thomas A. Muscarella of Camarillo; David C. Muscarella of Loomis, Calif.; Susan M. Whalen of Arroyo Grande; Peter S. Muscarella of Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Steven F. Muscarella of Camarillo. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His brother, Mark Muscarella, and sister, Giovanna Polito, currently reside in Spring Hill, Fla.
Read the entire obituary as published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on December 23, 2012.