Louis Cataldo, of Barnstable, MA, passed away October 2, 2015 at the age of 95. The son of Lawrence Cataldo and Angela (Ciampa) Cataldo, he was raised in East Boston and Winthrop, MA. Louis was the husband of Lora Gardner Cataldo for 65 years, until her death in 2012.
Louis was a Cape Cod resident for 66 years. He graduated from Winthrop High School in 1938, and served in the United States Navy during World War II aboard the USS Randolph at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Tokyo Bay. He then graduated from the National Academy of Broadcasting, and worked as a recording engineer at the U.S. House and Senate.
While in Washington, D.C., Louis met and married his wife who was working in the office of Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. The couple married in June, 1947 and settled on Cape Cod, Massachusetts where they raised three sons.
Louis served 25 years as Director of the Barnstable County Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI). While there he pioneered advancements in fingerprint technology which led to J. Edgar Hoover's recommendation that he attend the FBI National Academy's 64th Class in Washington, D.C . During his career, he contributed to investigations for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 1960s, including the Brinks Robbery and Boston Strangler cases. Lou was appointed Chief of Police for the Town of Dennis in 1974, and later formed his own detective agency.
Louis was President of the Massachusetts Police Training Officers Association, Regional Vice President of the International Association for Identification, Chairman of the Barnstable County Public Safety Council, Coordinator of the Cape Cod Investigators Association, and was a member of the Massachusetts Deputy Sheriff’s Association, National Sheriff’s Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
His avocation was the rich history of the Cape. He founded Tales of Cape Cod in 1949; served as historian and archivist for Barnstable County; was Chairman of the Barnstable Historic Commission; Coordinator of the National Bicentennial Commission for Barnstable County; Chairman of the Mayflower II Committee; leader of the Barnstable County Tercentenary Historical Commission; President of the Board of the US Coast Guard Museum; President of the Cape Cod United Fund; and was one of the founding Directors for Cape Cod YMCA. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the US Coast Guard Museum building and the restoration of America’s oldest wooden jailhouse. The Barnstable County Commissioners named December 22, 2010 as “Lou Cataldo Day” in commemoration of Louis’s efforts to preserve the history of Barnstable County. With the approval of the Barnstable County Commissioners, Louis created “The Barnstable County Cataldo Archives” a non-profit repository of recorded oral history, photographs, documents and artifacts.
Louis had a strong interest in Native American history and was a long-time friend of John Peters, the spiritual leader of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in the 1970's. He assisted in the acquisition of 7.5 acres of the Iyannough burial site in Cummaquid. He was a board member for the Old Indian Church Meeting House Authority which restored and preserved the oldest Indian church in the country. Louis was made an Honorary Member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and was given the Indian name “Talking Leaves.”
Louis proposed and directed the development of commemorative statues memorializing historical figures with Cape Cod roots. These include James Otis and Mercy Otis Warren which are located at the Barnstable County Superior Courthouse; Indian Chief Iyannough located at the Village Green, Main Street, Hyannis; and John F. Kennedy , located at the JFK Museum in Hyannis.
He is survived by his sons Steven (Melanie) of Barnstable, Michael (Anne) of Plum Island, and Louis (Nancy) of Mashpee. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Julia Cataldo Lee, Celia Cataldo, Talia Cataldo, and Dean Cataldo.
A funeral mass will be celebrated in St. Francis Xavier Church, South St. Hyannis on Tuesday Oct. 6 at 10:am. Visiting hours in the John-Lawrence Funeral Home, 3778 Falmouth Rd. (Rt. 28) Marstons Mills on Monday from 4-8 pm. Burial will follow in Mosswood cemetery, Cotuit.
It was Louis' desire that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to help continue his work preserving the history of Cape Cod to the Barnstable County Cataldo Archives located at 3195 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 02630.