Sterling Godfrey Mace, 96, of St. Pete Beach, died on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Viewing will be from 10AM-11:30AM at Morgan Funeral Home with a Memorial Service conducted by the Masons at 11:30AM since he was a Master Mason, one of their longest members, since 1945. Immediately following a procession will head to Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell for a Marine Corps Ceremony including a 21 gun salute at graveside, Section 324, Grave #1969.
Sterling Mace was born February 2, 1924, in Queens, NY, the son of Harry and Harriet Mace. He attended public school there and was a Varsity Pitcher at John Adams High School class of 1942. Mace also pitched for the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company. Sterling enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 in 1942 following the Attack on Pearl Harbor. He pitched for the Marines (nicknamed “Lefty”) where a shoulder injury ended his future in baseball. Mace was stationed at Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, the Brooklyn Naval Yard and was sent to the Pacific at Pavuvu where he experienced the toughest fighting the Pacific ever saw. As a rifleman carrying a “BAR” in K/3/5 First Marine Division at Peleliu and later in Okinawa, he was wounded. However, he ran out under gunfire to retrieve an abandoned jeep to save the lives of many injured men, never to receive a medal, with his only thought being to save the lives of his men. Sterling returned home June 10, 1945, and was then sent to the Washington Naval Yard and Bainbridge, Maryland. Sterling was honorably discharged as a Corporal from the Marine Corps on October 25, 1945.
In November, 1945, Sterling married the love of his life, Joyce Eilene Sellers and they were married until Joyce’s death in 2006.
Sterling attended Jean Morgan School of Commercial Art, graduating in 1950, where his gifts as an artist flourished leading to his long and successful career at Jones Beach Theater. He worked for the Long Island State Park Commission and was the Manager of Theater Operations at Jones Beach Theater for 27 ½ years. Moving to Florida, he then became the head of security at the Don Cesar Hotel, Tradewinds Islands Resorts and retired for the last time from Three Palms Point.
Sterling authored a book "Battleground Pacific A Marine Rifleman’s Combat Odyssey in K/3/5." The book speaks to his experiences during battle in the Pacific during World War II. For more information about Sterling visit https:/www.ww2online.org/view/Sterling-Mace#becoming-a-marine.
Upon retirement, he enjoyed golfing, working crossword puzzles and watching the dolphins from his waterfront backyard.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, parents, Harry and Harriet, and his sisters Dorothy and Mercedes.
Sterling is survived by his daughter, Jody Eliza Mace Powell, and his son, Sterling (Skip) Mace and his wife Linda. They along with many family members and friends will forever miss him.