September 22, 1929 - March 30, 2022
Angelo Fracassa, a lifelong resident of Detroit, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 30, 2022. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne, their six children: Angela (Phillip), John (Patricia), Elena, Paul, Jim (Moira) and Matt (Kim), his five grandchildren: Danielle (Christopher), Nicholas, Theresa (Joseph), Laura and Marcus, as well as his six great-grandchildren: Alexander, Joseph, Giovanni, Finn, Philip and Josephine. He is also survived by his younger brother, Alberto (Phyllis) as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and second cousins too innumerable to count. He joins, now, his parents, Amelia and Felice, his late first wife Ruth (mother to Angela and John), and his brothers Romeo and Guido. Throughout his 92 years, Angelo lived by a simple rule: When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence. In every way that he lived, Angelo exemplified this ideal, and his effect will be felt and remembered for years to come not only within his family, but the greater Detroit community in which he lived. Angelo worked for 60 years with the Internal Revenue Service, and during his employment there he would regularly give his own vacation time to other coworkers in need. He took two buses daily to get to and from work, and when it came time for him to retire - at the spry young age of 86 - the IRS and SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation) honored him with one last ride, filled with regular riders who’d gotten to know him over decades, as well as a pair of seats pulled directly from a bus as a memento. Angelo loved to joke that he’d outlived more than a few drivers on his regular route, and it’s no doubt the truth. Angelo loved kids. For years, he could be seen driving a bright orange delivery truck – the famous Pop Truck – around to baseball games in his neighborhood, selling candy and soda to the players and spectators. This was officially a way to help defray league costs, but anyone who knew Angelo would say he did it because he loved making kids happy. When his first great-grandchild was born, the absolute delight on his face couldn’t be denied, and he was in love. Angelo loved feeding people. His daughter, Elena, and her friends, until just a few years ago, would see him at their softball games, passing out apples and making everyone happy. If you’ve ever attended a Brother Rice football game, coached for 44 years by his younger brother Al, you’ve probably received a sandwich from him – a sandwich that no doubt lives in your memory to this day. For decades, Angelo and the family ran an Italian sausage stand at the St. Raymond Apple Harvest Festival, held every September alongside the Fracassa family’s dear friends (and fierce sausage competitors) the Rosenburgs and longtime buddies. If you couldn’t pay for a sausage sandwich, you got one anyway. Every year for Christmas, he gifted his oldest grandchild, Danielle, with a jar of her favorite chocolate covered raisins. When his daughter-in-law Moira mentioned once that she liked the mushrooms he’d made for a family dinner, he proceeded to make them every time the family ate together. These were things he did without thinking – it was more important to him that someone else was fed than it was to make a couple dollars, or make an extra side dish for dinner. Angelo was stubborn. His grandchildren had never known him not to walk with a cane – sometimes two canes – because he was just too stubborn to get the hip replacement he needed, let alone take anything for the discomfort he felt every day. It wasn’t until the age of 80 that he finally agreed to have the hip replacement surgery he needed for decades. He still used a cane after the replacement, but the minor victory of getting Angelo to listen to a doctor’s orders was worth it. Angelo loved his family. In 2013, the Fracassa family traveled to Italy for two weeks, the first time Angelo had been there since he served in the Korean War, where he specialized in counterintelligence, and learned safe cracking and lock picking. The family visited Supino, the hometown of Angelo’s parents, and had an audience with the mayor, as well as visiting with several cousins and navigating the winding mountain streets to find his parents’ former home. He walked through ancient villages, and cooked huge meals for the family at night, and even enjoyed a couple glasses of wine (the rest of the family enjoyed several bottles at these meals). Throughout the trip, Angelo could be found sitting in front of the local convenience store, with other elderly Italian men, watching the townspeople go by and enjoying the day. Has it been said that Angelo loved feeding people? During the family’s yearly camping trips to Lake Superior, Angelo would, without complaint, organize and prepare huge meals for everyone in the campsite, all trucked up to Canada in a trailer painted like the Italian flag. On holidays, the family would gather to make pizza from scratch, or lasagna, or pasta, or giant sandwiches. Inevitably, at the end of these meals, Angelo could be seen eating any remaining dinner salad from a family-sized bowl. He loved to cook, and friends and family would request his skills for a day of making gnocchi or polenta. Has it been said that Angelo was stubborn? No one could forget his wallet: held gamely closed with rubber bands and stuffed with so many receipts and photos, it was a wonder he could even sit down. When asked by his grandchildren why he kept everything – literally, everything – his simple reply was that maybe he’d need it one day. All the stories, all the memories and anecdotes and little slivers of Angelo’s personality – they don’t even begin to add up to who he was. He was a presence both large and comforting, and he will be missed every day. He touched the lives of everyone he met, and his love of food, his love of family, his need to take care of everyone around him – these are his legacy. These are the important things, the ways he’ll be remembered, not just by his family, but by anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him. Memorial Visitation Thursday (April 21) 1-8 p.m. at the Wasik Funeral Home, Inc., 11470 Thirteen Mile Road (west of Hoover) Warren. Family and friends will gather Friday (April 22) at 10 a.m. until a 10:30 a.m. Memorial Mass at St. Raymond - Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 20103 Joann Ave., Detroit. Contributions in Angelo Fracassa's name can be made to the St. Raymond - Our Lady of Good Counsel St. Vincent de Paul Council.
Angelo Fracassa, a lifelong resident of Detroit, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 30, 2022. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne, their six children: Angela (Phillip), John (Patricia), Elena, Paul, Jim (Moira) and Matt (Kim),... View Obituary & Service Information
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