Orlando Fragasse

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Orlando "Peach" Fragasse
who recently celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends, is now walking hand in hand with his beloved "Margaurite" as he reunites with his loving family that went on before him. His passing was sudden but peaceful, Tuesday morning, March 27, 2012, in the familiar surroundings of his kitchen, where he cooked, prayed, and taught his own family to do the same throughout the years. Nicknamed "Peach" by his mother, he was the last surviving of 15 children born in New Philadelphia to Pasquale and Elizabeth Antonelli Fragasse on Feb. 9, 1922. Peach grew up in Dover after the family moved to their Regent Street home in Tin Town. Peach graduated from Dover High School in 1940 and then joined the United States Marine Corps. He served his country during World War II, participating in the Battle of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima before being honorably discharged in 1945. Peach was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. After his service, Peach returned home and on June 15, 1945, married the love of his life, the late Margaret Cecilia Smith. Together, they enjoyed a life of love, devotion, church and family in New Philadelphia. Peach was employed by I.F. Manufacturing (Ridge Tool), retiring in 1987. His memberships included the Marine Corps League, the New Philadelphia V.F.W. Post #1445, and the Knights of Columbus Council #2372. Throughout his lifetime, he also served on the inaugural committee for the Italian- American Festival, coached Little League, and spear- headed the Tin Town reunions. Peach's faith was nurtured at Sacred Heart Church, where he gave generously of his time and talents supporting its ministries. As a young person, Peach served as an altar boy, and continued in that role alongside Msgr. George Schlegel at Mass daily. In 1954, he became a church usher, a capacity he continued serving in through this past weekend. Over the years, he was always recruiting new ushers. He also was devoted to his "night outs", serving faithfully every week at Tuesday night Adoration. His culinary skills were ever present at his home throughout his lifetime. Peach loved having his family over every Sunday for spaghetti. That tradition grew and in 1987, he began preparing and serving spaghetti for school fundraisers, which continued to date. The Fragasse home was open to everyone and anyone that needed a place to rest, a meal to eat, or a friend to listen. Peach was not only a devoted community member, but a loving and unfailing support to his family. In return, he was richly blessed by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Peach will be deeply missed by his "flock" including, Tom (Beth) Fragasse, Michael "Boots" (Maria) Fragasse, Trudy (Gary) Espenschied, Mary Jo Fragasse, Patricia "Patsy" Fragasse, Lisa (Todd) Thurman, and Barbara "Suzi" (Joe) Ash, all of New Philadelphia; his grandchildren, Mike Fragasse, Gretchen, Betty Jane, and Margaret Fragasse, Zach (Lisa), Tyler (Chrissy), and Thomas Espenschied, Katie, Zeb, and Amy Dummermuth, Kevin Thurman; 11 great- grandchildren, Ic-ies, Kristyle, Micah, Italia, Antony, Bella, Maximo, Cecilia, Carter, Caleb and Addyson; his sister-in-law, Jewell Fragasse; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, Peach is preceded in death by his granddaughter, Donna Fragasse; his grandson, Joey Fragasse; sisters, Italia West, Viola DiGenova, Pauldina Berndt and Mary Cipriano; brothers, Henry, Armando, Bruno, Joe, Nello, Lewis and Pasquale Fragasse, Jr.; and three brothers who died in infancy.
All are invited to call Friday from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia where Christian wake services will commence at 8 p.m. Father Jeff Coning will celebrate Mass of Christian Burial Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. in Sacred Heart Catholic Church at New Philadelphia. He'll be laid to rest alongside his wife in New Philadelphia's Calvary Cemetery. The New Philadelphia V.F.W. Post #1445 will render military honors. Following the committal service, family and friends will gather at Sacred Heart gymnasium where Peach's church family will host a reception. Those unable to attend are invited to share memories and condolences with the family, and light a memorial candle by visiting the funeral home's website. Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Church, 139 Third Street NE New Philadelphia, so that his faithful support of the church ministry may endure.
(330) 343-5506

Published in The Times Reporter on Mar. 29, 2012
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