Frank A. Rago Jr.(1931 - 2014)

RIVER BEND, NC ~ Frank A. (Francesco Amerigo) Rago, Jr., age 83 passed away on June 17, 2014, at his home in River Bend. Frank was born May 17, 1931, in Syracuse, N.Y., the second child and only son of Frank A. Rago, Sr. and Evangeline Fazio Rago. He is predeceased by his parents, his sister, Virginia Rago Kelleher, and his beloved wife, Marie, and his best friend Richard A Planer.
Frank attended schools in Syracuse, N.Y., and graduated from Central High School. Frank was always an entrepreneur and successful in all his undertakings. Frank started college at Syracuse University and then entered the U.S. Army Air Force in 1952 and mustered out in 1954 with the rank of Senior Passenger Traffic Specialist. Upon returning to civilian life, Frank re-entered Syracuse University and completed his B.S. in Transportation. Frank was introduced to Marie Smith, who became the cherished love of his life. Marie was a nursing student when they were married and they raised five beautiful daughters.
After college, Frank worked for Strick Trailer Company and was one of their top salesmen. After leaving Strick, he became involved in many businesses, notably Syracuse Restaurant Supply, and Crusty Kelly's Deli which he co-owned with his good friend Jon Kelley. Frank found his dedicated career by starting Popcorn Supply Company in Syracuse. As a Gold Medal dealer, Frank serviced carnivals, fairs and circuses in the area, supplying them with popcorn, nacho mixes, and all types of food sold on the mid-ways. Marie helped with the Popcorn Supply Company, making signs to be used at trade shows and conventions. Frank was well known by all the circus and carnival people in the areas he serviced, earning the respect of his circus "family" by making needed deliveries with no regard to time or distance. Frank was a respected member and leader in the New York State Showmen's Association and held several offices. He was also an active Democratic supporter and held several offices within the party in the Onondaga Hill area.
Frank was an active member of several Roman Catholic Churches in Syracuse, N.Y. He later was received into the Anglican Catholic Church. Frank was a Licensed Lay Reader and held several Vestry offices at St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Catholic Church in Liverpool, N.Y. Upon retiring to New Bern, Frank became a member of St. Bartholomew's Anglican Catholic Church. He held various parish offices with this church, served on the Vestry as well as acted as Co-Treasurer. Frank was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Anglican Catholic Church in 2014. Frank was a member of the American Legion in Syracuse, N.Y.
On retirement in New Bern, Frank became active in and served at the officer level of American Legion Post 24 and was a member in good standing of the Forty & Eight. He served on the Water & Sewer Committee for River Bend Township contributing his knowledge of construction and engineering to assist the committee.
In 2000 Frank became reacquainted with a former college friend from Syracuse, Lois Ellis living in New Bern; they were married on July 13, 2002, in Syracuse. When Frank retired from Popcorn Supply, he and Lois relocated to River Bend.
Frank is survived by his wife and caregiver, Lois Rago, of the home; daughters Elizabeth Rago Dillon of Syracuse, N.Y., Susan Rago Dingman of Syracuse, Nancy Rago Kissane, Clifton Park, N.Y., Virginia Rago Shabow of Apex, N.C., and Christine Rago Abernethy and husband Dan of Alpharetta, Ga., and step-daughter, Rebekah Fisher Cowell, Chapel Hill, N.C. He is also survived by grandchildren, Colleen Dillon, Laura Dillon, Elizabeth Dingman, Megan Dingman Nugent (Jason), Sarah Dingman, Julia, Natalie and Meredith Shabow, Carolyn Kissane, Andrea and Francis Abernethy; great-grandchildren Jackson Nugent with a new baby due in September, Connor Johnston, Keara Popp, and step-great grand daughter Hannah Elizabeth Reeves-Cowell.
Memorials in Frank's memory may be made to St. Bartholomew's Anglican Catholic Church, PO Box 23, New Bern, NC 28563. Online condolences may be made at
A Memorial Mass with U.S. Air Force Honors will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 17, 2014, officiated by The Venerable Sanford R. Sears, at St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, 4718 Old Cherry Point Road. Private inurnment will be at the State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, N.C., and at St. Agnes Cemetery in Syracuse, N.Y. Friends will be met by the family in the Narthex of the church immediately following the Memorial Mass.
Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Rago Family.

Funeral Home

Pollock-Best Funerals and Cremations
2015 Neuse Boulevard New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 637-5111

Published in Sun Journal from July 13 to Aug. 11, 2014