Joseph F. "Fred" Baldacci, 95, a Scranton resident, died Monday, July 22, 2013, in Geisinger Mountain View Care Center.
Born in Scranton, he was the son of the late Joseph D. and Stella Rose Glogowski Baldacci. Educated in Scranton schools, Fred began his first job at his family's restaurant at the tender age of 14. When he was 18, he was hired as a night watchman by the National Youth Association (NYA) on Wyoming Avenue. In the early 1940s, he worked for the Murray Plant on Cedar Avenue as a B-52 wing inspector. He then began a 40-year career in a succession of increasingly important finance and accounting positions. As an insurance agent for five years for the Baltimore Life Insurance Co., Fred's territory stretched from Moosic Street to Greenwood. He then spent the next 10 years as a loan officer for the Quaker State Finance Co. After a brief period as a collection manager for the First National Bank of Scranton (the precursor of Northeastern Bank of Pennsylvania and PNC Bank), Fred was hired by the Pennsylvania Banking Department. He spent 25 years traveling throughout Pennsylvania as an auditor and bank examiner, retiring in 1982 as District Supervisor of the Banking Department.
Highly respected for his extraordinary expertise in all areas of finance and accounting, Fred happily shared his skills by mentoring countless colleagues and subordinates, many of whom owe their careers to his assistance. He also took time to educate the general public about financial rights and responsibilities. He was one of the founding members of the Consumer Credit and Counseling Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania and served as its treasurer and a member of the board of directors. He also served for many years on the board of directors of the Area Agency on Aging and was a longtime member of the Dante Literary Society in South Scranton.
He was especially devoted to his mother, Stella, and cared for her lovingly until her death in 1999 at age 101.
A lifelong member of St. Francis of Assisi Church in South Scranton, Fred played a key role in parish activities since 1936. Beginning with the assignment of the Rev. William C. Giroux as pastor and continuing until the church became a part of St. Paul of the Cross Parish in 2009, Fred served as extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, acolyte (altar server) and minister of hospitality (usher). In 1942, he volunteered to work in the rectory maintaining the parish's financial records and preparing its annual financial statements. He served as the master of ceremonies for countless parish social events, including the annual polenta and pasta dinners and chicken barbecues. In the early 1970s, he began serving as an acolyte for parish funerals, missing only one funeral in nearly 40 years, a record unmatched by any of the parish's pastors or lay persons. In 1995, Fred volunteered his expertise as an accountant to count and accurately document the parishioners' weekly donations prior to depositing them in the appropriate bank accounts. He also assisted St. Francis of Assisi's last pastor Monsignor Philip A. Gray, as an acolyte during Lenten Stations of the Cross and numerous other liturgical celebrations.
Fred's selfless generosity as a parish volunteer was matched only by his many financial gifts to the former St. Francis of Assisi Parish. He donated the church's baptismal font, Tabernacle, brass ornaments throughout the sanctuary, an outdoor billboard announcing the parish's Mass schedule, confessional crucifixes, Reconciliation Room furniture, and a funeral pall with associated priestly vestments. The par ish recognized his outstanding contributions of time, talent and treasure by celebrating his 90th birthday with a special Mass in his honor and a reception attended by the entire parish. Fred also took great pride in his longtime membership in the Knights of Columbus, Council 280, and was a life member 4th degree St. Ann's Assembly 938.
Surviving are a brother, Paris Baldacci; nephews, Anthony Baldacci and wife, Lisa; and Joseph Baldacci and wife, Carol, all of Scranton; other nieces and nephews including Donna Baldacci; and great-nieces and great-nephews.
The funeral will be Thursday with Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 630 Genet St., to be celebrated by Monsignor Philip A. Gray. Entombment, Italian-American Cemetery, Minooka section of Scranton.
Friends may call Thursday morning at the church from 9 to 10. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Italian-American Cemetery Association, 1833 Prospect Ave., Scranton, PA 18505. To leave an online condolence, visit www.augusthaasfuneralhome.com