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El Camino Memorial – Sorrento Valley and El Camino Memorial Park
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Henry Joseph Frabotta


1914 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Henry Joseph Frabotta Obituary
Frabotta, Henry Joseph SAN DIEGO -- Henry J. Frabotta, age 99, of San Diego, CA, passed away on Friday, March 28, 2014, in San Diego, California. He was born on October 12, 1914, in North Adams, Massachusetts, to Francesco and Rosa Frabotta. Originally named Arigo John, Henry was the second of six children, growing up and attending school in New Haven, Connecticut. Henry served in the 176th Company, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Paugnut State Forest Camp Number 2180, Torrington, Connecticut, 1933-1934. Henry auditioned for and was admitted to the newly established U. S. Navy School of Music, Washington, D.C., graduating in Band ONE in 1936. Notable Navy tours included accompanying President Roosevelt on his Latin American tour aboard USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in 1936, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) 1936-1941, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, 1945-1946, (Band Leader, "US Navy Dance Band in the ETO" performing weekly on BBC Radio, London) and USS Valley Forge (CV-45) 1950-1951. Henry's Navy awards included Navy Unit Commendation, U. S. Navy Good Conduct Medal (four awards), American Defense Service Medal (1 star), American Campaign Medal, European- African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Medal and Korean Campaign Medal. Henry was a World War II and Korean War veteran. He married the former Winnifred Josephine Mallonee of Wilmington, California in Yuma, Arizona, in September, 1938. They had four children, eventually settling in San Diego. Henry was widely known throughout San Diego as a musician. "Trap drummer" and arranger, he formed the Toppers, a jazz/swing combo, in the late 1950s; playing at numerous private parties, dance clubs and senior citizen centers every year through 2009. He was the band director and lay teacher at Saint Augustine High School where he mentored many aspiring musicians between 1958 and 1979. His wife Winnifred passed away in 2000. He is survived by his sister Mary of Wallingford, Connecticut, sons John of Hingham, Massachusetts and Frank of San Diego, California, daughter Josephine of Indio, California, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held for Henry at El Camino Memorial - Sorrento Valley Chapel on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Henry's name to the Zoological Society of San Diego. "The Song is Ended But the Melody Lingers On" - Irving Berlin.
Published in U-T San Diego on Apr. 6, 2014
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