Wednesday, November 11, 2015
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Canton, West of Sheldon
45100 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
Rosary at 7 P.M.
Luncheon following Committal Service Thursday at
3350 Ford Road, Westland, MI
Please RSVP to funeral home or family.
Life Story / Obituary
After spending only a few moments with Piacentino Fracassa, it was clear to see that he was passionate about his Italian heritage, passionate about his family, and passionate about life. He was a man of great character and integrity who gave everything he did his all. Piacentino was a devoted husband and loving father who was thrilled beyond measure to witness his family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who were his greatest source of pride and joy. Never one to let things get the best of him, he faced whatever came his way with both strength and courage that were truly unmatched. Although he will be deeply missed, Piacentino leaves behind a timeless legacy that will be carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.
The 1920s were an exciting time in American history, but in Italy, socialism was gaining momentum and the Italian people faced a time of economic trial. It was because of these struggles that Guiseppe Fracassa came to the United States of America in 1921 in search of a better life for his growing family. He came back once a year to visit his family, and it was through one of these visits that he and his wife, Anna Maria, came to welcome twins, their son, Piacentino, and their daughter, Elvira, into the world on September 28, 1925. One of five children to be born and raised in Supino, Italy, Piacentino was joined in his family by his older brother, Guerino, and his younger siblings, Fiorina, and Alfredo, in addition to his twin sister. As a child in
Supino, he and his sister both worked side by side, tending to their family’s wheat fields and vineyards when not working on his schooling. Piacentino was a typical boy growing up and was known to get into his fair share of mischief and exploring with his friends. He attended local schools through the eighth grade.
Piacentino was a teenager during the height of World War II in the late thirties and early forties when the Germans invaded Italy. One day while tending to the fields with his sister Elvira, he ran for cover as bombs were exploding just feet away from them. Piacentino and a few friends were later captured by the Nazis and forced to labor for them on the front lines in Casino, Italy.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, his brother, Guerino, was fighting just six miles away for the United States Army. While their Nazi captors were preoccupied one night, Piacentino and his buddies escaped, traveling 100 miles on foot through the rough mountain terrain to then arrive safely home. Although he had no way to communicate with his father back in America, Piacentino knew that it was at that point that he belonged in America as well and joined his father in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
On December 15, 1947, Piacentino came to America. He got his first job working as a utility man in the steel mills of Pennsylvania. His brother, Guerino, was living in Detroit at the time and Piacentino drove all the way up to see him. Ford Motor Company was hiring when he arrived so he got a job there in 1949. Piacentino perfected his craft of welding by attending welding school, which only furthered his career path. He retired from Ford Motor Company as a maintenance welder after 38 years of dedicated service.
New and exciting changes were in store for Piacentino when he met the young woman of his dreams shortly after coming to America. Her name was Lina, and they met at citizenship school in 1950. One thing led to another, and the sweethearts found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to make a life together, Piacentino and Lina were married at St. Elizabeth Church in Detroit. Together they welcomed three children including Joseph, Maria, and Dino into their hearts and home. Family meant the world to Piacentino, and he did whatever he could to make a good life for them. He worked hard as a provider, and he even purchased a pizzeria that was the backdrop for many memorable experiences and also provided employment for his children as they got older. Piacentino looked forward to holiday times when everyone was gathered all in the same room as it was when everyone was all together that he was truly happy. He was so proud when his family grew to include grandchildren, but he was always so sad when their gatherings came to an end. The Fracassa family was always a tight-knit group because of Piacentino’s passion for each and every family member including his great-grandchildren later in life. Piacentino shared his love for his Italian heritage with his children, which they are passing on to their children as well. Just this past February, he lost his grandson, Dominic, and he never really recovered from that loss.
Throughout his life, Piacentino filled his days with the people and things he loved. He traveled back to Italy 32 times, and these were trips that he savored as it was his favorite place to be. Piacentino also traveled other places, too, such as Arizona, California, Las Vegas, Florida, Bronson, Pennsylvania, and even out West. He also loved visiting his children at their cottages in Northern Michigan. Piacentino was a history buff who also enjoyed reading, listening to Italian music, playing cards, and bocce ball. He loved playing and singing games with his grandkids and great-grandkids. Piacentino especially loved telling stories about what it was like to grow up in Italy, and he loved sharing these with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as well as with anyone else he met. He loved things like bowling, making homemade wine, tending to his garden, and tinkering with his tractors. Piacentino was always very inventive and creative, often making unique projects and pieces of art with his welding skills. These were things that he loved sharing with others. Piacentino also enjoyed working with his friends selling and delivering wine grapes.
All who knew Piacentino Fracassa would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He was a hard worker in whatever he took on, which was such an inspiration to everyone he met. Piacentino was completely devoted to his family, and it was when everyone was gathered together that he was happiest. Deeply proud of his Italian heritage, he exemplified what it truly means to live the American dream. Piacentino was thrilled beyond measure when his brother, Alfredo, and his sisters, Elvira and Forina, came to America, and he forever considered Italy to be his favorite place to be. Life will never be the same without him here, but his memory will be forever cherished.
Piacentino Fracassa died on November 8, 2015. Piacentino’s family includes his wife, Lina; children, Joseph (Joyce), Maria (Mark) Taylor and Dino (Lori); grandchildren, Gina, Christina (Jason) Stewart, Theresa Taylor, Anthony (fiancé Laura), Robin (Chris) Roman and Eric (Jenny) Myers; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings, Alfredo (Barbara), the late Guerino, his twin sister Elvira, and Fiorina. Piacentino was preceded in death by his grandson, Dominic. Family will receive friends Wednesday, 2-9 p.m. at the Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home 45100 Warren Road (between Sheldon and Canton Center Rds) with a Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass Thursday, 10:30 a.m. at St John Neumann Catholic Church 44800 Warren Road, Canton. In state, 10 a.m. Entombment St. Hedwig Cemetery. To leave a condolence online go to www.Turowskilifestory.com