Joseph Henry Fraccola

Jul 16, 1923 - Feb 6, 2012



Born in Pontecorvo, Italy on July 16, 1923 and raised in Utica, N.Y., Joe passed away at the age of 88 years old in Gold River, CA on Febuary 6th of natural causes. Son of Louis A. Fraccola and Julia Salerno Fraccola, he is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Ruth Ciotti Fraccola and his step children: Cynthia Guliano (Carl), Cherylanne Pobuta (Steve), Felix Ciotti Deceased, (Rhonda), Archangelo Ciotti, Joe Ciotti (Wendy), eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren his sister Marie Carzo of Utica, NY and his Havanese Pet, Ce Ce.. He was preceded in death by his sisters: Flora Rabice, Anna Petronio, Elizabeth Rabice and Ida Kupiec.

He was a Boy Scout, Scout Master and a graduate of Thomas R. Proctor High School (1942) Joe attended Excelsior School of Business, Mohawk College, Meyers Conservatory of Music, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Specialist School, Granite City IL, Various Military and Department of Defense Air Force Weapon Systems (Mobile and Fixed Ground Radar Systems, technical schooling). In 1970, Joe received a Professional Engineers License from the State of Mass.

In 1939 at the age of 16, he served as a Private in Company L, 10th Infantry, N.Y. State National Guard.

During WW11 he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was a Technician 4th Grade, member of the 743rd Engineers Heavy Shop Company in Southwest Pacific Theatre of Operation (New Guinea, Biak, Leyte and Manila). Joe was awarded several service medals, ribbons and a Sharpshooter Medal for Rifle 03. He was a Combat Veteran.

Upon discharged from the military (1945), he returned to civil service employment at Griffiss Air Force Base, Rome, N.Y., Aircraft Landing Gears and Hydraulics Specialist. During this period he schooled into Electronics, specializing in Radar Systems. In 1958 he was assigned Equipment Specialist for the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, (BMEWS). In 1967 he volunteered to serve as a “Military Civilian”, Technical Advisor, for Radar Systems in Vietnam and Program Manager for Project Seek Dawn in Vietnam and Thailand. In 1969 received a new assignment, Program Manager, Project Steer Program at Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss AFB, N.Y. He returned to his home base, McClellan AFB, CA in 1971 as Program Manager for BMEWS and Acquisitions of new Radar Weapon Systems for Air Force Logistic Command. He received many awards from various Commands during his 30 years of services with the Air force. Joe received a Civil Service Disability Retirement in May 1976.

His many and varied interests included a lifelong love of music with an impressive knowledge and background of Concerts and Marching Bands and, Drum and Bugle Corps. War declared over, waiting for sufficient points to return home from Manila, he was reassigned to the 734th Armed Services Band which provided entertainments at USOs and Hospitals. He was a Professional Musician and a music teacher for both private and Adult Training Program at Rome Free Academy, Rome, N.Y. He was associated with the Utica Civic Band; Utica JR Symphony Orchestra; Director, American Legion Post 229 Drum and Bugle Corps; Joe is credited in successfully teaching a young man affiliated with the VFW Drum and Bugle Corps, Rome, NY, rudiments of music and the art of bugling that qualified him for a Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also associated with the Red & White Utica Bands; Ilion Civic Band and the Northern California Chapter All-American Contest Judges Association. His pride and joy was the Founder and Music Director of the Whitestown American Legion Post 1113 All American Concert and Marching Band, “THE BLUE JACKETS”.

During 1950 Joe volunteered his time to organize a 2nd Battalion Headquarters, Marine Reserve, Hancock Field, Syracuse, N.Y. Marine Band. A successful recruiting drive was made from local high schools. He was also successful in arranging auditions for Sacramento Area High School’s senior musicians that were interested in becoming a member of a U.S. Marine Band. Joe received an Honorary Recruiter Award from the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Services.

He was Past Presidents: American River Chapter, National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE); Council of Seniors & Senior Organizations. PR Director for Senior Gleaners; NARFE, State of CA Public Relations Director; founder of Gold River America Organization; Vice Chairman Media & Marketing Director, Veterans Memorial Plaza, Mather, CA.

Among his volunteerism, Joe served as a Track and Field Official at Sacramento State University and American River College Track and Field events and U. S. Olympic Trials for over 20 years. He was a former member of the Athletic Congress/U.S.A. Certified Official.

Joe is a Past Exalted Ruler and the 1980 Elk of the Year, Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103, Carmichael, CA. At the 1988-89 Elks National Convention, Joe’ year as Exalter Ruler, he accepted the Grand Exalted Ruler’s challenge, “any lodge who recruits 10% of its membership, he would attend the initiation and personally initiates the new members into the lodge.” Since our membership was over 3, 000 and was successful in recruiting over 300 new members, the Grand Exalted Ruler attended and initiated the new members at Carmichael Elks Lodge. This was the lodge’ first visit by a Grand Exalted Ruler. Members and visitors resulted to standing room only throughout the lodge’ facility. A Grand Success.

In supporting the troops during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflict, he and a neighbor made Yellow Bows that were posted on light posts on their Gold County Blvd. block in Gold River. Joe’ follow up support was obtaining Casino donated playing cards for the troops fighting the war on terrorism. During 1999 – 2005, over 153, 000 decks of Casino donated playing cards were shipped to Troops in War Zones and Hospitals. On July 28, 2002 Joe received a Sacramento Bee ABOVE & BEYOND Award for supporting troops fighting the war on terrorism.

Organized and arranged with St John Evangelist Catholic School having students make Valentines & Veterans Day cards annually for VA patients at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather. Member of ROAMA, Empire State Social Club Luncheon Group; Volunteer, Sacramento VA Medical Center. Life Member: DAV Chapter 93, North Highlands, CA, VFW Post 10125, Rancho Cordova, CA. Joe was a self made Patriot.

He was an Organizer and also a Party Man for Clam Bakes, BBQs, Picnics and a Fund Raiser for Carmichael Elks Lodge, Empire Social Club and various organizations. Joe, his wife Ruth and his Italian Sausage maker crew, made 300-400 pounds of sausage for various events. For this special group, it was merriment time With Antipasto, Pasta, Sausage and Vino for their volunteerism and dedication in support of these events.
Donations in Joe’s memory may be made to St John the Evangelist Catholic School’s annual Veterans Greeting Cards Program for Outpatients/Hospitalized Veterans at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA, at 5701 Locust Ave. Carmichael, CA 95608. (Nancy Conroy, Principal, 916- 481-8845).
He was a man , a patriot who extended himself..He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA
US 95624


  • Joey says:

    Over the past few year but especially the last few days I’ve had time to reflect the lessons you’ve taught me and the man you’ve helped me become.. Thank you for a full life … For caring enough to share with me your knowlege and being my father Love Joey

  • Cherylanne Ciotti-Pobuta says:

    My wish for you is when you saw the face of God you that you realized his powerful love and what a wonderful loving forgiving God he truly is and that all your fear that you once carried in your heart was fear no more but pure joy rising…. rising you all the way to heaven… Rest in Peace now forever. Cherylanne

  • Kenneth & Andrea Pouliot says:

    Ruthie Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Will give you a call.

  • Raymond Kristoff says:

    Hi Joe You and your family are in Michelle and my prayers.Nothing anyone says helps the pain and I found peace in memories. They are forever and a gift the everyone leaves.God Bless

  • Cheryl Boyes Hyry says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you…so sorry I can’t be there on Saturday.

  • Donna and Pat Ciotti says:

    Dearest Ruth and family, All our love and sympathy to all of you. Joe was a remarkable man and you have many wonderful memories.

  • Jennifer Hawkins says:

    Uncle Joe may you rest in peace and watch down on all of us and smile. Aunt Ruthie I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God gives you strength in your time of need. Love you!

  • Paul K. Ayres says:

    Ruth, Judy and I offer our deepest sympathies for your loss. Joe was a very sincere man, involved in community and a true friend. He was instrumental in getting the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza built and all of us on the Board of Directors will never forget him.

  • Phyllis says:

    Aunt Ruthie & Family – we were all so sad to hear of Uncle Joe’s passing. We’re sending our love from all my family – Joey, Bobby and me. We’ll see you on Saturday.

  • Rocco Risucci says:

    Dear Ruth: Sorry for your loss. Joe will be missed by all who knew him. Rocco & Marge Risucci Carmichael, CA

  • City Moving Systems says:

    Joe, you were a true man of valor and courage. Your desire to give to our service man with the playing cards and personal items was a great joy to work with you on. What a real pleasure it was to know you and call you a friend. May you continue to rejoice.

  • Chuck DeRenne says:

    I will always remember Joe and all his activities as a fellow 1988-1989 Exalted Ruler. He won the ER competition for Ritual that year at my lodge. (Marysville 783) He will be missed by all of his Lodge Brothers.

  • Ed Johnston says:

    I worked with Joe for several years while we were building the Veterans Memorial at Mather. I was the Treasurer for the board. Joe was a hard working Vice Chairman and will always be remember for his dedication to the project. My best wishes for all the family members.

  • Joe Pettinato says:

    Dear Ruth, I know your loss is great and the memories are flooding in. Please know that the memories are what will comfort you. Embrace your family and friends during this difficult time. My family and I will keep you in our prayers. Sinerely, Joe Pettinato & family

  • Cathy Bertolani says:

    Dear Ruth, We are so sorry for your loss of Joe. We will always remember you as great neighbors & friends. Sincere yours, Vic & Cathy Bertolani

  • Cecelia Rutz says:

    Ruth I am sorry for your loss. Joe was a good friend and I enjoyed working with him on the picnics and other activities. He will be missed.

  • jean@bill semo says:

    Ruth we have only know joe thru our rome picknick @ our lunches at coco. his dedication was something to never forget. Our prayes are with you and your family.

  • Paul Pennington says:

    Dear Ruth: My thoughts are with you. I will miss my dear friend and fellow Elk and Navy Leager>

  • Robin Jackson says:

    Joe was a wonderful light in my life and a blessing to all that he met. He will be truly missed. God Bless you Joe~

  • Jon-Nolan Paresa says:

    Joe was a very special man. I met Joe in 2000 when he and others were working on the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Sacramento VA Medical Center. He was a friend and someone that I respected and admired. He will be missed by many.

  • Dori Placito says:

    Such a wonderful life you have led, many of those things I never knew about you. What I did know that you were a kind loving man, my kids have such great memories of your visits as so do I. And the way you looked at Aunt Ruthie with such a sparkle in your eye, that will be the look I will always remember about you. Rest in peace Uncle Joe.

  • Bill@Jean semo says:

    we have only know joe thru our Rome picknets and lunches at Cocos. His dedication was something to never be forgotten.

  • Dick Stultz says:

    I only met Joe in recent years and was truly impressed with his depth of patriotism and commitment to voluntarily support veterans and others in need. In recent times, he was pushing to get the F-105 Vietnam Fighter refurbished that sat in front of the VA Hospital. He kept getting slowed or knocked down by health issues in his pursuit, but always came back to get things done. What an awesome history he has compiled about which he seldom talked. His charisma, energy and dedication are an example for all of us and the following generations to venerate. Joe did more than his share to make this a better world. We know you are up there Joe! What projects are you working on now to make things better up there?

  • Phillip & 'Bernice Newton says:

    Joe, we miss all the good times we had together, especialy when we lived in Arizona and saw you and Ruth more often. Thought we had more time to have together. Miss you and love you.

  • Karen & Gabriel Ciotti Sr. says:

    Ruth and Family, I know you must be very proud of Joe’s accomplishments during his lifetime. Sorry we couldn’t have gotten to know him better living so far away. We hope your memories keep him alive in your minds and heart.

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