Francis D.  Racaniello

Francis D. ""Frank"" Racaniello

03-22-1931 - 03-09-2020
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Francis Donald Racaniello (“Frank”), age 88, of Rutherford, New Jersey passed away peacefully in his home on March 9, 2020 surrounded by his family. Frank was born on March 22, 1931 in Jersey City as one of six children to Archangelo and Benedetta Racaniello, both immigrants from Bitonto, Italy. Frank attended William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City until he was 16 when, following the sudden death of his father, he left school to help operate the family’s ice delivery truck with his brother, Vincent. Frank served in the 64th Infantry Division of the United States Army from 1952 to 1954 spending most of his tour in Korea where he was wounded in combat and awarded the Purple Heart. After leaving the Army, Frank married Antoinette Battaglia, his high school sweetheart. He worked in Western Electric’s Kearny Works plant until he joined the Jersey City Fire Department in 1962 where he had a very successful 30 year career - ultimately retiring as the Chief of Fire Prevention with the rank of Deputy Chief.

When not at the firehouse, Frank could often be found in front of the stove making macaroni and “gravy”, especially on Sundays when family, relatives and neighbors would gather for dinner. The bigger the group, the happier he was - often needing multiple large pots to boil all of the macaroni. Following his retirement, Frank spent almost every day with his six grandchildren – all of whom adored him. As toddlers, they called him “Poppy” – a name he proudly used the rest of his life.

Frank’s commitment and love for his family and friends was boundless. He found his joy through their happiness and success – never wanting things for himself. He loved to laugh, loved to help, loved to hug and was proud to be American.

Frank is survived by Antoinette, his beloved wife of 66 years; their four children, Dr. Angelo Racaniello and his wife Bridget, Judith Shara and her husband Thomas, Lisa Gardner and her husband Thomas, Frank Racaniello and his wife Marci; and grandchildren Liam, Logan, Jenna, Hailey, Tommy and Olivia. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. Anthony Racaniello and his wife Irma; his sister, Mary Savino and her husband Lenny, his sister, Angelina LoBue, his sister-in-law, Geraldine Racaniello and many loved nephews and nieces. Frank was pre-deceased by his parents, Archangelo and Benedetta Racaniello (DiMundo); his brother, Vincent and his sister, Anne.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. in the Calhoun Mania Funeral Home, 19 Lincoln Avenue in Rutherford, NJ.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. in the Church of St. Mary, 91 Home Ave., Rutherford, NJ.
Private Burial.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Calhoun-Mania Funeral Home
    19 Lincoln Avenue
    RUTHERFORD, NJ 07070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, March 13th, 2020 | 10:30am
    Friday, March 13th, 2020 10:30am
    Church of Saint Mary
    91 Home Avenue
    RUTHERFORD, NJ 07070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Friends attending funeral are asked to arrive here at 9:30am.


  • American
  • Army
  • Purple Heart Award from the U.S. Military

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Private Condolence

Stephanie Rhue

Posted at 11:19am
Dear Frank and Family,

I am sorry for your loss. May great memories bring you comfort during this time.

Posted at 05:27am
we love you Poppy Walter and Lisa
We also remember the first time the kitchen window open and he yelled out "do you wand macaroni's"?. walt never knew italian 's
have dinner on sunday in the afternoon

The Zavaglia Family

Posted at 03:58pm
Thinking of you and your family during this time.
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