Hello my name is John F. Frasco, DDS and a whole bunch of other letters, (AKA, “Pops”, “Uncle Fester”, “Pop”). If you are reading this then what I said a lot “With birth, comes death, everything in between is the adventure” must apply to me at this moment. An obituary is usually dry and stuffy, but my adventure in life was very much the opposite of the norm.
I would like to share somethings with you that you probably didn’t know. I was born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois the son of John S. and Camille L. (Leona) Frasco. My father was more than just a mentor, he was a constant guide in my life and I followed in his footsteps and worked side by side with him. Mom (“Auntie Suzie”) was a story all of her own, but I loved her deeply. To my wife Kathleen “Kathie” M. (Orlowski) who I married on June 20, 1970 and my son John M. Frasco, I want you to know that I love you both, even though I was often a benevolent curmudgeon. To my friends, co-workers, DMORT and Elks members, who KNOW I am a curmudgeon, you need to know that we have been on numerous rodeos but the pleasant and sometimes whimsical moments were some of the best times of my life. I have shared compassion, respect and dignity for everything and everyone I have worked with in my three careers.
I graduated from St. Joseph High School, St. Mary’s College, and Loyola University of Chicago. It seems as my life was surrounded by Priests, Nuns, Brothers and Monks – this may be why I have had an attitude, at times. I held dental licenses in Illinois and Iowa. My first career of the three was in dentistry. This included being a participating member of some very fine professional and administrative organizations of which I served in leadership roles. One of which was being a Dean at Loyola School of Dentistry. I have always been a hands on person, so I loved being in the clinics, and as an assistant Professor. The hatred of paperwork did lead me down the road to careers two and three. Dentistry also leads me to some very interesting Forensic pursuits. I will engage you later on that.
Following my father and mother’s deaths, Kathie and I made a wonderful decision to leave “The City” and pursue my career in a quieter and more relaxed location. After looking at many communities, we decided to land in Mason City and open my practice here. We live at 216 S. Vermont Ave. Mason City, Iowa 50401. It was closer to her parents and we have other relatives in this area. For several years I owned and operated Creek Side Dentistry, and then I decided to semi-retire and work part time Dentistry in Northwood. I then discovered I had too much time on my hands and started working part time at Ace Hardware. No, there were no Black and Decker power tools in my operatory. However I have had two passions outside of my careers. Fishing and woodworking. One of my ministries was making wooden toys for my grandchildren and others. I also made wooden infant urns that I donated to a dear friend in Texas for their cemetery for those that could not afford them.
My second career was being the general manager of the Mason City Elks Lodge. I served as an officer in many positions including being the Exalted Ruler (President). As the manager I did the ordering for the club rooms and did the books for both the lodge and the club. I also pitched in with the cooking and bartending many times. That is my Sicilian Italian coming out. So many wonderful members and a few grouchy old men. Working with the staff made my day, most days anyways.
My third career was one of my biggest passions in life. I was exposed to forensics in school and my dental career. I was a
Deputy Coroner for DuPage County, Illinois and was an investigative consultant for many deaths, bite mark cases and
mass fatality incidents. Three were prior to my joining the DMORT Federal Team. These included American Airlines Flight
#191 at O’Hare Airport, a natural gas explosion and the Paxton Hotel Fire in Chicago. With DMORT I have been deployed
to a Korean Air Line crash, City of New Orleans Amtrak train derailment in Bourbonnais, IL, spent many months as the
dental section Leader at the World Trade Center Attack, in conjunction with the American Airlines Flight crash at the
same time, the Katrina Rita Hurricanes in Mississippi and Louisiana, and the Puerto Rico Island Hurricane. Along the way
I was proud to serve in the capacity of being the Administrative Officer for our Region VII, and also working missions
from Washington DC to make sure everyone got their pay and travel voucher reimbursements. Sometimes working with
the government regulations is like herding cats or nailing Jell-O to a tree. Speaking of nails, you buy them by the pound
and you get rid of them the same way. I had to throw a tangent in somewhere or people will not believe I really wrote
My adventure also included me making dental and mass fatality presentations, lectures, publications, memberships and
a whole host of helping others the best I could. I heard once that you never will know the impact you make on others
through speaking, writing, a handshake, a heartfelt thank you. But I think I did pretty well as an old grouchy
curmudgeon. I must have done more than I thought, because my curriculum Vitae is 13 pages long. I took a lot of people
under my wing. Most soared like eagles, but some just waddled like ducks, I did my best with all of them.
To those who will miss me the most, I want to say – take a year to grieve, then remember all the good times we have
had. Laugh, joke, cry, but most of all smile at the things we did. At least we didn’t end up sitting on a bench in jail
together. This includes Kathie who has been by my side during this trip for nigh unto 50 years, my favorite (only is the
joke) son John and his wife Nicole of Pleasantville, NY, my all-time favorite grandchildren Sophia Eileen and Giovanni
Federico; my sister Rosemary Frasco of Minneapolis, MN; and all of my Bruddas, and friends who I’ve met. I wouldn’t
change a thing, because then I wouldn’t be who I am. You all had a part in making me, me.
I was preceded in death by my parents and my infant brother Michael.
I hope my family respects my wish to have an old-fashioned DMORT gathering. A celebration where all will have an
opportunity to hoist a toast, shed a tear, hug one another, and talk honestly about me. For once, I cannot interrupt, or
tell the same story again, so I expect all of you to share stories about me. Bless all of you that I have had the privilege to
know and care for, and for the same that you have shown me. I will be watching all of you from over your shoulder.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may consider memorials to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To share
with the family, sign my book and leave a message go to the website below. My family will cherish what you have to
I died peacefully on Thursday, May 28 th , 2020 in my home, with my family by my side. Over the last few days I was under
the expert care of MercyOne North Iowa Hospice both in home and a brief stint inpatient. Glad I didn’t piss them off too
much when I sent them away the first few times. Thanks to Stacy, Rob, Lisa, Carol, Doreen, Amber, Tammy, Michelle,
Dr. Gedney and countless others. You helped me as much as I’d let you…and a little more. You also helped Kathie and
my son through the unimaginable.
I did it my way, as always.
Fullerton Funeral Home, 123 2 nd ST. SE, Mason City, Iowa 50401-3904. 641-423-8676. www.Fullertonfh.com, or