Cover photo for Joseph Frank Trapani's Obituary
Joseph Frank Trapani Profile Photo
1940 Joseph 2020

Joseph Frank Trapani

September 22, 1940 — August 29, 2020

Joseph Frank Trapani, 79, passed away on August 29, 2020 due to complications from a stroke. He was born September 22, 1940 in Rockford to Joseph J. and Catherine F. (Licari) Trapani. He was a lifelong Rockford resident and attended St. Peter, Jackson and Lincoln schools. He graduated from East High School in 1959.
He met Martha Tippy on a blind date and they married on August 21, 1965. They raised three children and were married for 52 years.
As a young man, Joe worked at the Rural Street Highlander as a butcher from 1959-1963. He served in the United States Air Force Reserves as a Parachute Rigger from 1963-1969. In October of 1963 Joe started his lifelong career at Rockford Screw Products as a machinist. He retired in 2007 after 44 years. He was a member of St. James (Rockford) and St Rita Catholic Churches. He was a founding member of the Amici Italian Dance Group and enjoyed many years of performing around the country. A highlight was dancing for the World Cup Ceremony in Chicago in 1994. He was a member of the Giuseppe Verdi Club of Rockford.
He was proud to be Italian and very much treasured his Italian heritage. He was a quiet man, but if you got him talking about Italy, he would never stop. He was passionate about Italian music, folk dancing, travel, playing Bocce and the Italian card game “Scopa”. In 1977, for his first trip abroad, he took his young family, sister Marilyn and Aunt Rose to Italy and Sicily for three weeks and traced the roots of his family to the town of Marsala and Roccamena, Sicily. It was an adventure that inspired many other trips (and conversations) throughout his lifetime. He went to many other destinations, but his favorite trip was always Italy. He loved to garden and had a special ability to grow the richest tomatoes. He filled his garden with vegetables and yard with fruit trees…pear, apple, peach, cherry and grape vines. After retirement, he learned to make homemade wine. He filled his basement with oak barrels of wine that he was saving for his grandchildren’s weddings. He loved his family and was especially proud of his grandchildren. He lived simply. He was humble. He was a man of faith.
He is predeceased by his loving wife of 52 years, Martha (2017), parents, and sister Joanne.
Survived by his children; Catherine (Nick) Lazzaro of Algonquin, Lisa (Kevin) Frost of Rockford and Joseph (Nicole) Trapani of Marion, IA; his grandchildren, Maddie and Libbie Frost, Mary, Ellie and Alli Lazzaro, Nicholas and Michael Trapani; sister, Marilyn (Tim) Monroe; nephew, Zachary Monroe of Rockford and brother-in-law, Roger Tippy of Bellingham, WA.
A very special thank you to all the staff at Cor Mariae.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 4, 2020 in St. James Catholic Church. A walk-through visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Masks are required and please practice social distancing. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery or the Ethnic Heritage Museum of Rockford.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, September 3, 2020

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

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Funeral Mass

Friday, September 4, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

Friday, September 4, 2020

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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