Phil Fragale

Obituary of Phil Fragale

Philip “Phil” Joseph Fragale, 91, formerly of Clinton, NY passed away on December 24, 2019, after celebrating one more Christmas Eve with his family. Phil was born on July 17, 1928, in Oswego, NY, to Italian immigrant parents, Joseph and Giovanni “Jennie”, both of whom were born outside of Palermo, Sicily. In 1961, he married Catherine Restle, in Clinton, NY, with whom he would spend the next 58 years sharing their lives, raising four children, and (perhaps their favorite years) enjoying their grandchildren. Upon graduating Oswego College, Phil began a three-and-a-half decades military career when he enlisted in the United States Army. His first stop was the Korean War, where he earned a Bronze Star. After serving five years on active duty, he entered the Army Reserves, ultimately retiring as a full colonel. He and his family enjoyed countless stints on military bases throughout the United States, as Colonel Fragale spent most summers reporting to duty and instructing and participating in military courses, including the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Phil began his career in public education when he graduated SUNY Oswego’s New York Teacher’s College. He began his long career at Clinton Central School teaching driver’s education, where his fearlessness and perpetually calm demeanor enabled him to teach a generation of nervous, distracted teens how to drive. Phil spent most of his career as a school administrator, retiring for the first time in 1985. But before he was able to begin enjoying his retirement, he agreed to become the principal at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Clinton, NY, where he spent three of the most-enjoyable years of his career and could often be seen during lunch recess skipping rope and playing other games with his students. Phil spent many hours during retirement becoming a master bridge player and golfing with his family. However, Phil and his wife, Cathy, spent most of their time with their beloved grandchildren, taking them on countless vacations and attending all of their sporting events. A quiet man, when he was not singing, Phil is perhaps best remembered for his singular sense of fairness and honesty, characteristics observed and admired by generations of students and soldiers and, especially, his family. He is survived by his wife, Cathy, their daughters Jane McEachron and Susan (John) Clancy, sons Jeffrey (Renee) Fragale and David (Elissa) Fragale grandchildren, Connor, Alexandra, Olivia, Jordan, Jacob, Sophie, Maxwell, Henry, Avery, and Lila, and his sisters Phyllis Kimiak and MaryAnn Pedersen. Private Mass for family and close friends will be held at 10am Thursday, January 2, 2020 at St. Mary’s in Clinton, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations in Phil’s memory can be made to a charity close to your heart.
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