POLAND, Ohio – There will be a Mass of Christian Burial held on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish – St. Matthias Church, with the Very Rev. Msgr. Peter Polando officiating, for Deacon Salvatore “Sal” “Sam” DiFrancesco, 89, of Poland, who peacefully passed away Friday evening, August 4, 2017 with his loving family by his side.
Deacon Sal will be sadly missed but always remembered and loved by his family and friends for his kindness, his generosity and his smile. He was devoted to his faith and touched many lives over the years.
Deacon Sal was born October 24, 1927 in Youngstown, the son of Constantino and Giuseppina (Maiorana) DiFrancesco and was a lifelong area resident.
He attended St. Patrick School, Princeton Jr. High School and was a 1945 graduate of South High School. Deacon Sal continued his education attending Youngstown State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 1974 and in 1999 earned his Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care from Loyola University of New Orleans.
Deacon Sal was a proud United States Army Veteran. He served with the 33rd Training Battalion and was awarded the following decorations and citations for his service to our country; the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Deacon Sal was awarded an Honorable Discharge May 9, 1946 at Camp Crowder, Missouri.
Deacon Sal began his career working at Youngstown Sheet & Tube from 1947 until 1979 as a Jr. Metallurgist. He also worked at Fitzsimmons Steel as a Shipping Foreman, Republic Steel Co. as a Metallographer, Hunt Steel Co. where he set up the Physical Lab Logistics and functioned as the Lab Supervisor and then retired in 1999 from WCI Steel in Warren as its Product Claims Supervisor.
Deacon Sal was a lifelong active member of St. Matthias Church where he was a Lector, Eucharistic Minister and taught CCD prior to his ordination in 1988 by Bishop Malone and served as their permeant deacon until his retirement on December 31, 2013. He was always alongside his wife in directing and helping with preparing for the spaghetti dinners for over 13 years, along with other fundraisers for the church.
Deacon Sal was honored as Man of the Year in 2007 at the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival. He also was Past President of the National Management Association Chapter 909 and did volunteer work with his wife at the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen.
Deacon Sal had many passions throughout his life. He enjoyed socializing with friends, gardening and traveling especially with his wife to Italy. Deacon was also an avid sports fan always rooting on his favorite teams, the Detroit Lions and Tigers but he especially enjoyed watching his grandson Joe’s baseball games.
He married his soulmate, the former Anna P. Olmi, on July 9, 1949 at St. Columba Cathedral. They were able to celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary prior to her death on July 12, 2017.
He leaves behind to hold onto his memories his children, Cynthia A. (Joseph) Nuzzi of New Middletown and Michael J. (Jennifer) DiFrancesco of Chester, Virginia; three grandchildren, Joseph M. Gabriel III of Boardman, Briallen M. DiFrancesco and Keaton Scales of Chester, Virginia and his great-grandson, Joseph M. Gabriel IV.
Besides his parents, Deacon Sal was preceded in death by a brother, Paul DiFrancesco.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market St. Boardman (new location), where a prayer service will be held at 3:45 p.m. by the Infant Jesus of Prague Guild.
Calling hours again on Thursday morning, August 10 from 9:00 – 9:50 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish – St. Matthias Church, 915 Cornell St. Youngstown.
Burial will take place next to his beloved wife Anna, at Calvary Cemetery, Youngstown, where the great men from the United States Army will provide military honors for Deacon Sal.
In lieu of flowers material contributions may be made in Deacon Sal’s name to St. Vincent DePaul Society, PO Box 224, Youngstown, Ohio 44501.
Family and friends may visit www.rossisantuccifh.com to sign the guest book and send condolences to the DiFrancesco family.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, August 8 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.