My name is Ric Frataccia. I live in Fishers, Indiana with my wife, Luba, and our two boys, Aidan (11) and Ryder (6). I am the oldest of Dr. E. Ric Frataccia and Mrs. Kaye Frataccia’s two sons.
The ability to properly articulate the words to describe the loss of my father does not exist.
With the family by his side, Dad quietly and peacefully drifted off to sleep for the final time. It was 8:15 PM on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. His kindness, loyalty, and devotion are unmatched and his loss is a heartbreaking tragedy.
A little about Dad:
He started loving my Mom, Kaye Frataccia, 45 years ago. From that day on, he never stopped. Ever.
With his wife, two children, and four grandchildren, Dad had a lot of fun. He treasured happiness, and he TRULY loved his life and those with whom he shared it. A little-known fact about Dad is that he was an intensely emotional man.
Dad worked really hard. He worked really, really hard every single day, and did so doing something that he loved. That’s incredibly simple, but true. He was never embarrassed about working hard, even if it resulted in a failure.
Dad was a leader. He was the leader of many things, many times for many, many years. He always had a vision. Visions of how to create more opportunities, and improve the overall experiences of those who trusted him with the task. His visions were supported by the remarkable ability and determination to make them a reality.
When it came to effort, Dad never accepted anything less than 100% from himself, both personally and professionally. This expectation he set for himself is what allowed him to justify demanding the same of others.
Mom and Dad exhibited an unusual genius for community involvement. Dad died as one of the most highly and affectionately regarded members of the community as a result of their decades of commitment, support, and service to their many causes. They are two of the truly great people, two of the rare few who don’t want the glory or accolades. Being in the spotlight for any reason just never mattered to them, so long as things were getting done and getting done right.
Together with my mom, Dad was a PROUD advocate for children, their families, the community, and anyone in need of a voice. To the end, Dad always aspired to make a beautiful tomorrow. Not for himself, but for those around him.
Most of all, Dad taught us that character is essential. He showed us this every single day by how he lived his own life. What he was was exactly how he died—a strong and compassionate man of true and unwavering character. A man of honor, integrity and selflessness.
As Dad became ill over the past few months, his life began to slowly compress into a smaller circle. Still, he continued to fight. Hard. He always fought, and always, always with love at the core of that effort.
Dad did not endure the pain from recent months for himself. And he never made anything about himself. He took the pain because he set destinations that he was determined to reach. Destinations for him and my Mom. Destinations for his kids. Destinations for his grandchildren. Destinations for his community.
Sadly, Dad’s death marks the end of one era and the start of another. Without question, his expectation of us during this or any other challenging time is that we stay strong, that we stay together, that we never lose sight of our visions, and that we do not, under any circumstances, stop pressing forward in the pursuit of those visions.
As I reflect back on Dad’s beautiful 71-year life, I choose not to allow the final chapter in his story to conclude with death simply “happening” to him. After all, Dad finally achieved reaching the last of the “destinations” he set. He also achieved reaching the last of the “beautiful tomorrows” that he aspired to create. Therefore, death did not simply “happen” to my Dad, it was ACHIEVED by him.
In closing, I’d like to reiterate the sentiments expressed by my Mom on November 14, 2018:
“Ric was blessed to have such wonderful, wonderful friends who helped him, consoled him, laughed with him and fought the battle with him. We are eternally grateful to have you in our lives. From the bottom of our hearts and on Ric’s behalf, we truly thank you.”
He was my hero, my friend, my Father. I love you, Dad.