Thomas Marion Fricano

January 2, 1940 ~ February 14, 2015 (age 75)

Thomas Marion Fricano

Thomas Marion “Tom” Fricano of Eatonton, Georgia, died Saturday, February 14, 2015 at St. Mary’s Hospice in Watkinsville at the age of 75.  Mr. Fricano was born in Silver Creek, New York on January 2, 1940 to the late Marion Phillip Fricano and Veronica Militello Fricano.   

Tom graduated from Erie County Technical Institute in 1959 in Electrical Technology and began his career with General Motors as a Journeyman Electrician and became a member of the United Auto Workers Union in local 846.  Tom pursued his passion to serve and represent the local workers which fueled his career in UAW leadership starting with various local leadership roles.  He served 3 terms as President of Local 846.  Tom returned to college in 1970, attending night classes and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the State University College of New York at Buffalo in 1975.  Tom rose through the ranks of the UAW and in 1978, was appointed as the Western New York Area Director, promoted to Assistant Regional Director in 1983, and then elected as the Regional Director of Region 9 in 1989.  Tom retired in 1998 after a successful and distinguished career and continued to serve on several corporate and non-profit boards.

In addition to his numerous duties serving the membership of Region 9, he also served on many union, community and civic organizations.  During this 30 year period, Tom served as vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO, was on the International Board of the UAW, served on the state advisory board of Rutgers University Institute of Management and Labor Relations. Tom also the secretary treasurer of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council and served as board member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, the Western New York Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Buffalo State College Foundation and numerous others. He served a 5 year term as a Governor on the Buffalo Foundation, the first from the ranks of labor to be appointed to this foundation since its inception in 1919. Other organizations Tom served are: Hospice of Western New York Child and Family Services, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Health Care Plan, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York Italian American Labor Committee, Education Eighth Judicial District Advisory Committee, and the Variety Club of Buffalo. He taught Labor Education for UAW leadership at Cornell University and was President of the Industrial Relations Research Association of Western New York. Tom received many awards and recognitions for his work with these and other organizations.

In 1996 Tom ran for the U.S. Congress on the Democratic line in the 27th Congressional District. He was extremely proud to be endorsed by 5 of the 6 major newspapers in the district and capturing 97,000 votes. While he fell 9% short of a victory, Tom was very proud and humbled to have had this opportunity.

On June 23, 1962, he married the former Susan Clarke and last June they celebrated their fifty-second wedding anniversary. After 39 years with United Auto Workers as Regional Director, he retired in 1998.  After living in Buffalo, New York, they moved to their home on Lake Oconee in 1999.  Tom was an active and faithful member of Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church. Tom continued his community service being active in the Putnam and Greene County food banks, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Athens Technical College, was a 50 year member and 4th degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus,, was active in the Lake Oconee Anglers and with St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, Tom also served as Vice President of Region Nine Housing Corporation.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a son, John Phillip Fricano. In addition to his wife, Susan Fricano, of Eatonton, Georgia, he is survived by two sons, David Fricano and wife Ashley of Atlanta, Georgia and Tom Fricano and wife Barbara of Suwanee, Georgia; daughter-in-law, Roberta Fricano and her husband Mark Comroe of New Brunswick, New Jersey; brother, Samuel Fricano of Jacksonville, Florida; sister, Venetia Fricano Lodico and her husband Donald of Lakeview, New York; six grandchildren, Macauley, Madeleine Kate, Ripley, Carter, Salvatore and Tommy Jr; and many other relatives and  friends.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, February 17, 2015 at McCommons Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church, 6341 Lake Oconee Parkway, Greensboro, GA 30642 with Father Salomon Garcia Cortes officiating. There will be a light reception in the lower level social hall following the service.  In lieu of flowers the family requests any memorials be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church, 6341 Lake Oconee Parkway, Greensboro, GA 30642, The Putnam County Food Bank, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital though their website or to the Tom Fricano Scholarship Fund which provides 3 scholarships a year awarded to students that meet academic and application criteria. Please make checks payable to the “Tom Fricano Scholarship Fund” and mail to 162 Highgrove Drive Suwanee, GA 30024 c/o Tom Fricano.

McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.


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