YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Frank J. “Chico” Mancini was born February 4, 1936, in Youngstown, Ohio. He was the fourth child of Dominic and Tilde (Scarchilli) Mancini, both from Morolo, Italy.
As a child, he was called “Chico” by his mother and the neighbors in their east side Italian American neighborhood made sure the nickname, meaning “Little Frank”, stuck with him his entire life.
At the young age of six, Chico began working for Mazzocco Hardware where he was proud to say he learned to cut pipe for customers. Following a move to Williamson Avenue on Youngstown’s south side, Chico worked part time for Campolito’s Sparkle Market until his graduation from South High School in 1954. During his years at South, Chico had a standout career on the gridiron, as a fullback and linebacker, where he was First Team All-City Series. Chico was known for being a tenacious defender on the field and tough to tackle as well. Typical Saturday Vindicator sports pages read like this throughout his football playing days:
“Chico Mancini tallied both touchdowns, of his 11 in that 1953 season, as the Warriors upset unbeaten Campbell Memorial 13-7 and another against Ursuline in the 1953 City Series Championship Game. He also threw for one from his fullback position as the South High warriors won that championship 28-7.” He went on to play four years at Geneva College at fullback and linebacker under the legendary coach Byron Morgan. Years later, Chico was chosen to be on Geneva’s Silver Anniversary Team as a top player in their 75-year history.
After college, Chico served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon, Georgia in 1958 and the U.S. Army Reserves.
After his service in the Army, Chico began a 36-year teaching and coaching career where he taught Social Studies and drivers education. Chico coached football and basketball at Springfield Local from 1959 to 1968 where he entered the Springfield Hall of Fame as an assistant coach for the state semifinalist Basketball team of 1963. He then had a three-year stint at McDonald High School where they were UPI State Football Champions in 1969 and wrapped up his coaching career at Austintown Fitch. He ended his professional education career as a principal at Austintown in 1995. He coached football for 22 years, refereed high school basketball for 35 years and taught alternative school at Fitch for ten years after his retirement.
Chico was active in Boardman Youth Baseball where he was an all-star coach and league commissioner. He spent summers working at Garramone Distributing on South Avenue with his father-in-law, Gaetano, brothers-in-law, Eugene and Joseph and nephew, Jon.
On June 17, 1961, Chico married the love of his life, Elaine Rose Garramone, who preceded him in death on February 12, 2022.
He leaves behind three sons, Frank, Jr. (Lori), Dominic (Pam) and Joseph (Amy); grandchildren, Maria, Nick, Anthony, Sophia, Vince and Anita; brothers, Anthony “Bo” (Dee) and Gene (Rosemary); sisters-in-law, Marie Garramone, Joanne (Tom) Halt and Ann (Dante) Mancini and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his wife, Chico was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Anna Tropepe and her husband, Jim; brothers, Dante and Mario and his wife, Anne Frances; brothers-in-law, Joseph and Eugene Garramone; father-in-law, Gaetano and mother-in-law, Lucy (Yannacito) Garramone.
Chico took great pride in watching his six grandchildren grow up. All were athletes through high school and some through college. Together, he and Elaine, were diehard fans attending hundreds of wrestling, golf and soccer contests across the country and in any weather.
He was also blessed to have many close friends and relatives. Some of the activities he enjoyed with them were bocce leagues at the MVR, St. Anthony’s and the Saxon Club, golfing in the VFW Struthers League at Knoll Run, working out at the Youngstown YMCA, Saturdays in the M-70 tailgate lot and Stambaugh Stadium cheering on the Youngstown State Penguins, Father’s Day short holes outing, Monday night pizza with Austintown teachers and wine making with his grandson, Vince.
Travel was another great love, so in 1971, Chico and Elaine bought their first pop-up Jayco trailer and drove their family out west for the first of many adventures. Around 1976, they began east coast camping trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which became an annual tradition for 41 years. Chico also had the joy of visiting relatives in Morolo, Italy several times.
Friends may call Friday, September 2 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Fox Funeral Home on Market Street in Boardman.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 3 at St. Dominic’s Church in Youngstown.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the “Chico and Elaine Mancini Memorial Scholarship Fund”, 874 Fairfield Drive, Boardman, OH 44512.
A television tribute will air Monday, August 29 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.