Brother Frank Bracchi, SDB, died at the Salesian Residence of St. John Bosco High School on 19 Aug 2009 at the age of 93 and 10 months.
Brother Frank was born on 9 Nov 1915 in San Luis Obispo, CA of Henry Francis Bracchi and Maude Grace Stebbins. He was baptized at the Old Mission in San Luis Obispo on 11 Nov 1915.
He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in Oct 1940. He was assigned to 88th Reconnaisance Squadron, 7th Bomb Group - Tenth Air Force stationed in Salt Lake City, UT.
Before the US entered WWII, Brother Frank was destined to go to Pearl Harbor, HI, but because of the attack on 7 Dec 1941, his ship was diverted to Brisbane, Australia. He spent six weeks there to assemble P40 aircraft for action in Java. Afterward, he was ordered to board the USAT Holbrook to sail to Java. However, upon news of the Japanese invasion and possession of the Island, he was sent to Karachi, India in March 1942. He worked as an airplane mechanic and crew chief at various airfields across India. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war with the rank of Master Sergeant.
After the war, he worked as an auto parts salesperson at the Redwood Automotive Supply in Redwood, CA. As time went on he felt a calling to be of service to young people and discerned with the help of a Jesuit at Alma College who encouraged him to seek admittance to the Salesians in Watsonville, CA. After a year of service at the Watsonville school, he was admitted to the Salesian Society after a year of preparation, taking his first vows on 8 Sep 1955 in Newton, NJ. Immediately after this he was sent to the newly opened Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead, CA. He professed his final vows there on 8 Sep 1961.
He remained at Don Bosco Technical Institute until 1976 when he was assigned to St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, CA. There he was assigned to be the ninth grade academic counselor. While serving as career counselor he earned the graduation certificate from Cal State, Long Beach, CA. Then in 1985 he developed the Career Guidance Center and in March 1989, the school received the "President's Award" from the California Career Association for having an outstanding Career Education program - due mainly to Bro. Frank's efforts. Bro. Frank retired in 1994. He continued to work with students on their career paths and created "Career Cruising" to further assist them. In 2006, when he celebrated his 51st anniversary of profession, Bro. Frank received the Lifetime Achievement Award Plaque for his service to young people. He remained at St. John Bosco High School until his recent death.
Brother Frank was loved by all who had the pleasure o knowing him. He was known to be humble, direct but patient. He was very passionate about his service for young people in career counseling. He had a unique sense of humor that his friends and acquaintances appreciate. He was an intelligent man who never stopped learning. As a religious brother, he was constant in all his spiritual practices, thoroughly dedicated to his calling to serve young people and very generous with his time to his religious community.
Brother Frank enjoyed traveling, meeting together with his religious community. Brother Frank will be missed. May he rest in peace.
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA 25 Aug 2009
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