Francis William Formolo; entrepreneur, retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel and World War II veteran of Rochester Hills, passed away May 5, 2019. He was 97-years-old. Francis was the loving husband of the late Kathleen Formolo; dear father of William (Arlene) Formolo, Martha (Daniel Hoban) Formolo, Kevin (Leslie) Formolo and Francesca Formolo; and cherished grandfather of Amanda (Sam) Marcozzi, Catherine (Daniel) Evans, Sarah (Tim) Hodsdon, Matthew (Jennifer) Ferency and Peter Ferency. He was the great-grandfather of Isabella, Emery, Ben, Noah, Abigael, Alex, McKenna and Xia. He is also survived by many many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and related by marriage, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A first-generation American son of Italian immigrants Ernesto Formolo and Eugenie Franzoi, Francis was preceded in death by all 15 of his siblings.
Francis’ military career spanned over 28 years. He flew 280 combat hours as an Army Air Corp B-24 Liberator Flight Engineer/Gunner in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He received his officer commission in the newly minted United States Air Force just as the Korean War erupted and he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the Vietnam War after which he retired. Notable among the decorations Francis received during his time in service are the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and two Air Medals.
Francis spent his ‘retired’ years pursuing the American dream. He started several businesses ranging from retail goods, food services, residential and investment property development, before settling on his true passion in playing the stock market.
The family will receive friends at the Potere-Modetz Funeral Home, 339 Walnut Blvd, Rochester Friday, May 17, 2019, 3-8 p.m. with an American Legion Poppy Service at 6:30 p.m. and a Scripture Service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, May 18, 2019, 10:00 a.m. with an instate time of 9:30 a.m. at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, 771 Old Perch Road, Rochester Hills. Interment with full honors will be at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Monday, May 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. sharp.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Francis’ name may be made to the Michigan Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund. Online guest book www.modetzfuneralhomes.com