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Charles J. Fratello, 97, a retired butcher and grocer who was widely known for his home-made sausage, died Thursday (March 26, 1998) in his home on 30th Street while he was under the care of Niagara Hospice.

A native of Niagara Falls, Fratello was 14 when he entered the family's meat and grocery business on 11th Street with his father, the late Cosmo. He later operated Fratello Brothers grocery there and on Pine Avenue until 1960 when he became associated with his son-in-law, Tom Schiro, at G.C. Smith Grocers on 15th Street.

Fratello remained active in business until he was well into his 80s. He was widely known for his Fratello Brothers Italian sausage, which was served at many area restaurants and pizzerias and was a holiday must for countless families.

He also enjoyed a second career as a real estate salesman and was associated with Bishara Realty. He took real estate courses at Niagara County Community College.

Fratello was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed gardening, hunting and fishing at his properties in Steuben County and in the Town of Porter from the early days of this century until fairly recently.

He also was an excellent bowler for many years and an enthusiastic golfer. He was an usher and member of St. Mary of the Cataract Catholic Church for many years and was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 247.

His wife, the former Lucy Gaeta, died in 1988.

Survivors include four daughters, Anne Schiro, Annette Venuto, Marjorie Pitarrresi and Charlotte Tompkins; a sister, Mary Travell of Florida; a brother, Thomas; 27 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 1:30 p.m. today in St. Mary of the Cataract Church, 259 Fourth St. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston.


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