Nov. 30, 1955 – Feb. 27, 2018
Frederic W. Gioia grew up as a member of one of Buffalo's most prominent and well-connected families.
While his brothers rubbed elbows with governors and presidents, the man known to friends as "Freddie" enjoyed simpler pursuits, outside the limelight. He delighted in coaching his children's sports teams, playing golf with old buddies and, in later years, babysitting his two grandchildren.
"Freddie may not have been the most famous Gioia, but he was the most beloved," one of his brothers, Horace A. Gioia Jr., recalled on Wednesday. "He was a warm, innocent guy who loved making people laugh. He was the most popular guy I knew."
Mr. Gioia, a Williamsville resident who grew up in Buffalo, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 62.
After working 40 years as a food broker with Gioia Macaroni and U.S. Foods, he had retired several months ago to spend more time with his grandchildren.
A graduate of Amherst High School and the SUNY Fredonia State College, he was an avid booster of Buffalo sports teams – the Bills, the Sabres, and the old Buffalo Braves basketball team. He loved playing golf at the Cherry Hill County Club in Ridgeway, Ont. He was also a big supporter of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute's musical and athletic programs and of Miami University in Ohio.
Many of Mr. Gioia's closest friendships grew from the time he spent at his family's cottage in Thunder Bay, Ont., where he and his late father, Horace Gioia Sr., were both known as the "unofficial mayors" of the beach community, family members said. Mr. Gioia loved taking family trips to Cape Cod and Florida.
A devoted husband and father, he is survived by his wife, the former Maureen O'Flynn; a daughter, Emily Junik; two sons, Brian and Stephen; a sister, Angela Gioia Porter; and four brothers, Anthony H., Richard E., Robert D. and Horace Jr..
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3 in Saints Peter and Paul Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville.