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Presidents

Presidents of the Joanne Coccia Lodge #2553
Starting in February of 1984 to the present

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Sister Dorothy Rathfelder (Deceased)

President January 2005 – December 2008

Dorothy Rathfelder was born in Racine Wisconsin and moved to California at the age of eight. Her family settled in the East of Los Angeles/ Montebello area where she graduated from Sacred Heart of Mary High Schools for Girls, in Montebello, CA. She and her late husband Charles (Chuck) Rathfelder met at Sears Roebuck Mail Order Plant in Los Angeles where they were both employed. They were married in 1962 while Chuck was on leave from the Air Force. Dorothy was employed at DuPoint Company at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. Their first child was a son named Chuck Jr. Then came Karen born in Montebello, CA. Later Dorothy became a homemaker and her husband resumed his employment with Sears. Marianne was their third child. They moved to the Inland Empire in 1962. Dorothy went to work for Morris Plan in 1966 and retired in 1992 as an Assistant Manager. Dorothy has always been active in the Fontana Community. She was a volunteer at Kaiser Hospital. She was active with the school Parent Teacher Group at Resurrection Academy. Dorothy and Chuck received the highest honor in 1999 of the lodge being named the “Honoree of the Year.” Dorothy was extremely involved with the success of the lodge by being the hall coordinator. She was at the lodge almost on a daily basis booking the hall for many parties. Through her hard work and effort her goal was to see that the hall would be paid off during her administration. This was accomplished in May 2008. We have thanked Dorothy for everything she has have done for the Joanne Coccia Lodge #2553

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Brother Anthony N. Finazzo

President January 2003 – December 2004

Anthony N. Finazzo was the second born of five children in 1933 in Wyandotte, Michigan. His father and mother, Frank P. Finazzo and Maria (Maniaci) Finazzo, were immigrants from Cinisi, near Palermo, Italy. Anthony was elected president in November 2001 and served his term for two years. Anthony met his beautiful wife Marie in Detroit, Michigan and were married on September 1, 1956. They have two wonderful children, Marie Elizabeth, (married to John M. Johnson) and Frank A. Finazzo, (married to Wendi Huckebey). They have four beautiful grandchildren, Tre and A.J. Johnson, Dominic and Breanna Finazzo. Anthony has been very involved with the community of Fontana. He has served as the President for the Fontana Chamber of Commerce, the Fontana Exchange Club and was Chairman for the United Way. He and 11 other individual started the Fontana First National Bank. He served as Chairman of the Board for the bank. He continues to work on the the Joanne Cocia Lodges’s website. His goal was to continue the growth of the lodge, increase donations to our charities. Anthony loves fundraising activities for the lodge and worthwhile charities. He has chaired five successful golf tournaments; raised funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research, Columbus Day Festival and many other functions. He is deeply grateful to all of his committee people and volunteers who help out when these functions were held. He was especially thankful for the team leaders who work diligently to make each event successful. Brother Al Coccia, Sister Martha Nagy, and his wife, Marie, are the four people who cannot be thanked enough for helping him during his administration. They are always there when you need them.

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Brother Manny Finazzo January 2013 – December 2015

President January 1987 – December 1990 Again from January 2001 – December 2002

Manny (Emanuel) Finazzo is the youngest brother in a family of five children. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1937. His parents were Frank and Maria Finazzo who were immigrants from Palermo, Italy. Manny has been involved in many community activities. Manny is a charter member of the lodge and has served as a Trustee, Vice-President, Master of Ceremonies and served our lodge prior as President for four years from 1987 – 1990. Manny, along with Ron Bitonti and Joe Balsano were able to get Bingo started in 1989. The bingo was very successful and helped serve all our Charity needs. He worked with Clara and Joe Sacco, Bob and Mary Abbruzzese and many other members to keep our Fireworks booths going. The profits from these activities that helped us purchase our present building. Manny has served our lodge faithfully as president for three terms and is currently serving our lodge as Hall Manager. He was very instrumental in acquiring the new hall on Sierra Avenue. Brothers Manny, Ron Bitonti, Rick Masotto, Frank P. Finazzo, Jr., Al and Ray Coccia and many member volunteers spearheaded the renovation of the hall. The charities have grown tremendously under his leadership. The lodge balance sheets continued to increase with the goal to someday burn the mortgage on the building. A lot of activities have been instituted under his administration and his committee appointments have increased with lots of enthusiasm.

In the very beginning of our lodge, Emanuel (Manny) Finazzo took over the Presidency under difficult times. The road was rough and rocky in the early days but under Manny’s leadership he was able to upright the ship to recovery and steered it in the right direction. His dream and the dream for many of the members were to build a solid foundation and work towards owing our own lodge someday. Through hard work of many of the members, that dream has become a realty. More details about Manny’s Presidency can be found above when he served as President for the third time.  We believe that without Brother Manny’s involvement, the Joanne Coccia Lodge #2553 would not exist.

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Brother Ron Bitonti (Deceased November 20, 2013)

Past President from January 1997 – December 2000

Ron Bitonti was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. He was the 7th born of 9 children. His father was from Calabria, Italy and his mother was from Windsor, England. There were 6 sons and 3 daughters. Ron Bitonti was our President of the lodge serving approximately 7 years as President. Ron served as Vice President for one term and is a Charter member. He was very instrumental getting Bingo started for our Lodge. Ron had worked very hard for the lodge during negotiations of our Hall with the City and his Presidency. He put together a great building committee with a lot of volunteers for the hall and together they were able to bring the hall to its present condition. The renovation of the building took many days and hours but together it stands as a beautiful facility that is the envy of many of our filial lodges. Ron had the ability with his leadership and contacts to acquire many things for the hall at little or no cost. His administration was able to accomplish many of the goals that was set out for the lodge during his four year term. Everyone appreciated his dedication and superb job for the Good of the Order.

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Brother Rick Masotto (Deceased)

Past President January 1995-December 1996

Camillo “Rick” Masotto was born and raised in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York. He was one of six children born to two Italian immigrants from Palermo, Italy. Rick was very instrumental during the procurement phase of acquiring our new lodge hall. His great desire to see this lodge’s dream become a reality eventually spilled over to all the members. He completely supported this hall lodge project which was always quite evident with all his enthusiasm that he showed. His leadership and desire to insure that everything went right were always at the forefront, especially during his term of office. On February 15, 1997 he was given the honor and named the “Honoree of the Year,” of the Joanne Coccia Lodge. We will always have wonderful memories of our dearly beloved Brother, Rick Masotto.

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Brother Frank Paul Finazzo, Jr.

Past President from January 1991 to December 1994

1abu007.gif (171 bytes) Frank Paul Finazzo was born in St Louis, Missouri. He was the first born and one of five children to Frank P. & Maria Finazzo. His parents were both from Cinisi, Palermo, Italy. Frank and his wife Frances have four children. Frank is a very strong supporter of our lodge and can be found at the lodge almost on a daily basis. Frank has many talents and was there for the Lodge’s renovation. His electrical skills, and general maintenance skills has saved our hall many dollars. He continues to maintain the financial records of the organization with the goal of someday paying off the mortgage. This goal was accomplished with his diligent financial skills of saving money. Under his leadership, the lodge worked diligently to accomplish all the goals established by our Charter with a high degree of professionalism. When Frank is not working on the books, he can be found doing electrical and plumbing work throughout the building.

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Sister Grace Brazell

Past President from February 19, 1984 to December 1986

Grace Brazell was our very first President. Bringing the Order Sons of Italy to the Inland Empire was a dream shared by Grace C. Brazell and many Italians-Americans living in Fontana. Our State President, Lawrence Romanazzi, Ex-Grand President, Peter Tubiolo, Supreme Officers, Grand Officers, Presidents of Commissions and the Officers of the Madrina Lodge and the West Covina Lodge were all in attendance to installed our Great Lodge into the Order Sons of Italy in America and made this dream come true.