In the presence of God and with two of his granddaughters by his side, Paul Fratesi of Indianola, Mississippi, died peacefully of natural causes on December 2, 2023. He was 91 years old.
The youngest child of Pacifico and Amelia Fratesi, Paul was born on August 10, 1932, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and moved to Indianola as a young boy. He graduated from Indianola High School, served honorably in the U.S. Army, and returned to Indianola to farm. It was there that he met, dated, and on August 10, 1955, married his loving wife of 68 years, Conchetta Columbus Fratesi.
A master welder, Paul had a quick mind and a gift for building and repairing agricultural implements. Seeing the need for a machine shop in Indianola, Paul and Conchetta opened Indianola Metal Company, Inc. in the mid-1970s. Over the next three decades, the couple transformed the business from a local repair facility to a successful manufacturing concern producing and selling implements and machinery used in aquaculture and production agriculture throughout the Mid-South and beyond.
In retirement Paul and Conchetta traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad. Through their travels, the couple discovered that they most enjoyed the “beach life” and owned a home on the Alabama Gulf Coast where they spent many happy years.
A devout Catholic, Paul was active in the Immaculate Conception parish in Indianola. He was devoted to his family, and delighted in spending time with his children – and especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren who lovingly knew him as their “Pop Pop.” He will be deeply missed and always remembered.
Paul is survived by his wife, Conchetta, and five children, Paula Henke (Kurt), Gary Fratesi (Cathy), Cyndi Tyner (Tommy), David Fratesi (Tracy), and Amelia Dawson (Jimbo), as well as nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Indianola with a funeral mass following at 10:00 a.m., and internment thereafter at the Indianola Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Indianola. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 944, Indianola MS 38751.
To God be the Glory!