Life Story / Obituary
Albert Minicucci Died September 12, 2020 Lake Ann, Michigan Al Minicucci, 93, of Lake Ann loved the outdoors and it was fitting that he was surrounded by the soothing sights and sounds of nature when he passed away peacefully in the calming, beautiful setting of Munson Hospice House.
Al was born in 1927 at home in Millsboro, Pennsylvania, to Katherine Kronberg Minicucci and Albert Minicucci, Sr.
He was the youngest of six following Margaret Sepsi, Fred, Bill, Norma McAllister, and Caroline Davey, all of whom are deceased. He was also predeceased by his elder son, Timothy. Al attended East Bethlehem High School in Pennsylvania, where he played four years of football and headlined as “Mr. E. B.” in the city newspaper. He accepted a four-year football scholarship to Waynesburg University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Education.
Although drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers after graduation, rather than risk getting more injuries, he decided to enlist in the Air Force during the Korean War. He served as the Information Education Officer in Korea with the rank of First Lieutenant until the end of the war one year later. After moving to the Midwest, he obtained a Master's degree in Education from the University of Michigan.
Al spent his entire career at Roseville Community Schools where he was popular with both students and staff. He coached football and first taught U.S. History and American Government before specializing in Media Services.
He and his wife Dianne spent summers traveling the US and Canada in their Volkswagen Vanagon, sometimes with their best friends Gail and Frank Sarotte. They also visited Europe, even exploring Al’s ancestry during a trip to Italy.
Al retired in 1983 at the age of 56, before the introduction of the Internet.
At the beginning of his 37-year-long retirement, he enjoyed special trips to Alaska to fish with his son, Tim, who was an Alaska State Fisheries biologist.
Al was an avid golfer and tomato gardener.
He and his inseparable partner of 42 years, Dianne, were 30-year volunteers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. They were also active with PetSafe Animal Rescue and did water testing for the Ann Lake Property Owners Association.
For many years Dianne and Al and his hearing-ear dog, Budzo, who was also a certified Delta therapy dog, visited patients at Munson Hospital and at Scripps Green Hospital Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Al was a good soul, clearly content and grateful for his full and happy life, filled with loving family and friends. You could always find him singing, dancing, joking, and entertaining those around him with his wit and endearing personality. Al never sought to be the center of attention but his sweet, rascally nature always drew in a crowd. He especially enjoyed his years of creative, silly play with his young grandchildren, and nephew and niece.
For 25 years, he looked forward to spending the sunny late fall and winter in San Diego and the beautiful spring, summer, and early fall in Northern Michigan.
Al was a kind man and he could make Dianne laugh every day, even during a disagreement.
Al is survived by his wife Dianne Minicucci; his daughter Dena Minicucci, and son John (Amy) Minicucci; daughter-in-law, Phyllis Minicucci: grandchildren Sean (Ashley) Conley, Nick (Kate) Conley, Jake (Krista) Fullerton, Taylor (Ashley) Fullerton, Tessa (Nathan) Frost, and Zach Minicucci; and great-grandchildren Tristan, Nikayla, Jameson, Nolan, and Freya; sister-in-law Sylvia Lockhart; niece Patricia Lockhart, nephew Christopher (Amanda) Lockhart; grandniece and nephew Evelyn and Charles Lockhart; godchildren Steve Sarotte, Mary Sarotte and Mark Schiefsky.
Al was also survived by his special friends and care-givers Lin Harris and Renee Hurcomb in Lake Ann and the Drew Peterson family of Del Mar, California.
Clipper, Al’s current hearing-ear dog, kept vigil on the end of his hospice bed.
The family would like to thank Dr. Jessica Slocum and the staff at Munson Nephrology, the Grand Traverse Pavilions—physical therapist, recreational therapist, speech therapist, and dialysis nurse during his three-week stay for rehabilitation after his hip-fracture repair. He spent one day in the gentle care of the staff at Munson Hospice House.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis a celebration of life memorial will be planned for spring when it is safe for family and friends to gather.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to Animal Welfare League of Benzie County, Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (BACN), or Munson Hospice House.
Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.