Fred P Vicarel

July 6, 1928 ~ June 17, 2019 (age 90)

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Fred Patrick Vicarel of Boardman passed in peace on Monday evening after assurances from his family that they had secured his comfort.  The last of twelve children of Domenic and Angeline (DeMain) Vicarel of 434 Albert Street, Fred was just shy of his 91st birthday. In his words he will be joining his siblings, parents, loved ones and many friends “in God’s backyard.”

Fred’s biggest source of pride and happiness was his family. He leaves his beloved wife of 66 years, Rita (Palermo) Vicarel and three children; John (Sandra Lacivita), Fred (Anna Miller) and Lori Mancini (Frank), and grandchildren Jeffrey (Jessica Kearns), Laine, Sophia & Anita Mancini, and Valentina.

Fred left East High School to enlist in the Marines during the war effort. When WW2 ended he was honorably discharged with commendation for good conduct and began a 33 year career as a Health Officer and eventually Chief Officer of Youngstown’s then-new Environmental Division.  Retirement bored him and he embarked on a subsequent career as a Bailiff for Federal; Judge P.C. Economus. Given his passion for sports officiating and respect for the proper way things should be done, the courtroom was a perfect fit.   

Many people who knew Fred would associate him with High School sports, and he took tremendous pride in his career therein, believing that officiating was both an honor and a privilege. His dear friend and sports mentor, Campbell Principal Mike Maro, helped him begin an impressive career with far too many accomplishments to list. He officiated/umpired all three major sports, directed the Mahoning County Fast Pitch Softball League, and chaired the Boxing and Wrestling Commission, but he was by far most well-known and involved with High School football. He was an on-field official for 40 years and his crew, which later included his son John, was sought after and widely considered the gold standard for Ohio football Officiating. 

Fred served the Ohio High School Athletic Association as local secretary and president, district secretary, and was the first area official elevated to the Rule Advisory Committee. He continued work as district secretary many years after retiring from on-field officiating and was in charge of over 6000 officials. He was proud to have worked the state all star game three times, and state playoff games every year since they began. He was honored for his career when he worked the 100th Game between Massillon and McKinley in Canton. It was the 20th time he worked that game! Other honors were myriad, including induction in the Halls of Fame for Curbstone Coaches, East High School, and Ohio High School Officials when their Hall of Fame was established in 1989. He also received the National Award for Outstanding Officials. An award given to a local official each year, the RESPECT THE GAME AWARD was established in Fred’s name.  Aside from being a great on-field referee and off-field administrator, Fred took pride in writing a regular column in the Northeast Ohio Newsletter, and also having several articles published in Referee Magazine.

 Fred loved to laugh, and enjoyed hearing and telling stories. He loved good food and leisurely family meals, a good cigar, popsicles, music and musicals, westerns, and spy thrillers. 

Fred’s view of life was optimistic. He always had smiles and kind words for everyone he met, and he taught his children to do the same. ‘Don’t judge someone without walking in their shoes’ was a motto of his.   He believed in fairness, playing by the rules, and doing things the right way instead of the easy or fast way. He lived up to these views in sports, the courtroom, his home and all throughout his life, and he passed them on to those around him.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial held on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, 3434 Via Mt Carmel, Youngstown, with the Very Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Cariglio Jr.

Family and friends may pay their respects on Friday, June 21, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market St., Boardman. 

Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church on Saturday morning to celebrate Fred’s mass. 

In lieu of flowers the family will gratefully apply any donations to The Superficial Siderosis Fund at Johns Hopkins, The Pull-Thru Network, and the creation of a Vicarel Family Scholarship in Fred’s name.

The many award acceptance speeches Fred made always concluded with the same phrase: “Respect the Game.”  Fred meant not only games of sport, but the game of life as well, which he always sought to play fairly and by the rules. “He succeeded.”

Family and friends may visit to view this obituary, sign the guest book and send condolences to Fred’s family

To send flowers to Fred's family, please visit our floral section.


June 21, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home
4221 Market Street
Boardman, OH 44512

Mass of Christian Burial
June 22, 2019

10:00 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica
343 Via Mt. Carmel Dr.
Youngstown, OH 44505

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