Deacon Franklin Mascarello set example for other deacons

Deacon Franklin “Frank” Mascarello was the kind of deacon other deacons strive to be.

“He was a mentor to me,” said Deacon Brian Thomas, who serves at St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, where Deacon Mascarello served. “He’s one of the main reasons that I entered the diaconate, because of his example.”

Deacon Eric Vande Berg, who also serves at St. Columbkille, said Deacon Mascarello loved everyone he met and had the ability to connect with people.

“He was very encouraging toward me becoming a deacon,” said Deacon Vande Berg, who chose Deacon Mascarello to place vestments on him at his ordination ceremony. 

Deacon Mascarello, 87, died of cancer Jan. 2 in room 165 at Douglas County Hospital in Omaha, the same room where his wife, Judith M. (Simanek) Mascarello, had died about 10 months earlier, Deacon Thomas said. The Mascarellos had been married 68 years.

A wake service was held Jan. 7 at Korisko Larkin Staskiewicz Funeral Home Chapel in Omaha. A Mass of Christian Burial was Jan. 8 at St. Columbkille.

Deacon Mascarello, a clergy member for 40 years, was born in Omaha. He met and married his wife in 1954, and together they raised six children.

For many years he worked as an accountant at Drake Williams Steel in Omaha and was involved with Boy Scouts of America.

He enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing and square dancing.

Deacon Mascarello was ordained in 1983 and served at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Omaha before St. Columbkille. After retiring, he served as a hospital chaplain.

He had recently returned to visiting the homebound after the death of his wife. He said he felt honored to share his faith with people who gave him more than he thought he could ever give to them, according to his family.

Deacon Mascarello loved to talk and laugh and was “so very, very family-oriented,” Deacon Thomas said, “and if he loved you, you were family.”

“His hugs were bear hugs,” according to his long-time friend. “It wasn’t a stiff hug when he hugged you. You knew that he loved you.”

“He’d always say, “It’s the Italian in me. I love everybody,” Deacon Thomas said.

“I’d known him for about 40 years and I’d always say ‘Frank, you knew me when I was in a bad point in my life. … I’ll never know why you didn’t kick me to the curb and have nothing to do with me.’

“And he’d always tell me ‘because I’ve always seen the best in you.’ And that was his thing. He always looked for the best in everybody.”

Deacon Mascarello was preceded in death by his wife; grandson Franklin Mascarello III; great-grandchild Madison Tuzzio; brothers Phil, Jim, Pete and Ernie; and sisters Virginia and Theresa.

Survivors include his children: Frank Jr. (Teresa) Mascarello of Omaha, Debbra (Joe) Kuberka of Seattle, Michelle (Scott) Mell of Auburn, Washington, James (Connie) Mascarello of Columbus, Lisa (Todd) Scheitel of Norwalk, Iowa, and Anthony (Amie) Mascarello of Omaha; 25 grandchildren; 56 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; siblings Jennie Welna of Nebraska and Marie Sacco of California.


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