Antonio "Tony" Joseph FrigoMarch 28, 1923 ~ December 5, 2017 (age 94)
Tony Frigo, 94, of Tempe, Arizona and previously Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at his home on December 5, 2017, surrounded by family. The son of Pasquale Frigo and Camilla (Rocheleau) Frigo, he was the fifth child of 16 children. Tony’s father emigrated from the Veneto region of Italy at the age of 23 to make cheese in what would become his new homeland. His mother’s family emigrated from the province of Quebec, Canada and settled in Coleman, Wisconsin where Camilla’s father offered boarding at his farmhouse, the site of Pasquale and Camilla’s meeting. Pasquale and his brother Luigi went on to create the Frigo Cheese Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of Italian cheese in the United States. Tony spent his youth in northern Wisconsin, with his early days growing up in a multi-lingual household in Aurora, Wisconsin. When he first attended grade school, the teacher sent Tony home because he only spoke Italian and French. Pasquale brought Tony back the next day and instructed the teacher that it was her job to teach him English, which she eventually did. Catholics were required to send their kids to Catholic school if possible, so Tony eventually went to the Guardian Angels Boarding School in Oneida, Wisconsin. Tony then went on to attend the University of Wisconsin dairy short course in 1941, where he learned to make cheese like his father. In 1942, he and Pasquale went to Washington, D.C. to register the standard for Asiago cheese with the Food and Drug Administration – the same cheese Frigos had been making for generations in Italy. While Tony was drafted in World War II, he was not allowed to serve due to deafness in one ear. Consequently, Tony worked in the cheese business performing numerous different jobs throughout his early career. Tony left his position with Frigo Cheese as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing shortly after the sale of the family business. In 1981 Tony entered public service, having successfully run for the position of Village President of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. During his tenure as Village President, Ashwaubenon prospered, expanding both commercial and housing developments, all while maintaining the high quality of life in the community. After serving five two-year terms, Tony left politics at the age of 68 and focused on his family and other community and charity-related causes. Other activities that Tony engaged in included serving as Presidents of Brown County Civic Music, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Nativity Parish Council, and St. Catherine’s Library and Bookshop. Additionally, he served on the Boards of St. Mary’s Hospital, the National Cheese Institute, the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, and various other organizations. Special recognitions included the Citizen of the Year Award from the Ashwaubenon Business and Professional Association. But the greatest recognition of all, which we know Tony appreciated most, was the profound love from his wife and children. Tony met Frances Lenora Dougherty through mutual friends while she worked in the Diocese of Green Bay. Both devout Catholics, they shared their faith and love for each other throughout the years. Tony and Frances married in July of 1949, and had their first of 10 children, Catherine, nine months later. Over the course of only fifteen more years, the remaining nine children were born: Maureen, Regina, Rosanne, Jane, Joan, Mary Clare, Paschal, Raymond, and Monica. Tony is survived by his wife and all ten kids (plus spouses), as well as 17 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Of his fifteen siblings only two remain: Father William Frigo and Paul Frigo. Over 50 nieces and nephews continue the other siblings’ legacies. Father Frigo will be presiding over his brother’s services. To say that Tony lived a full, charitable, and wonderful life is an understatement. He will be sorely missed by many, but his contributions will continue to endure. A viewing will be held on Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 10:30am to 12:00 PM at Richardson Funeral Home, 2621 S Rural Road, Tempe, Arizona. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:30 PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1800 E. Libra Drive, Tempe, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Chris Mulloy Heffelbower fund at Cancer Legal Care -- online at www.cancerlegalcare.org -- or by mail to:
Cancer Legal Care
6 Pine Tree Dr
Arden Hills, MN. 55112
Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.
Chris Mulloy Heffelbower fund at Cancer Legal Care
6 Pine Tree Drive Suite #120, Arden Hills MN 55112