Fred Donald (Don) Giacomazzi, was born October 26, 1937, to Fred & Lilia (Curti)
Giacomazzi in Hanford, CA. He passed away August 18, 2011, surrounded by his
loving family at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. As a cancer survivor, he
fought a courageous battle with several life-threatening illnesses for the past 10 years.
His “never give up” attitude was featured in a book ,“Tour de Lance” by Bill Strickland,
comparing his battle for life to that of Lance Armstrong.
Don attended Willow Grove School (a one-room country school house) until he was
in the 5th grade, when he transferred to Thomas McCarthy Catholic School. During
his grammar school years, Don helped out on the family dairy farm. The Giacomazzi
dairy is one of the oldest continuously operating dairies in the state, established by
his grandfather, Luigi Giacomazzi in 1893. He participated in 4-H, played accordion
& clarinet & entertained his “city friends” with hayrides on the farm. In high school, he
joined FFA & raised animals for showing at the local fairs & Cow Palace.
After graduating from Hanford High in 1955, he spent two years studying agriculture at
the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. earning his A.A. degree; then he transferred
to Fresno State College where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Don
met Jacqueline Giglio on a blind date & after a “brief” courtship of six years, the two
were married on July 6, 1963, at the Shrine of St. Therese in Fresno, CA. In 1966, they
began their family, which now includes four children & five grandchildren. In 1969, Don
& his father formed a partnership in a dairy farming operation (Fred & Don Giacomazzi
Farms) which is currently being managed by his son, Dino, in its fourth generation.
Being civic minded, Don exhibited his leadership skills with many organizations
including: Hanford Sons of Italy, member for 55 years, President for 4 terms and in
May was elected President of the United Lodges of the San Joaquin Valley; Charter
President of the Hanford Jaycees- 1961; Dairy Herd Improvement Assn. (22 years–
5 years as President); California Milk Advisory Board of Directors–”Happy Cows” (12
years); Western United Dairymen– Delegate (chairman in Kings County- 4 years); 4-
H Club Leader for many years; school board member for almost 30 years; & was a
member of the Kings County Citizens for a Healthy Environment. Don’s family was
honored as Dairy Family of the Year in 1998 & in 2008 Don & Jackie were named
Distinguished Dairy Couple.
Don was not a man of “all work, no play”. He had several hobbies during his lifetime. He
played drums; was a wedding photographer; he built model airplanes, got his private
pilot’s license & then purchased his own airplane. He was an avid snow skier, water
skier & sand drag racer. Most recently he enjoyed surfing the net, social networking &
was a supporter of the NRA. He loved cheering on the ‘good ol’ boys of NASCAR. He
was a proud Republican who loved to engage in “spirited” political debate, sharing his
conservative views with all who wanted to listen and even those who did not!
In “sickness & in health” he continued to place utmost importance on family, friends
& community. He found great joy in being closely involved in the lives of his children,
giving them roots & wings. He loved being “Nonno” to his five beautiful grandchildren &
two grand dogs. He strived to live long enough to watch his beloved grandchildren grow
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jackie, of Hanford; his four children: Gina
(Bill) Hageboeck; Dino Giacomazzi (Julie); Cara (Mark) Fernandez,; Mia Giacomazzi
(Nagendra Patta), & five grandchildren: Gianna & Giulia Fernandez; Hanna & Christina
Hageboeck; & Miro Giacomazzi; mother, Lilia Giacomazzi, (98 years young); sister,
Patricia Broemmel; nephews, Jason (Jessica Gensley) Broemmel,; Patrick (Carol Ann
Lindsey) Broemmel, & many aunts, uncles & cousins in his extended family. He was
preceded in death by his father, Fred & nephew, Scott Broemmel.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held, Thursday, August 25, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Brigid
Church, (Douty & Florinda).
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, August 26, at ll:30 a.m. at St. Brigid Church.
Burial will follow at the Calvary Cemetery.11680 S. 10th Avenue, Hanford.
In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to the Hanford Sons of Italy Scholarship Fund
or the Hanford Sons of Italy Charities Fund (9550 6th Avenue, Hanford, CA 93230) or to
a local charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Whitehurst-McNamara Funeral Home. For
further details, visit dinogiacomazzi.com.