Frank Minano, Sr.

Barber, beloved husband, father and grandfather

Frank Minano, Sr., a longtime Claremont barber, died peacefully in Upland on Friday, October 4, 2013 surrounded by his family. He was 97.

He was born in 1916 in Guardia Piemontese in the province of Cosenza, Italy to Maddalena and Vincenzo Minano. In 1927, young Frank immigrated to the United States, coming through Ellis Island.

His family settled in Detroit, Michigan, where his father took a position with the Ford Motor Co. There, Mr. Minano met his future wife, Violet Condino, whom he married in 1938 in Dearborn, Michigan. They had four children, Gloria, Madeline, Linda and Frank, Jr.

In 1945, Mr. Minano moved to California with his family. While Mr. Minano never got beyond eighth grade in school, he graduated from cosmetology school at Citrus College with skills that would serve him throughout his life. He worked as a barber with his brother in the Claremont Village for 45 years. Mr. Minano kept generations of Claremonters well-groomed, including giving a young COURIER publisher Peter Weinberger his first haircut, a momentous occasion documented in the pages of the newspaper. 

Mr. Minano was beloved for his good humor and was always whistling, singing and telling humorous stories. He was also a veritable repository of local news, so much so that upon his retirement, the late Monsignor William Barry of Our Lady of Assumption Church asked, “Where will Claremont go to gossip?”

Mr. Minano was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He enjoyed cooking with fresh vegetables and prided himself on his fig tree. He also loved listening to music, particularly tunes by Italian luminaries like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sergio Franchi. Another favorite pastime was heading to Santa Anita to enjoy the horse races. In honor of Mr. Minano’s 90th birthday, his friend Dennis, who owns horses, even dubbed one of his horses Frank the Barber.

In his later years, many people asked Mr. Minano the secret of his longevity. His philosophy of how to live a long and healthful life was simple: “Have a glass of red wine each day, eat greens with every meal, don’t eat out because you don’t know what they are putting in your food and never go to bed angry.”

Mr. Minano’s beloved wife Violet died a year ago after celebrating 73 years of marriage. He is survived by his brother, Carmen, and by his children, Gloria, Madeline, Linda and Frank, Jr. and their families, including 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

A service for Mr. Minano will be held on Friday, October 11 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 2110 N. San Antonio Ave. in Upland. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to VITAS Community Connection.




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