June 4, 1918 – June 5, 2013

Joseph R. “Drake” Francescone, of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired Buffalo firefighter, died Wednesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda, a day after his 95th birthday.

Born in Buffalo, he served in the Army Air Forces with the 5th Air Force in the Pacific during World War II, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

Returning from service, he joined the Buffalo Fire Department, where he had a 32-year career. He retired in 1977.

Mr. Francescone was a member of Troop I Post 665, American Legion, and the 40 and Eight. He also was a member of North Tonawanda Lodge 860, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Our Lady of Hope Council 3076, Knights of Columbus, the Order of Alhambra; the Holy Name Society at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church; and the Northside First Friday Club.

His wife, Dolorita Gallagher Francescone, died in 1976. His son, Drake M., a legendary City Honors High School coach, died in 2011.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.