Obit: Frank Varallo

Obit: Frank Varallo

November 21st, 2013 in Obituaries
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Frank Varallo on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 19, 2013, passed from this life into eternity with Jesus Christ. Mr. Varallo started his jewelry career in 1939 when he attended Elgin Watch College following in the footsteps of his father. He graduated their 12-month apprenticeship program in 6 months returning home to Nashville, and went to work for the Jacobs Jewelry Co. in the Arcade downtown. Frank moved to Chattanooga in January 1944 to manage the Rone Jewelry Co. at 741 Market St.. It was one location of an 11 store chain. Years later when the chain was dissolved Mr. Varallo purchased the Market Street location and another store in Knoxville. In 1960 Mr. Varallo opened a store in the newly constructed Brainerd Village location. The downtown location and Brainerd Village Store were combined into one new location at 1950 Gunbarrel Road. He retired in 2006 but his legacy as the founder of the company continues to live on today. Mr. Varallo was a Registered Jeweler with the American Gem Society. In 1992 he was named Retail Jeweler of the Year by the 24 Karat Club of the Southeastern United States. Mr. Varallo was Chattanoogas most respected jeweler. He was a member of the American Gem Society, Knights of Columbus third degree Grand Master for the state of Tennessee, the Lions Club, the Downtown Rotary Club, the Serra Club, a charter member of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau. He received the Silver Beaver Award given to those who have distinguished themselves through service to the Boy Scouts Council. Mr. Varallo was a finance committee member of the Knoxville Diocese, a founding director of East Ridge City Bank, Endowed the Frank Varallo Professorship in Business Administration at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Endowed the Frank J.B. Varallo and Emma Sue Varallo Scholarship in Nursing at UTC in honor of his wife Bootie, gifted the money to build the John Varallo Athletic Center at Notre Dame High School in honor of his son John and the Chapel in Memorial Hospital honoring Father Vincent Hines. He was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica since 1944, helped to start St. Stephen Catholic Church and attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. He was active in the Chattanooga Riverfront Project. Numerous other organizations and individuals benefited from his generosity. Mr. Varallo was preceded in death by his parents, John B. and Catherine Punaro Varallo, early pioneer settlers of Nashville; wife, Emma Sue "Bootie" Varallo; son, Frank John Varallo Jr.; sisters, Aurelia and Claire Varallo and brother, Angelo "Vic" Varallo. Survivors include his daughter, Catherine (Gilbert) Bratton of Chattanooga; two grandsons, Frank G. (Chandra) Bratton and Adam J. (Melony) Bratton; five great-grandchildren, Daniel J. Bratton, Andrew S. Bratton, Victoria Bratton, Megan Talley and Austin Talley; brother, Johnny (Mary) Varallo; sister, Teresa Freeman; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica with Father Burton Glennon, Monsenior George E. Schmidt Jr. and Priests of the Chattanooga Area officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastChapel.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Boy Scouts of America, Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica or Notre Dame Athletics. The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. today at the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, 404 S. Moore Road.