URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Loved ones paid tribute to Frasca International founder Rudy Frasca on Tuesday.
A procession with dozens of cars drove past Frasca Field, where classic planes were out on display.
One of the planes, a Luscombe, holds a dear place in Frasca family history.
“In the mid to late 50s, my father flew to Champaign in an airplane that was almost an exact replica of this,” his son, Tom said. “He left the Navy and parked it, landed it and went to the U of I.”
He founded Frasca International in 1958.
His love for aviation was such a pivotal part of his life, which is why his family decided to bring out the planes the day of his funeral, which was limited to immediate family members due to COVID-19.
“We thought the best way to do this was to capture my father’s personality, which was aviation,” Tom said. “He was a very gregarious person who loved planes and loved people.”
His son said aviation has become a family affair, with three generations of pilots.
“Somebody asked what it was like to grow up as a Frasca, or with Rudy Frasca,” he explained. “I said, ‘If you liked airplanes or flight simulators, then having an airport was a wonderful place. If you wanted to go fishing, not so much.'”
He said it’s hard to single out just one favorite memory of his father.
“But actually, that’s easy,” he concluded. “Any Saturday or Sunday, you would find my father at the airport, and he would be showing the airplanes or sometimes giving rides. Very outgoing. He loved aviation and wanted more people in it.”
Rudy Frasca’s last flight as pilot was captured on a Go Pro; he flew in a Luscombe.