Joseph and Helen (Miller) Fraga


Joseph Fraga


“…the first child of Martina and Valeriano to be born in the United States.”

“Always giving and always thinking of others first. That would be his mantra his entire life.”

“Being one of the older children, Dad worked to help provide for his family, his parents and his siblings. He would always make sure his sisters had dresses to wear for their school dances. Dad would always make sure all the chores on the farm were done, even if he had to do another’s siblings chores for one reason or another.”

“When Dad was a supervisor at John Miller Electric, he had to lay-off a couple of workers. He hated to do this and felt terrible. Dad ended up giving the two workers money from his own savings so that the workers could feed their families until they found other employment.”

Helen (Miller) Fraga

“Mom was born in 1924 in North Branch. Michigan. … Mom lost her father to tuberculosis.”

“After Mom’s father passed away, her mother took up residence in the home of Mr. Walter Brace as a housekeeper and homemaker. Mom had four step-siblings from this arrangement, Walter II, Russell, Dorothy, and Sharon. Mom grew close to Dorothy and they have been friends to this day.”

“Mom spent the rest of her childhood being raised by her grandparents, Mina and Peter Hoffman. Mina was a special lady. She was part Cherokee Indian and was born with a veil over her face. A veil is a thin membrane that covers a child’s face when they are born. Veiled children often have a deeper sense of spirituality and intuition.”

“Mom wrote her first poem for her senior class graduation and thus began Mom’s legacy. While in high school, Mom became friends with Carmen and Mercedes Fraga. Mom and Aunt Mercy were best of friends and Aunt Mercy even helped deliver Mom’s first child, Joe An. Mom always liked visiting her Fraga sister friends. She said the whole Fraga family were very nice to her and showed so much love and affection for one another, it was like a breath of fresh air to see love in a family. Mom admired the Fraga family for the love, respect, work ethic, faith, and character they embraced as individuals and as a family.”

“Mom was pregnant with their first child, Joe An when Dad was shipped off to the Pacific theater. Mom lived with the Fraga’s while Dad was away. Three years had passed before Mom would see her beloved husband and Dad would see his baby girl for the first time.”