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Owner, breeder Frank Dettore, 83, dies

June 18, 2019
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Longtime owner and Standardbred breeder Francis J. “Frank” Dettore Jr., 83, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, died June 15, 2019, at the Heritage Nursing Home in Naples, Fla., after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Dettore was born Feb. 11, 1936, in Uniontown, Pa., and had been a resident of North Ridgeville for more than 60 years, moving from North Olmsted and Cleveland. He was a member of St. Peter Church in North Ridgeville.

He was the owner of the Dettore Group and through his land development company built thousands of homes in North Ridgeville. He also owned several local businesses including Dettore Farms, Moreland Homes and Colonial Oaks.L

Although he made his living in construction, his real passion was for harness racing and he left a definite impression in that field as well. Mr. Dettore first got started in harness racing in 1969 and when one of his earliest horses named Real Hilarious became a world record holder, he was hooked for life. Racing led to breeding and those horses’ names all began with “Eagle.”

All told, Mr. Dettore owned 194 horses during his lifetime, while breeding 65. Some of the best he raced were Eagle Luck p,1:48.3, ($1,182,841), who competed in multiple stakes including the Breeders Crown; Up Front Western p,3,1:51.1s ($233,132), who raced in the Little Brown Jug; Hilarion p,3,1:54.1 ($775,114); Eagle Way p,1:52.3f ($601,973); Up Front Hotsey 1:52.4 ($433,643); Hot Rod Mindale p,3,1:51f ($371,071); Stonebridge Master p,1:50.1s ($238,368); and Stolly Up Bluechip p,2,1:53.3s ($190,657).

Mr. Dettore partnered on many of his horse with his friend and fellow businessman, Ed Mullinix, and one of their primary trainers was Mark Ford.

Ford fondly recalled the type of person his friend was.

“Frank was just a real good guy; a fun guy. He was a good friend and a great client for over 20 years. He loved the Harrisburg sale and would spend all day, every day, scouting the horses and watching them go through the ring. He was good for Ohio racing when Ohio racing wasn’t good,” Ford said. “He was an old-time owner, the type that you just can’t replace. He and Ed Mullinix were the main reason I had the opportunity to compete at a high level and without him, that chance may have never come along.”

Mr. Dettore also enjoyed golfing but nothing brought him more joy than spending time with his grandchildren and family.

Mr. Dettore is survived by his wife, Catherine “Kay”; daughters, Monica A. and Gina (Michael) Dettore-Oradini; grandchildren, Sarah Dettore-Schenkelberg, Frank J. Dettore-Schenkelberg, Michael E. Oradini Jr., Catherine A. Oradini and Geno F. Oradini; and sister, Madeline Horvath. He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis J. Sr. and Katherine (nee Simon); sister, Rosemarie Dennis; and brother, Donald.

Family will receive friends in the Bogner Family Funeral Home, 36625 Center Ridge Rd., N. Ridgeville, on Thursday (June 20) from 5-7 p.m. All services will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association, 6100 Rockside Wood, Ste 260, Independence, OH 44131 or the Kidney Foundation of Ohio, 2831 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115.

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