Des Moines

Dante Fresco, 93, passed away on September 5, 2018. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 15 Indianola Road. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 3:00-6:00 p.m., on Sunday, September 9 at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street. A prayer service will be at 6:00 P.M., on Sunday.

Dante was born on January 5, 1925 to Joseph and Louise (Forte) in Des Moines, Iowa and grew up on the south side of Des Moines with his parents and four siblings. He was a proud graduate of Dowling High School and graduated in 1943. After graduation Dante joined the United States Army. He spent two years in the Army during World War II in many front-line battles under General Patton.

On August 8, 1948, Dante married the love of his life, Mary Russo. The two of them were blessed with two daughters who were the center of their lives. They were members of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.

Dante founded Allied Meats in 1962 with three business partners; Sam Soda, Bruno Fresco, and Frank Farao. He retired in 1987. Later he became involved in thoroughbred horse racing and owned horses that ran at Prairie Meadows. Dante was a firm believer that family was always first in his life. Dante certainly enjoyed his life by traveling and wintering the past 30+ years in Florida. He was a member of the Dowling Club, American Legion Post 659 for 60 years, and The Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders Owners Association.

Dante is survived by his daughter, Deb (Kerry) Leech; grandsons Brian (Melissa) Paterson, Dante Paterson; great grandchildren, Charlotte and Anna; sister, Mary Fresco (Pat) O’Brien; and numerous loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Dante is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Mary; daughter, Susan Paterson; brother, Bruno; and sisters Elda DiMaio and Anita Gray.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Von Hippel Lindau Foundation to further research about this rare heredity disease that affected Dante’s family.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Sunday, September 9, 2018
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Monday, September 10, 2018
10:30 am
Saint Anthony Catholic Church
7131, 15 Indianola Rd
Des Moines, IA 50315
Monday, September 10, 2018
Glendale Cemetery
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
(515) 285-3911

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