Meet the Chief Marshal for the 231st 4th of July Celebration

Herculano “Okie” Falcoa

 

This year’s Chief Marshal is a true native Bristolian. He was born at home on January 8, 1938 and has been a lifelong Bristol resident. He graduated from Colt Memorial High School in 1957. While in high school, he served as President of his Junior Class and served as an Executive Board member during his senior year.

During his days as an athlete at Colt Memorial High School, he starred in football as an offensive center and as a middle linebacker and tackle on defense. He was an All-Division selection in 1956. In 1993, because of his athletic abilities, he was inducted into the Bristol Athletic Hall of Fame.

In 1962, he was a co-founder of the Bristol Midget Football League and was coach of the Hurricanes football team for many years. As a testament to his dedication to the Bristol youth he coached, many of those young players still address him as Coach today. He also served as a baseball coach in the King Philip Little League.

He served in Battery C of the Rhode Island National Guard for eight years. He has been a member of Amvets Post RI-0037 since December 4, 2001.

In 1962, he was a co-founder of the Bristol Midget Football League and was coach of the Hurricanes football team for many years. As a testament to his dedication to the Bristol youth he coached, many of those young players still address him as Coach today. He also served as a baseball coach in the King Philip Little League.

He served in Battery C of the Rhode Island National Guard for eight years. He has been a member of Amvets Post RI-0037 since December 4, 2001.

He is a life member of the Eveready Fire & Hose Co. No. 2, which he joined on April 14, 1960. In 1962 and 1963, he was a member of the Eveready team that were the state water battle champions.

He is a life member of the Bristol Rescue Squad, which he joined in 1961 and went through the ranks, serving as Captain from 1980-1985.

He is a life member of the Bristol Firemen’s Memorial and Welfare Committee, which he joined in 1985, serving as Chairman in 1996.

He is a life member of the Bristol Fire Police, which he joined in 1995.

He is a life member of Engine 4 and is an honorary member of the Hydraulion Fire & Hose Co. No. 1.

In 2013, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department awarded him the Vickie Van Voast award for his outstanding contributions to the community.

He has been a member of the Bristol County Lodge of Elks #1860 since 1978. He served as a Trustee of the Lodge for many years and he was Assistant Grand Esquire for the Rhode Island East Suite in 1990 and 1991.

In 2007, he received the Grand Exalted Ruler’s Outstanding Service Commendation for his exceptional contributions to his Lodge and his community.

As a member of the Elks, he co-founded the Thanksgiving Food Baskets initiative for the needy in the East Bay area which has grown from 40 baskets to over 400 baskets today.

He has been a member of the Bristol Fourth of July Committee since 1989. In 2008, he was honored as the Committee’s Hattie Brown Memorial Award winner. He works on many fund-raising events and subcommittees.

He served as a member of the Bristol Christmas Festival Committee which he joined in 1998. In 2000, he was named the Christmas Festival Committee’s Spirit of Christmas Award winner and Grand Marshal of the Bristol Christmas Festival Celebration along with his wife. According to then Christmas Festival Chairman A. William Josephs, “He gives new meaning to the phrase ‘community service.’ He is and continues to be the ‘consummate volunteer.’ He has spent countless hours giving unselfishly of his time to anyone who asks, to any worthwhile cause – to any person, group or organization in need.”

He is a past member of the Bristol Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force.

He was named an Honorary Rotarian for 2005-2006.

He retired in April 2002 from Triangle Wire & Cable after 42 years of service. He works part time for the George C. Lima Funeral Home and the W. Raymond Watson Funeral Home in Riverside.

He is a member of St. Elizabeth Church and works on multiple parish activities.

In addition to accolades I’ve shared with you, he has given his time and talents for many civic events where he cooks and raises funds for charitable events. They are too numerous to mention, but a few that come to mind are:

  • Breakfasts, Macaroni Suppers, and Clam Boils for the Fourth of July Committee
  • Clam boils for the Bristol Rotary
  • Clam boils for the La Bella Sicilia Society
  • May Breakfasts for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department
  • Clam boils, Friday Night dinners, Breakfasts, and other fund-raising events for the Elks.

I stand here tonight very proud to list all of his many and varied accomplishments. I have chosen him because of his outstanding service to his community going back over 50 years. This is a unique opportunity for me as General Chairman to award this honor to someone who I not only believe truly exemplifies the words “Chief Marshal” but is a compassionate, loving and caring man who is my husband, best friend, confidant and, at times, the best nurse anyone could ever ask for.

He is the son of the late Manuel and Mary Falcoa. He has two daughters, Susan Falco and Laurie Mulgrew, and a grandson, Patrick Mulgrew of Hilton Head, SC. He has two brothers, Manuel Sousa of Swansea, MA and Raymond Falcoa of Bristol, RI.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming and congratulating this year’s Chief Marshal Herculano “Okie” Falcoa.


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