SERVICE BEFORE SELF. Lieutenant Colonel Frederick R. Cianciolo, USAF (Retired) passed away on September 27, 2022, at the age of 63 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.
Inspired by his own father’s military service, Fred graduated in 1982 from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, then married his high school sweetheart, Emily, with whom he recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
Fred loved his time in aviation. He enjoyed flying with, instructing, and mentoring other pilots over his flying career, all of whom he remembered fondly over his last months. During his 20 year career in the US Air Force, Fred earned his pilot and “jump wings,” piloted the aircraft that flew then-President Bill Clinton into war-torn Bosnia, became the commander of the 15th Airlift Squadron as a Major, directed the then-longest, non-stop airdrop mission in USAF history between Charleston AFB and Kazakhstan, and even led the mission that returned the killer whale Keiko (of Free Willy movie fame) to its native waters off Iceland inside a specially-constructed water tank carefully loaded into a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. After retiring from the US Air Force, Fred continued his aviation career as a commercial pilot, most recently flying the Gulfstream G650 for senior leadership of Carnival Corporation.
Despite his remarkable experiences, the accomplishment that Fred was most proud of was his family. He would constantly speak with pride to friend or stranger alike about his wife, Emily, his sons Joe and Paul, his daughter, Kelley, each of their spouses, and perhaps most importantly in his final years, his four amazing grandchildren. He loved them all unconditionally and often spoke about how much God had blessed him throughout his life. Fred’s only regret was not having even more time to tour the country in his biplane with Emily to watch his grandkids grow up.
In addition to his immediate family, Fred is survived by his five brothers and sisters, Lori, Theresa, John, Rita, and David, and he is preceded by his father, Frederick, and mother, Rita. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (
) in hopes that in the future, others may avoid fighting the same battle Fred fought.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, October 10, 2022 at 10:00 AM at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie, FL. He will be laid to rest at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, during a military ceremony to be held in April 2023. Further details for that service will be provided by the family upon request as arrangements are finalized.
Arrangements are under the direction of Haisley Funeral Home, Fort Pierce. An online guest book may be signed at