Clarence Monaco passed away March 11, 2014 at the age of 93. Clarence Anthony Monaco was born May 30, 1920 in Denver, Colorado. He was the second of six children born to Joseph Anthony and Maria Assunta Monaco. He grew up in Anaconda, MT., and graduated from Anaconda High School in 1938. He was then drafted into the Army in 1941, where he gained a keen interest and education in electronics. Clarence also had a natural knack for business and even at an early age, was an entrepreneur. He married his high school sweetheart, Frances L. Kovacich, in November of 1942.
While in the military, Clarence served in WWII at the rank of Staff Sergeant and was stationed on bases along the United States West Coast and later in the Philippines. After serving in the military, Clarence and Fran moved to St. Regis, Montana to run the Western Star CafÄ‚Ĺ with his older brother and wife. In the early 50’s they moved to Spokane, WA., and opened four drive-in restaurants. Soon Clarence decided to begin selling fire alarm systems and started Fire Detection Service, his first company. Vincent Kovacich, his brother-in-law, was his first employee. In the early years, Fire Detection Service sold fire alarm systems to local farming communities in Eastern Washington.
Over the next twenty years the company expanded. Its many employees manufactured, sold and installed hundreds of fire alarm and high security systems to the United States Government and Military Services worldwide. Notable projects included the Saturn Space Launch at Cape Canaveral, The Smithsonian Institute and Goddard Space Flight Center. In 1971, Monaco Enterprises was formed and continued manufacturing and installing a variety of systems in 49 states as well as Southeast Asia, Italy, Germany and the Middle East. Throughout his career, he made many lifelong friends, some of whom came to work for him after distinguished careers. In Clarences’ retirement he published a memoir about his business life in the Fire and Security Industry. Clarence will be missed and fondly remembered for his business acumen and generosity.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Frances; and brothers, Earl, Elmer and Joseph. Clarence is survived by his two sisters Virginia Blaskovich, Anaconda, MT., and Margaret Frey of Laguna Niguel, CA; brother-in-law, Vincent Kovacich (Harriet) of Spokane, WA; his four children, Gene (Marti), Vincent (Jan), Simone (companion Dan R. Johnson) and Clar (Gail); his three grandchildren, Rachel Monaco, Noelle Barno (Roger), Katy Owens (Chad); and five great- grandchildren, Michael Isotalo, Ashlea Jeffries, Abigail Owens, Cora and Calvin Barno; along with many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to give heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Clode, and many wonderful caregivers, including those from Family Home Care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, South 304 Adams, Spokane Valley, WA 99216.
A Rosary will be held Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 7 o’clock p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Funeral mass will be held on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 11 o’clock a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, East 17825 Trent Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216. We invite you to share your memories of Clarence on our online guestbook at www.thornhillvalley.com.