rank J. Baldassarre, 89
NYC firefighter, chef, lifelong Staten Islander, and devoted family man and friend
Frank J. Baldassarre, 89, loving husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away quietly at home on May 31, 2018.
Frank is survived by his wife of 59 years, Frances (Carbone Loschirico); children, Dr. James S. Baldassarre (Susan), Susan Little (Larry), Maria Kirby (Dennis), Dorothy Glawson (Stephen), and Frank Baldassarre Jr. (Jane); brother, Albert, and 16 grandchildren, Alyssa, Julia and Andrew Baldassarre; Ted, Henry and Francesca Little; Dennis Jr. and Nicholas Kirby; Stephen Jr., Eric, Thomas, Ava Glawson; Frank III, Gabriella, Sophia and Antonia Baldassarre. He was predeceased by his brother, Sylvester.
Frank lived a rich and full life. He was born and raised in New Brighton, attended PS 17 and Curtis High School, and lived his entire life on Staten Island. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and served with the U.S. 1st Cavalry in Japan. After the war, he returned to school at Wagner College and earned his B.A. in economics followed by his master's in education, which enabled him to substitute teach all over Staten Island and he concluded his teaching at Mount Loretto school.
During a vacation trip to Italy, he met Frances Loschirico, and they married in 1959. Five children followed with many family adventures, including a cross-country road trip in 1976.
Frank became a NYC firefighter in 1959 and served with Engine 10 in Manhattan until 1984. Frank loved his fire department brothers and organized a number of reunions for Battalion 1. Even in retirement he volunteered at the September 11 disaster site. He put on his uniform to attend dozens of memorial services during those sad days.
Frank was an excellent chef, a skill honed by preparing thousands of firehouse meals. This lead him to open The Barnard catering facility in Tottenville, where he was proprietor and chef for many years. Many good times were celebrated there.
Frank retired for the last time in 2000 to spend more time with his family and hobbies. He built a large new home for the children and grandchildren to gather. He tended his gardens, enjoyed woodworking and birding, and collected antiques. He volunteered hundreds of hours to various charitable causes, especially Community Mayors of New York, and was a regular at the VFW Granito-Smith Post in New Brighton.
For all of his interests and accomplishments, Frank was first and foremost for family and friends. He was outgoing, lively and sociable, always quick with a story or a joke. He maintained childhood friendships for over 80 years, as well as enduring friendships from his time in the service and the NYFD. He continued to make new friends throughout his life, wherever he went, from the Adirondack Mountains to the shores of Florida. He loved to host parties for new and old friends at his Tottenville home and he loved to have his family around him. It was common to have 30 or more around the table for holidays with Frank at the head of the table. He will be truly missed.
Funeral is from Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home on Monday at 9:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady Help of Christian's R.C. Church at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may visit on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank's memory may be made to FDNY Holy Name Association, 4 Maple Drive, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 or www.communitymayors.org.