<< (Back) In Memory of Frank
[The following eulogy was given by Joey Giamartino during the funeral ceremony:]
Larger than life…my brother. Few of us view our lives through the prism of others, but I ask you to do that now for Frank. Yes Eugene, each of us could fill a book of stories and events involving Frank; most involve living life to its fullest, being happy, celebrating whether a real event or a convenient excuse to express being alive. Each of you will have a slightly different image or recollection, but I'm sure all of you will capture some, if not all, of the following elements that make up my ever lasting memory of my big brother.
As I said, Frank was always larger than life….larger than his 5'4", ok maybe 5'5" frame. Sure with a 10 year age difference his physical stature matched his own image of himself from my perspective from the get go. My imagery is, of course, dominated by images of sport, but sport was only the manifestation of Frank's drive and desire - his heart if you will. Not blessed with the greatest of physical skills or talents - Frank had a desire to matter; be a contributor. And yes he mattered….and I wanted to be just like him. When I started playing baseball, I had to be a catcher, just like him. Imagine a skinny little runt not even big enough to fill out the equipment, getting behind the plate, but Frank was a catcher and so was I! I was smart enough to know football wasn't the game for me, but cross country, soccer, cycling and wrestling - those I tried too. But how was I to live up to his standards. Cross country, a key contributing member of a championship team, cycling, back to back summer "trips" to Vermont and Canada from New Jersey and wrestling, another championship performance! What drive - what heart - what focus. Larger than Life!
I can always remember, our dear sweet mother, and of course you too Dad, re-canting the stories of Frank as a child at Christmas time - always first up while it was still dark! I recall one Christmas when my father, or should I say Santa, barely finished putting together the Easy Bake Kitchen for my sisters and getting into bed when bing, Franks bounds down stairs and wakes up the whole house - youthful enthusiasm! Never lost it! Larger than Life!
Desire, enthusiasm, passion, love, family…...Frank's ultimate place on earth and now earned in heaven grew from his love of family. Family to Frank is not just a blood thing, but rather extended to all he met. All of you were his family; all of your children were his children. A greater lover of humanity and children you would be hard pressed to find. All of you have a memory of his kindness and affection - please keep it with you always.
Quite possibly, Frank's greatest gift to us all is the example he set, the leadership he exemplified; a perfect blend of his Scillachi and Giamartino roots. Vince and Nick could not have picked a better, more caring or loving father. He encouraged their every endeavor, he nurtured their every wish. A more perfect partner he could not have found in Mary. The relationship unbelievably grounded and resilient that seemed to grow stronger over the years. Such a perfect union, two as one, and what a glorious family…oh so blessed. Larger than Life - oh how they enjoyed life.
I could not have asked for a better big brother. Always there for me…whether trying to figure out how to use the new chemistry set I received for Christmas - remember Frank was in pharmacy school at the time and chemistry was a big part of the curriculum and I had to be just like Frank. Or helping me put models together that were beyond my years. Teaching me to stand up for myself or for what I believed in. Or how to through a curve ball and lets not forget a screwball because that was Tug McGraw's out pitch! I learned more from Frank than anyone other than my beloved mother and dear father. He reinforced their teaching in oh so many ways. I always wanted to be just like Frank. I have yet to equal what Frank has achieved…the bar is set oh so high, but most importantly I can only dream of touching and influencing the lives of this many people. He truly was the real life George Bailey of Brattelboro! May we all carry his inspiration and example with us forever!
You can judge a person's life from many perspectives, but the one that is probably the most important is that of one's legacy - your footprint so to speak. Frank's footprint is huge! And you are all a testament to it. Your numbers are daunting and we, as a family, thank you for your kindness and respect. Frank found the good in all and in everyday life. Frank was a happy guy whose self confidence radiated and encouraged all, certainly a key ingredient to his success in business and life in general. Yes he mattered…yes he was a contributor. Larger than Life - so loving of life.
God bless you all and may none of you ever feel this family's pain. Please keep on keeping on… Frankie would have it no other way!