Francesco "Frank" Zappia, Sr.
What do you remember about Francesco "Frank"? Share your stories and photos here, and invite others to come share their memories.
Francesco (Frank) Zappia Sr of Vero Beach FL passed into Eternal Life at home in the arms of his loving wife on May 18th. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, brother, Dominick (Sylvia), sister Cathy Welsh (Jerry), and brother-in-law Scott (Debbie). His father, Sam Zappia, mother, Mary Romeo and brother, Anthony predeceased him.
Frank was born in Massena New York on March 8, 1931. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He was an independent entrepreneur and owner of a sports bar and restaurants along with his father in Massena. When he sold the business and moved to Vero Beach in 2000, he held the oldest liquor license in New York State...60+years. He was an active hunter and fisherman. He always gave the first deer shot to the Bishop of the Ogdensburg NY Diocese. Bishop Barbarito was our Bishop there before he moved to the Palm Beach Diocese. Every year the large Italian community held a summer festival and the Bishop began the celebration with mass. Yes, the homemade Italian wine and delicacies were a plenty. He worked at the Indian River County Shooting Range for 5 years and our Sheriffs trusted him to train their grandchildren to respect the use/handling of firearms.
He grew up in the traditional Catholic Italian family where Mama had all her grandchildren gathered around her on Sundays as she shared her Italian cooking secrets. Frank inherited his love of cooking and he and his siblings always argued "mine are the best meatballs and only I have Mama's recipe". His children, Sandi, Tony, Frank Jr, Lori; 4 Grandchildren...Becca, Brian, David, Karleigh, 8 Great Grandchildren and 3 Great-Great Grandchildren, nieces & nephews will miss their friend, mentor and coach.
Frank did not venture to far from Massena until he and Sandra married and they were off to Europe, to Plati, Reggio Calabria, Italy the place of his parents birth. He enjoyed the many cruises, trips and Caribbean island hopping. His Catholic faith was an essential part of his life as was his Italian heritage a close second. He always first said he was Italian, than American, He was sent home from kindergarten because he only spoke Italian. Shortly his English blossomed. He was active in the church in Massena and after a month in Vero started ushering at St Helen Catholic Church and continued until his health began to falter. His wife continues to be active and support the ministries at St Helen.
Frank's life was full and God blessed him with 91 years. His Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St Helen Catholic Church, Tuesday, May 24 at 11 a.m. and be live streamed and available for viewing for 30 days (sthelenvero.org). Interment will follow later at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach FL. A Celebration of Frank's life will follow the Mass at the Italian American Civic Club, of which he was past President.
To family and friends - Frank says "Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I'm following the path God laid for me. I took His hand when I heard Him call. I wish you sunshine for tomorrow, not tears of sorrow. My life's been full, I've savored so much...good friends, good times, a loved one's touch. Perhaps my time seemed brief, don't linger with tears. Rejoice in what we shared. God wanted me now; He set me free!"
Memorial contributions may be made to St Helen Catholic Church and School, 2085 Tallahassee Ave, Vero Beach FL 32960.
Arrangements by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach. An online guestbook is available at www.lowtherfamily.com