Father's Day, Sunday June 19, 2011 was the first day of the rest of my life without Dad.
He died two months and two days after entering hospice care, six years after his diagnosis of lymphoma. He never complained, and did so well through repeated rounds of chemotherapy it was easy to forget how sick he really was. We had him in our lives for six years longer than we expected, and he made the most of it: traveling, spending time with friends and his beloved grandchildren, including the celebration of his fiftieth wedding anniversary on a cruise with the entire clan.
Many happy moments, and many special memories, which is probably why it took so long for him to give up the fight: one very long month of urgent phone calls, late night jaunts on the Long Island Expressway, with the occasional reward of finding him lucid enough to tell me to turn off the Met game because "I didn't watch them when they were winning," to smack his lips as he gulped down a chocolate milk shake and ice cream cake for his 78th birthday, or to flicker his eyelids when he heard our voices--just to reassure us that he knew we were there.
My father died June 18 at 8:30 pm, with a nurse by his side. She assured me it was so quick, so peaceful, she had to check several times to be sure. We had left only a couple hours before and by the time I made the last drive in the dark of night to see him, Emelyn had made him comfortable and was waiting to greet and console us.
It took me three days to write this piece for the local newspaper. How could I possibly capture the nuances of his personality and distill all the moments, all the memories, into a few paragraphs? The same way we struggled to write the inscription for his headstone at Calverton National Cemetery, by focusing on the most important things in his life: his family, his work, his community.
Francis A. Moleti, a longtime Bronx resident and community leader, died on June 18, 2011 from complications of lymphoma. He was 78.
Frank’s proudest accomplishments included his 1952-56 tour of duty with the United States Navy, serving as a machinist on the Battleship New Jersey during the Korean War. After returning stateside, he joined the and was a foreman for Brook Sheet Metal, which handled many major New York City construction projects including the building of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center .
He grew up in Parkchester, then moved to Throggs Neck. He served several terms as president of the Locust Point until retiring to in 1995. An entire generation of local kids will remember Frank for his tireless efforts to bring PAL activities to Throggs Neck, as well as the weekend marathon of Labor Day events sponsored by the LPCA including the costume parade, foot and swimming races, as well as popular adult activities such as dancing under stars, the married vs. single men’s softball game, and the pie eating/throwing contest., lived for a while in
An avid fisherman and sailor, Frank worked tirelessly to improve the water quality of Long Island Sound, as well as the quality of life for Northeast Bronx residents, by serving on Community Planning Board #10 under then District Manager . His efforts were instrumental in the closing and remediation of toxic waste leaching from the Pelham Bay Landfill as well as dealing with traffic congestion, noise, and environmental pollution near the Throggs Neck Bridge.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carole, three daughters, Carole Ann, Christine and Allison, and seven grandchildren. Donations in his memory can be made to The Connecticut Fund for the Environment-Save the Sound Project.
Deadline met. Not that I had any choice.