Francis T. "Frank" Piselli, of Glenolden, age 93, a larger than life man who modeled what it means to be a loving father, a doting husband and an amazing grandfather, and great-grandfather passed peacefully after living a fulfilling life, on February 8, 2019 with his sons by his side at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA.
Born and raised in West Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Anthony and the late Olympia (Magliano) Piselli. He was a resident of the Briarcliff section of Glenolden for 67 years and a member of Saint Joseph’s Church in Collingdale. Frank attended Overbrook High School and then joined the United States Navy at 17, by lying about his age, to serve his country in World War II. Aboard aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18), Frank flew missions in the Pacific Theatre as a top ball turret gunner of a TBF-1 Avenger in Torpedo Bombing Squadron VT-14. Defying all odds, Frank survived the war. His first order of business when he got home stateside was to hitch hike to his childhood love's place of employment and ask for her hand. Frank married his lovely wife Rita Iorillo in 1947 and proudly raised three children in their Glenolden home.
He took great pride in his work and enjoyed a long career as a designer for both Westinghouse and General Electric. Although he dedicated many years to the office life, Frank retired at the age of 67 so he could spend time with his family and devote time to his hobbies.
For those who knew Frank, they may remember his creative spirit and his ability to figure out or fix anything. If you were looking for Frank, there were three places you could look to find him. First, his drafting table where he drew scaled plans for the future homes of his friends and family. The second place where Frank found happiness was his shed where he built toys, gadgets and home decorations. The third, his garden where he grew vegetables and tended his fig tree. Many Sunday dinners included fresh lettuce, tomatoes and peppers that Frank had grown and last but not least, the best pasta and meatballs outside of Italy. He occasionally coupled those Sunday dinners with a nice glass of Scotch
Another joy in Frank's life was a quiet piece of land where he and his brother built cabins where Frank's family spent much time and lived out many happy memories. Frank often said that the mountain house was his favorite place to be.
Frank was loved and respected by everyone. People gravitated toward him because he was the perfect mix of warmth, kindness and wit. He was a constant source of pride and advice for his family. He lived by and shared many mottos that resonate with those who knew and loved him today. "Don't let the office get you" he used to say, as a reminder that family is more important than the job you do and that you have to devote time to those you love. He can also be remembered for saying, "Make sure you learn something new everyday" reminding his children and grandchildren that life and all it has to offer you is a gift and that its a gift best shared with those you love.
Survived by his loving wife of 72 years Rita (Lorillo) Piselli, his children Thomas (Maureen) Piselli, Susan (Joseph) Ranoia and Stephen (Maria) Piselli, 8 Grandchildren and 5 Great-Grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brothers Anthony and Albert Piselli and his sister Dorothy Leo.
He will be remembered most for the mark he made on and the love he had for his family that will last forever.
Visitation will be Tuesday February 12th from 6-8pm at Kevin M. Lyons Funeral Service 202 S. Chester Pike Glenolden, PA and on Wednesday from 9:30 - 10:15 AM at Saint Joseph's Church 500 Woodlawn Ave., Collingdale, followed by his funeral mass at 10:30am.
Interment Saints Peter & Paul Cemetery, Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Disabled American Veterans 5000 Wissahickon Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19144.
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