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Francesco A. Cichello “Frank” of Clifton Park, New York passed away on Monday, July 29, 2019 at Saratoga Hospital after an eight-year battle against frontotemporal dementia. Throughout his illness, Frank lived at home with his devoted wife, Diana (Troiano) Cichello, who remained committed to his care along with a loving team of caregivers.
Born on August 11, 1933 in Jonadi, Vibo Valentia, Italy he was the son of Maria Rosa (Bertuccio) Cichello and Frank J. Cichello. Deeply religious from a young age, he attended five years of classical training at the Seminario Vescovile di Mileto. Shortly after immigrating to the United States, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1957. He graduated from Siena College with a B.A., earned an M.A. from the University at Albany, did post-graduate work at Rutgers University; Benito Juárez University in Oaxaca, Mexico; Middlebury College, and the University at Albany. In 1973, he graduated from the Università degli Studi di Firenze, with a Ph.D. in modern foreign languages and literatures with proficiencies in Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, and English. He went on to lead various professional organizations and remained an engaged scholar throughout his career.
From 1963 to 2001, “Doc” was affectionately known to all at Scotia-Glenville High School as a dedicated, yet light-hearted educator who always found time for a teachable moment, imparting far more than conversational Spanish to generations of students. Teaching foreign language for thirty-eight years was a vehicle for Doc to demonstrate an unerring professionalism and spotless work ethic that was accompanied by his daily uniform of an equally impeccable suit and tie.
In retirement, Frank re-focused on service to his family and community. After leaving teaching to care for his elderly mother, he became a eucharistic minister and served Mass every Saturday at the Saint Francis Chapel on Wolf Road in Albany. He was board member at the Clifton Park Senior Center. A lifelong member of the Italian Community Center, he helped establish a library there and enjoyed playing in the bocce league. He took-up cooking, preparing meals for friends and family in a tradition of hospitality that would become his calling card. No matter who entered his home, Frank greeted them with a cup of cappuccino and an invitation to the table.
Frank is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Diana (Troiano) Cichello, his daughter Francesca A. Cichello (Adam Daily), a grandson Roman, sisters Catherine Tavella and Elisa Messina (Angelo Messina), his nieces Maria Rosa Walker (Daniel Walker), Francine Tavella, Jo Ann Heller (Scott Heller) and nephews Joseph Tavella and Bruno Messina (Mary Ellen). He was predeceased by his brother, Salvatore M. Cichello, M.D. and his niece, Angela Gutiérrez.
Family and friends are invited and may call on (today) Wednesday July 31, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, corner of 109th Street and Third Avenue, Lansingburgh.
Funeral mass 10:00 am on Thursday August 1, 2019 at St. Clement’s Church 231 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Entombment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Troy. Please visit www.mcloughlinmason.com.