It is never easy to say goodbye to those that we love and those who have left an impression on our lives. Frank Felicello was loved by many and certainly left an impression on everyone who met him. I am sure today, tomorrow, and for years to come many will be sharing "Frank", "Big Daddy", or "Rumbler" stories. He was a larger than life figure who could make you laugh, make you cry, and, at times, make you want to scream. The words to describe Frank are plentiful, as well as varied based on how you knew him. But, one that can not be denied is unforgettable. He was a man who dominated his surroundings and made his presence felt whenever he entered a room, a presence that remained long after he left.
Frank Felicello lived a life full of passion and heart. He was born on September 10, 1948. He graduated from Marlboro High School in 1966, where he starred in football and achieved all-state honors. Upon his graduation from SUNY Brockport, he returned to the town and school he loved--Marlboro--as a physical education teacher. For over 40 years, he directed students from the stage with his deep animated growl. You could not walk by the gymnasium at Marlboro Middle School without hearing him yell "SCORE!" or "Up and Running Boys!" or his favorite tactic for settling a dispute between two classmates "Get out the mats!"
Frank was also a successful coach who studied the game of basketball, and promised himself that no coach would ever out work him, a promise he kept throughout his coaching career. Those that saw him in action will never forget the sight of him with his shirt tail hanging out, sweat dripping down his face, and a wildfire in his eyes. And, that was just in warm ups.
Later in life, he rekindled his love for the game, his love for coaching, and his relationship with his son. He served as his son's mentor, teacher, and unofficial assistant coach when Kris began his coaching at Onteora and, later, Chester. The years they spent coaching together were a special time in which father and son bonded, learned, loved, and celebrated.
Frank served his community first as a Town Councilman and later a County Legislator for over 20 years. Frank took his desire for success to the campaign trail. Just like coaching, no one ever worked harder. One of his favorite parts of being in politics was having the influence to help friends and support underdogs during a time of need.
Although Frank was an educator and politician he came from a blue collar family, and blue collar work ran through his blood. You would be hard pressed to drive through Marlboro without seeing a driveway he paved. He started a successful blacktop business during summer break. His crew was, at first, his teacher friends, and later with former students. Tales from his escapades paving driveways are often re-told by the hundreds who at one time or another worked on the "crew". Whether it was the time he flipped his dump truck, burned a lawn to nothing, yelled at speeding cars with his notorious explicit laced tirads, or called to Ray "Give me a hand over here!", being on the blacktop crew was always entertaining. And despite his Sanford and Son-like approach, he always delivered a quality driveway.
Frank was broken-hearted when he lost his father in 1994. That is when his wife Lucille entered his life, saving him from the sadness of losing his father and bringing out a softer kinder version of Frank that was rarely seen outside of her presence. His love for her was evident throughout the 25 years they spent together, as she brought him much happiness, joy and was able to put up with him for so long!
Frank is predeceased by his parents Frank and Patricia Felicello and his sister Susan DeRobertis. He leaves behind: his loving wife, Lucille, son Kris Felicello (Rebecca Mizrahi), step daughters Kristina and Kimberly Carroll (Kevin Goveia), grandchildren Justin Mizrahi, Andrew Mizrahi, and Scott Felicello, his best friend and sister Anita Darrah (Jim Russo), his brother in law Michael DeRobertis, niece Stephanie Steiler (Dan), nephew Dean Darrah (Brandi), nieces and Goddaughters Mariah Darrah and Liana Rodelli, his former wife Barbara Felicello, his beloved chihuahua Cookie, and several other nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A celebration of his life will be announced after the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted. We ask, in the meantime, that you tell your "Frank stories", remember the laughs, remember the unbelievable, remember the good times, and remember him as a local legend...he would want it no other way.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato of The DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc. (845) 236-4300, www.didonatofuneralservice.com