Francis N. “Frank” Amalfetano, 95, a resident of Warwick for 50 years, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2020. He was the beloved husband of the late Victoria (Sibella) Amalfetano. They had been married for 55 years.
Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Edward and Jennie (Bertone) Amalfetano. Frank grew up on Elmwood Avenue in Providence. As a young boy, he would accompany his father peddling ice cream in the Oakland Beach, Hillsgrove and Norwood areas. He attended Central High School, where he played hockey and baseball.
In 1943, Frank left school and joined the Navy. He participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy as a trained coxswain and transported British soldiers on an LST ship to Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches. He has proudly participated in documentaries made by the World War II Foundation and has given audio statements of his eye-witness accounts of the invasion to the U.S. Naval War College for preservation. Frank was proud to be a World War II veteran and part of “The Greatest Generation."
Upon his return from the war, Frank joined his parents running Jennie's Dairy-Freeze in the Conimicut section of Warwick. The small blue and white building on West Shore Road became a popular spot to grab a soft-serve cone of ice cream, a coffee cabinet or a delicious frozen lemonade. Anyone who was a friend of Frank's was always invited to the "back room," where a small kitchen served as a gathering place for a quick hello, Sunday and holiday dinners with his family, birthday parties for his grandchildren and lots of stories and laughter. Frank operated Jennie's for 55 years before retiring in 2003. The success of his business was a reflection of his hard work and dedication. In addition to running Jennie's Dairy-Freeze, Frank worked nights for New Haven Railroad in the mid-1960s, as well as working as owner and operator of Jennie's Liquors in the late 1980s.
Frank received his honorary high school diploma from Bishop Hendricken High School in 1975 alongside his eldest son, Anthony. Frank was actively involved in supporting the school during that time and helped bring about what is now the "Hungry Hawk" snack bar. Frank was a lifelong baseball fan and spent many days and nights at Fenway Park watching Red Sox games with family and friends. He also enjoyed attending PawSox games, where he formed many friendships. Frank was a longtime sponsor of Little League teams during the time he ran Jennie's Dairy-Freeze. He also enjoyed traveling and playing golf.
Frank was a generous, fun-loving person who was always willing to help others. He always had a story to tell and was eager to share his interests and passions through his enormous collection of memorabilia and scrapbooks.
Frank was the devoted father of Sandra Magner and her husband, Daniel, The Honorable Anthony F. Amalfetano and his wife, Louise, Robert E. Amalfetano and his wife, Tracy, and Theresa V. Bucci and her husband, Joseph. He was known as "Papa" to his grandchildren, Lori Mattiace, Keri Johnson, Sarah Calenda, Dr. Nicholas Amalfetano, Christopher Amalfetano, Anthony Bucci, Victoria Bucci, Nathan Amalfetano and Matthew Amalfetano, and was the great-grandfather of Giulia Calenda. He was the brother of the late PFC Anthony S. Amalfetano and Loretta Larson.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, January 18 at 8:30 a.m. from Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Matthew Church, 1299 Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. Visiting hours will be on Friday, Jan. 17 from 4-7 p.m. Burial with military honors will be in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Insight, 43 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, Rhode Island 02888. Visit www.barrettandcotter.com.