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Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodbye Uncle Frank

Francis X. Albert died on October 23rd; he was 84 years old. Frank was my uncle, meaning the brother of my father. He also was the last surviving member of his family. He's also the last surviving member of his family, as none of his children had any children of their own.

I can't really think of Uncle Frank without also thinking of his late wife, Aunt Anne, who passed away in 1973 (I was 9 at the time). Anne was loud, often found drinking Gibbons bear, fond of colorful language and was the nicest, kindest adult relative I knew. Going to hers and Frank's nice house as a kid was always a was just an inviting place. It was also different than the housing project I lived in at the time, being squarely middle class (complete with greenhouse in the backyard). The contrast here is to the family of my mother, most of whom, to be honest, seemed to look down on myself and my brother on those odd occasions when we would visit.

Frank was also the relative that I've probably seem the most of in my life. He always lived in South Scranton, and in later years actually lived across the street from the house that I own with my mother. That afforded me the chance to see him every once in a while and say hello. That may not sound like much, but you have to remember that he was my only real contact with a relative from either my mother or my father's family. Frank was not without his flaws, but at his heart he was a hell of a nice guy. He also served his country with honor in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

Frank is survived by three living children: Francis X, Father Patrick (a Catholic Priest), and Jeanine (who is also one of the nicest people I know...although I don't see her that much). He had two children previously pass away: a son Billy (who died only a few years ago) and a daughter Mary Anne (who I believe died as an infant).

Rest in Peace Uncle Frank, and I'm glad you are finally re-united with Aunt Anne.

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