Francis (Frankie) Joseph DiSanti Sr., 100, of West Chester, PA, passed away Friday April 28, 2023, at his home in West Chester.
He was the devoted husband of the late Ada M. Sperduti DiSanti with whom he shared 70 years of marriage and the loving father of four children, Barbara (Joe) Amiro, Marianne (Ray) Benash, Fran (Ellen) DiSanti, and Diane (Bob) Ward, and beloved grandfather of six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with a ninth great-grandchild on the way.
Born September 4, 1922, in West Chester, he was the son of the late Pietro DiSanti and the late Giaconda Valentino DiSanti. He was preceded in death by his siblings Mary Ferrier, Edith DiSanti, Elmer DiSanti and Carmela Massimini. He is survived by many nieces and nephews whom he loved like his own.
Frankie was a lifelong resident of West Chester, and he loved his hometown. After graduating from St. Agnes High School in 1940, he worked for Blank Aircraft making turrets for airplanes until he was drafted into the United States Army. He served in the Pacific Theatre as an Infantryman in the 42nd Rainbow Division during World War II and earned a Bronze Star as well as numerous other medals for his distinguished service. Although he sustained a serious injury to his hand in combat, he declined a Purple Heart after witnessing the severe injuries and trauma suffered by his fellow service members.
After the war, Frankie worked for a short time as a truck driver before becoming a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service for more than 25 years. He was a fixture in the West Chester community, first along his residential route in the northeast portion of the Borough and later on his downtown business district route. It’s not uncommon for his children to hear “your dad was my mailman!” After being asked by one of his postal clients if he knew anyone who could paint her house, Frankie replied “I can!” despite having no experience. This began his second career as a house painter. He frequently painted for several hours after working a full day at the post office, and he continued to paint for nearly 20 years after his retirement from the Postal Service in 1981. Working hard and providing for his family were priorities throughout his life.
Frankie was a lifelong member of St. Agnes Parish and was active in the Italian Social Club and the American Legion. He also played softball in West Chester softball leagues from the mid-1950s until the early 2000s and was a member of the 1956 state championship team. In addition to playing softball into his 80s, he was a gifted ping-pong player and won a gold medal in table tennis at the Pennsylvania State Senior Games. In his later years, Frankie enjoyed going to the West Chester Area Senior Center where he played cards and sang in their Sunshine Chorus.
Frankie was an avid sports enthusiast who followed all of the Philadelphia sports teams, especially the Phillies. Most summer nights you could find Frankie watching or listening to their games.
Frankie was generous with his time and talents for many good causes including volunteering at Chester County Hospital for 20 years and serving his parish and school through countless hours of service. Frankie also enjoyed baking pizzelles for family and friends, watching his children and grandchildren play sports, sharing tomatoes from his garden, playing cards, and pickling dozens of jars of peppers and cucumbers each fall.
Frankie lived an extraordinary life marked by his honesty, honor, sacrifice, generosity, hard work and love of family. He was an inspiration to many.
Relatives and friends are invited to his visitations on Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. 410 North Church Street West Chester, PA, 19380, and on Friday, May 5, 2023 from 9:30 am - 10:45 am at St. Agnes Church 233 W. Gay St. West Chester, PA 19380; followed by his Funeral Service at 11:00 am.
Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery West Chester PA.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and/or St. Jude Children Research Hospital and/or to the West Chester Area Senior Center
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, PA 610-696-1181; www.DellaFH.com
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
200 Vesey Street, 28th Floor, New York NY 10281
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105
West Chester Area Senior Center
530 East Union St., West Chester PA 19382