Florini, Former North Adams Mayor, Dies at 89

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Frank Florini
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Former Mayor Francis Constant "Frank" Florini, 89, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, died there on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. He was a longtime civic leader, serving at the state and local level.

Florini was the first mayor to elected under the city's A Form of government, which made the executive position stronger. He oversaw a number of projects that changed the face of the city, including the start of urban renewal in the downtown. He was elected three times, serving from 1964 to 1968. He also was the city's acting postmaster until his election as mayor.

Born in North Adams on Sept. 7, 1919, son of John B. and Mary A. Rosasco Florini, he graduated from Drury High School and received his agricultural management degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in May 1949

A Army veteran of World War II, he enlisted in 1942 and was assigned to the 1st Division (the Big Red One) as a staff sergeant. He served as a radio corpsman in the North Africa campaigns in Algeria, French Morocco and Tunisia. During the 1943 invasion of Sicily, he was severely wounded in both legs by shrapnel. He spent 2 1/2 years in rehabilitation at Framingham Hospital and was awarded the Purple Heart and Good Conduct medal, among his decorations and citations.

Mr. Florini worked on the family farm in his early years and at the family's popular restaurant Florini's Italian Garden.

In 1968, he was appointed director of the Office of Central Services in the state Department of Community Affairs in Boston, working under Gov. John A. Volpe. He was re-elected to office in 1978 as an alderman for Ward 6 in Beverly.

Mr. Florini retired in 1981 and moved to East Boothbay, Maine, where he served on the town Water Board from 1985 through 1995.

While in North Adams, he was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Chamber of Commerce, and served on the board of the YMCA. While in East Boothbay, he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and was involved with the Railway Museum and Land Trust.

He made a difference to people in many communities and countless have been touched by his hard work and good will.

His first wife, the former Gertrude R. Fuller, is deceased.

He leaves his wife, Prunella J. Hall Pollard; nine children and stepchildren, Kathy Pettiss and her husband, Edward, of Malvern, Pa., Diane Florini and her husband, James Hamilton, of Ithaca, N.Y., Joan Ossoff and her husband, Steven, of Danvers, Margie Florini and her husband, Joseph Randazzo, of Beverly, Helen Kantor and her husband, Mark, of Sturbridge, Allyn Florini and her partner, Jeffrey Parker, of Hot Springs, Ark., Geraldine Sousa and her husband, Richard of Grayslake, Ill., and Cecily Pollard and her partner, Tom Guzzio, of Prides Crossing, and Brett Pollard of West Hollywood, Calif.; 16 grandchildren, Jason Pettiss and his wife, Valerie, Katie and her husband, Wen Feng Jiang, Helen and Jay Hamilton, Sarah Ossoff, Leah and her husband, Thomas Applin, Alison and Jennifer Kantor, Margie and Joseph Florini-Parker, Nate and Beth Sousa, Jesse Harlow, and Jackson, Jacob and Allyn Bristol Florini-Parker; three great-granddaughters, Vivian Pettiss, Kathryn and Eriana Jiang, and nieces and nephews, Rita Bassett, June Tierney, John Florini, Joy Bassett and John Germanowski.

He was predeceased by siblings Joseph Florini, Norma Carter and Mary Germanowski and a niece, Tina-Marie Leja.

FUNERAL NOTICE — A celebration of the life of Frank Florini will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 24, at noon at St. John's Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, 705 Hale St., Beverly, MA 01915 or to the charity of your choice.    Arrangements by the Campbell–Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 9 Dane St., Beverly. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.

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