The Obit For Frank Pulizzi

Frank Pulizzi

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 20, 2010

Frank Pulizzi Will be remembered by his loving family as a man with a zest for life and an unmatched compassion for others.

Frank died on June 11, 2010 at the age of 83.

The youngest boy with three older sisters, Grace Thorpe, Dora Turdici, and May Vignola, the family grew up on Potrero Hill.

Frank discovered a talent for baseball at an early age while playing daily at Jackson Playground. He was a starting shortstop for 1940's-era powerhouse Mission High School. After serving with the U.S. Army Occupation Forces, stationed in Tokyo, Japan, Frank returned home and played ball at San Francisco State. He was signed to a professional contract with the AAA Stockton Ports and played a season with the club; he also played for Don Gilmore Chevrolet's weekend travel club.

Always at home in the kitchen, Frank worked as a cook at Bill Kennas' Corner Creamery at 18th and Connecticut. A 9-year old customer who he had befriended and treated to ice creams introduced Frank to his mother, a working single parent. Eleanor would become Frank's wife and the boy, Jim, his adopted son.

For the next 50 years, this young man could not have wished for a better, more loving father than Frank. After hanging up his baseball spikes,

Frank continued to mentor young players. He moved to Daly City and, living near Westlake Bowl, became an avid bowler there as well as at Classic Lanes and Sea Bowl. Sporting a 190 average right-handed, Franks switched to his left after his left knee gave out. Soon his left-handed average matched his right.

Eleanor passed in 1981 after 30 years as a devoted wife and mother. In 1987 Frank met the next love of his life co-bowler Ginny Orsini. Frank and Ginny spent ten wonderful years together before her death in 1997.

A move to the Ocean View Apartments in Pacifica, he met, dated and married the girl next door Marie Smith. The two spent 10 loving years as a married couple before she passed in 2008.

Frank worked for the San Francisco Unified School District, where he retired as a Supervisor of Maintenance.

He is survived by his Son Jim Wicklund (Lonnie), "Special Son" Jim Derby, Step-Daughter Linda Cordell (Tom), Step-Son Mel Steele, Step-Son Sam Di Domenico (Denise), Grandchildren Mandy Wicklund, Matt Wicklund (Chris), Jennifer Rothrock (Ben), "Special Grandson Jim Steele," Mike Leonard (Ruth), Laura Calles (Joel), Tim Cordell, Dan Cordell (Sharon), Joe Cordell, James Cordell, Niece Gigi Maraschin (David), Great-Grandchildren Matthew Wicklund-Grose, Benjamin Rothrock, Nickolas and Brendan Cordell, Clayton and Phoebe Leonard.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to the Kaiser Hospice would be appreciated. A special thanks to those special folks - Antoinette, Theresa, Jenny, Gino, Kathy - and especially to volunteers Barbara and Eileen. Frank spent his final days in the loving care of his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Lonnie Wicklund at their home where all could come and visit. He asked that you all not be saddened but enjoy your families as this was what he lived for.

A celebration of Frank's life to be held on Saturday June 26th, at 11:00 a.m., DUGGAN'S SERRA MORTUARY, Daly City.