SHARPSVILLE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) -Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to all, Frances Saverio Pontera of 658 South Third Street, Sharpsville, was welcomed into Heaven after peacefully passing away in the arms of his loving wife of 63 years with his family by his side at 8:39 p.m. on Monday, December 20, 2021 in UPMC Horizon – Shenango Valley after a lengthy illness. Frank was 84.

Born January 19, 1937, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, Frank was the son of Samuel Anthony and Rosalie “Leah” Frances (Scardina) Pontera.

Raised in Farrell, Pennsylvania, Frank was a 1955 graduate of Farrell High School where football, track and friends filled his high school days!

Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy as an ENGFN and was assigned to the USS Iowa BB-61 where he served proudly. Frank possessed a strong love for his country and service and remained connected to the Navy through the Reserves upon his honorable discharge in 1965. And while he was no longer active, he never let go of his connection to his brotherhood and proudly wore his USS Iowa BB-61 hat everywhere he went and loved making friends over this connection.

Shortly after leaving the Navy he became employed by Sharon Steel Corporation as an electrician in the BOF. Hard work was something he walked towards and not away from up until he suffered an accident that cut short what all know would have been a lifetime career.

In life, God and Church was first and foremost. Frank was an active member of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Sharpsville where he served as a Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Holy Name Society and served as a 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus member. Frank found a way to give of his time in ways that went beyond by coaching the Boys Church Basketball League up until 1986. Frank’s deep trust in God carried him and provided him with the hope and resiliency that allowed him to live a life beyond what many would have ever expected.

Frank married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Mary Jo (Palazzo) on May 10, 1958 in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. Together with his beautiful wife, they created a large, loving family that only grew over the years.

Mary Jo survives him with their five children, Mary Frances Hill and her husband, James Maury, Samuel Joseph and his wife, Bonnie Lorane, Lisa Marie Molinaro and her husband, Geoffrey Scott, Stephen Gerard and Sean Frances and his wife, Sherry. In addition to his five children, nine grandchildren survive him, Sara Elizabeth (Molinaro) Barendrecht and her husband, Arie, Tyler Frances Molinaro, Matthew James Hill, Samantha Josephine (Pontera) Gassner and her husband, Seth, Christopher Joseph Hill and his wife, Christie, Shelby Lorane (Pontera) Cioffi and her husband, Joseph, Sierra Isabella Pontera, Santino Frances James and Shannon (Green) Bellanca and her husband, Paul. In addition to his nine grandchildren, he was also blessed with six great-grandchildren, Jacob Aaron Bellanca, Eliana Lois Bellanca, Shane Joseph Gassner, twins, Scarlett Aletha Gassner, Silas Ashton Gassner and the newest member of his family who was born on December 9 who he never got the opportunity to hold but loved with his whole heart, Margot James Hill. Also surviving are his sisters-in-law, Myltreda (Palazzo) Jensen and her husband, Mogens and Gloria (Palazzo) Cagigas and her husband, Don.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Samuel Anthony Pontera and Rosalie “Leah” (Scardina) Pontera and his sisters, Mary Ann Kollar and Corinne Schultz.

While family took precedent over all things, Frank always found time to give service to others in his church and community. While he enjoyed watching his sons play many sports, his real joy came in coaching them, their friends and lots of children thereafter. Frank served as a Sharpsville Midget Football Coach, a Sharpsville Little League Baseball Coach and a Sharpsville Area High School Assistant Track Coach. In addition to these, Frank was a member of Ducks Unlimited and the VFW but above all these, he was most proud of and bragged the most about serving as a mentor to his son, Sam, as he established and grew Jac’s Kitchen and Counters into a highly successful business.

As an avid outdoorsman, Frank found such pleasure in hunting and fishing with his boys, his cousins and friends. Despite his physical challenges, he could always find a way into the woods to do what he loved most with the people he loved most. His love of wildlife led him to become a skilled duck decoy carver which many family and friends benefited from.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Christopher Enoch and staff of the Hermitage Fresenius Medical Center for the incredible care they provided over the past two years.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Jude; St. Bartholomew’s Preservation Fund; the Holy Name Society or a charity of their choice.

Friends may call Monday, December 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in St. Bartholomew R.C. Church, 311 W. Ridge Avenue, Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 12:00 p.m. with the Very Rev. Richard Allen, E.V. officiating. Full military honors will be offered.


Burial will take place in Hillcrest Cemetery Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

Arrangements entrusted to the Sherman Funeral Home & Crematory

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