Frank R. Filipelli

March 27, 1923November 23, 2012
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Frank Filipelli passed away on Friday, November 23, 2012, surrounded by family, in Austin, Texas. He was 89 years old.

Born Raphelo Francesco Giuseppe Fillippili in New York City, on March 27, 1923, Frank was a man of strong convictions who devoted his life to serving others. He was raised by his widowed mother, Teresa Toteda Filipelli, an Italian immigrant who supported Frank and his sister, Mary, by working as a seamstress. His fondest childhood memories were of sneaking into Yankee Stadium, tossing peanuts to players in the bullpen, and of seeing Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig play. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.

Like many of his generation, Frank grew quickly into adulthood. As a teenager, he helped support his family by working at the A&P. In September 1944, he was called to serve in the U.S. Army and began sending his allotment check home to help his mother raise his nephew and niece. He saw combat in the Rhineland and was wounded and taken prisoner of war in February 1945. When recalling this experience, he often mentioned the kindness of German soldiers who could have just as easily left him for dead. From that point on, he counted himself lucky to be alive.

When he returned to New York, he began studying under the G.I. Bill and earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University. He then earned a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University in Long Island. Frank met Irene McMonagle while they both were social workers at New York City’s Department of Welfare. They married in 1961, and went on to have three children: Ralph, David, and Laurie. In 1966, they moved upstate to Gloversville, New York, when Frank accepted a position as Director of Clinical Services at Tryon School for Boys. Frank retired in 1981 but continued to be involved in local politics and community service organizations. He and his wife lived in Gloversville until 2005 when they relocated to Austin, Texas, to be closer to their children.

Frank will be remembered for his honesty, humor, and his love of family. He always said that if you had helped even one young person, you had made a difference.

He is survived by his wife, Irene; his son, Ralph Filipelli and wife, Diana Midyett; his son, David Filipelli and wife, Pam McIntyre; his daughter, Laurie Filipelli and husband, Mario Champion; and his granddaughters, Ashley Filipelli and Eliana Champion. He is survived also by his niece, Janie Guerra and nephew, Don Guerra.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a children’s charity of your choice.

Memorial services will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Englewood Estates, 2603 Jones Road in Austin, Texas.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, December 8, 2012

Frank R. Filipelli

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Cheryl (MacFarland)Toliver

December 10, 2012

Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this sad time. Mr. Filipeli's sense of humor will always be carried with us.

Michael Ioele

December 8, 2012

To Irene and family,
I would like to send our deepest sympathies for the passing of Frank. It is very important for your family to know that Frank played a very significant role in my life. He not only helped young people, as you well know, but he also helped me when I was a young man with two young children and out of work. He put in a good word for me at Tryon and I was hired in 1990 and am still employed with NYS to this day. I have thought of Frank and Irene many times over the last 23 years. I will be forever grateful and truly appreciated Frank's honesty and compassion. I know that this is a time of sorrow but I truly believe that this is a celebration of Frank's life.

December 8, 2012

While we did not know Frank, it is obvious he was an amazing man. We are so fortunate to know and work with his son David, who clearly shares his father's love, compassion, and dedication to serving and helping children. We are very sorry for your loss and are keeping your family in our prayers.

Joslin Elementary School Staff

December 7, 2012

My prayers and sympathy on the death of Mr Filipelli. My mother, Catherine Kralovic, worked at Tryon also and I recall her mentioning Frank often. Always something good!!! God bless you. Sr Clare Stephen, fsp

marie&tom i jablonski

December 5, 2012

Frank was our supervisor at Tryon.We have many fond memories of him.
irene, know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Marie & Tom Jablonski

December 5, 2012

One of a kind.......a wonderful man to work with and to know.......will miss you......Jack Dowd

December 5, 2012

I am sorry to hear of Frank's passing. He was my first boss when my career in state service began. He was a lovely, caring man. His kindness to everyone was an inspiration.
Michele Parker Ruggeri
Amsterdam, NY

Anthony/Duke Caruso

December 5, 2012

I am very sorry to read about the passing of a good and compassionate man. I worked with Frank at Tryon School and witness the professional way Frank carried out his role in helping each young person. I used to see Frank in the supermarket often with his wife and my prayers are that God gives her and the children peace knowing that Frank made a difference to not only to the young people but to anyone who knew him.

Wanda Mesick-Willbanks

December 5, 2012

So very sorry for your loss. He seems to have been a man among men......