Whether it was a quick plumbing service call or supporting the local community on various boards and committees, Frank was always there. He was part of that 10 percent that does 90 percent of the work: founding member of Riverside PAL, coaching youth baseball, softball, and football, serving on the Riverside Board of Education and was a past president. He ran casino bus trips for the seniors and even helped to organize his yearly Riverside High School class reunions. He was strong in his faith: Frank started the day with saying the Rosary and was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Church. From the days of his youth, he was full of hustle: he’d worked just about every job conceivable from handy man to driving a taxi. Then in 1965 he started his own company, Frank W Reale and Son Plumbing and Heating. And for almost 60 years he helped homeowners and businesses in the tri-town area and beyond.
Family and food were always of primary importance; eat wherever you want but you’d better be at his table come Sunday Dinner. And it wasn’t just his family; half of the neighborhood and most of the kid’s friends would also be there. Same for the holidays when you’d find 35 around his table. He liked to keep his food traditional; no sauce out of a jar and he made the best long hot peppers. Being the big sports fan that he was he always cheered for the Eagles but would usually mute the announcers after the first quarter. If his TV was on, he’d most likely be checking out some old westerns or Jag. He served our nation in the Army during the Korean War.
Frank found his real calling late in life: that of a grandfather. “God Bless them” he’d say as he gazed on his trove of grandkids.
He met a pretty girl named Babe at a dance in Delair. After serving his country in the Army, Frank, and Kathleen (Babe) married and shared a 49-year marriage blessed with children: Kathy, Deborah (John) Mongon, Frank W. III, Donna Reale Waters, the late Mary Ann, the late Marie Virginia Reale and the late Denise Reale Di Miero. They were blessed with 14 grandchildren, Nicole (Dean), John (Melanie), Greg (Brielle), Brittany (Robert), Erin (Mike), Leandra (Harry), Jason, Tabitha (Anthony), Elisha, Jared (Jesse), Caleb, Noah and Hannah; and great grandchildren, Laci, Dean, John, Jace, Brielle, Sophia, Jamie, Dominic, Colin, Natalia, Zion, and Elliana Oaklee. He is survived by his sister, Carol, son-in-law, Jim Di Miero and his special companion Joan Van Alstyne. Also brother-in-law Bob Van Meter, and sister-in-law Marie “Tootsie” Polino as well as many nieces and nephews. Frank was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Carbina, his loving wife, Kathleen (Van Meter), his daughters Mary Ann, Marie Virginia Reale, and Denise Reale Di Miero, brothers, Joseph, Jimmy, Angelo, Samuel, Dominic and sisters Mary, Rose, and Theresa. And especially his beautiful granddaughter Melissa Denise.
Come celebrate 91 great years Monday 6-8 p.m. and Tuesday 9-10 a.m. at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:30 a.m. at Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, St. Joseph Church, Beverly. Interment St. Peter Cemetery, Riverside. In lieu of flowers donations to St. Jude hospital (stjude.org) or Shriners hospital (donate.lovetotherescue.org) will be appreciated.