Frank Joseph Stagnone, Jr. passed away peacefully at home in St. Petersburg on August 17th at the age of 76. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who loved many things but mostly God and his family. Frank was born on December 30, 1941 in Lowell, Massachusetts, a town just outside of Boston. Like many New Englanders, Frank grew up as a sports fanatic closely following the mighty Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots, looking up to players like Bobby Ohr with the hope of one day, playing for one of his favorite teams. Because of his size and strength, he enjoyed playing hockey. He’d share stories with family of being on the ice for so long, sometimes until the early hours of the morning, he could barely walk the next day and then he’d do it all over again. One of his greatest accomplishments during his youth was the fact that he would actually scrimmage with the Bruins hockey team.
Frank married his beautiful wife, Ann, in 1962 as they were happily married for 56 years. Together, they had four children, Cheryl, Christine, Michael and Lisa. He was the proudest and most grateful man on earth. In 1974, Frank and Ann decided to move the family down to the warm and sunny state of Florida. Initially, Frank worked as an insurance agent for the first four years. However, it wasn’t long before he discovered his true passion for entrepreneurialism as he started picking tomatoes off trees to sell back in 1978. This led him to a successful career as a self-employed business owner in the produce industry where he worked until retiring at the age of 65. Frank was a hard worker and was well respected by those who knew him at the Tampa Marketplace where many of his transactions took place. He was also a generous man, known to take others under his wings to teach and guide them towards favor. He would never ask for anything in return, he simply enjoyed helping others. His work ethic was incredible. There were times he would work 2 or 3 jobs while building his produce company. He never once complained. It was never a matter of “if” things could be done, just a matter of “when.”
Frank was a vivid story-teller with a great sense of humor. In fact, many of his family and friends would say he was quite the jokester. He loved telling jokes and making people laugh. He could enlighten anyone having a rough day simply through his silly comment, warm grin, and contagious laughter. Of course, he’d also give the best hugs to go along with making you smile. And when he would hug you, it was always from the heart and without any hesitation. You could always expect a good, clean dialogue out of him with a joke or two as he would craft an engaging and delightful conversation out of thin air. On the other hand, his intelligence could bring you deep into a thought-provoking discussion on biblical insights or the heavens above as he was fascinated by both God and the galaxies beyond our understanding. He often enjoyed watching television programs exploring these subjects as well as history, science and mechanics. He was an avid enthusiast of old cars and crossword puzzles. In fact, his ability to solve a crossword puzzle on a daily basis within a matter of hours was quite amazing to witness. He was a man of humble brilliance. Although Frank was a die-hard Boston fan, he supported the local teams too. He was that kind of guy, but not just a good guy. He was a great man. He loved music, especially his favorite all-time band, the Eagles. No Eagles song could ever grow old as long as Frank was playing it. Many people loved Frank like their own father or grandfather because he loved them like his own. He was often referred to as Grandpa or “Grampy”. He encouraged others to be the best they could be through his words, his actions and his love. Frank loved everybody and was loved by everybody. He especially loved his grandchildren as he always talked about them. Any friend of the family was definitely a friend of Grandpa’s.
Frank was a devoted Christian and Godly man, well versed in the Bible. His gifts were many, though you'd never hear him brag. He always had a very strong moral compass. He was loved and trusted by everyone. He was a peace maker and a gentle soul. He never held grudges and forgave easily. Even when he was down, he wouldn’t show it or let anyone worry. When he was sick, he never complained but would say he's fine and then go on to ask how you were doing because he cared about others. He was a man of incredible strength. He was greatly involved with Victory Church of the Nazarene. He often led prayer for the Celebrate Recovery group and wouldn't hesitate to lead the meeting on any given day if needed. He served his church and its congregation for many years putting its best interests before his own.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ann, of 56 years, and his four children, Cheryl Black, Christine Runyon (and husband, Paul), Michael Stagnone and Lisa Stagnone (and fiancé, James Gunderson). Frank was a grandfather to nine grandchildren, Nicole Stacy (and husband, Jeremy Runkle), Malarie Mulvey (and husband Shawn Mulvey), Ashley Stacy (and fiancé, Danielle Taylor), Kyle Stacy, Matthew Stagnone, Jessica Stacy, Michael Lovejoy, Christopher Black, and Justin Nelson, and four great grandchildren, Addison Runkle, Cameron Mulvey, Paige Mulvey, and Harper Runkle. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 25th at 1 pm at Victory Church of the Nazarene, located at 4401 58th St. N, Kenneth City, FL, 33709. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any local Celebrate Recovery group by visiting www.celebraterecovery.com for locations or by contacting Victory Church of the Nazarene at (727) 546-0990.
Frank would always say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan.” But now we know God is laughing because Grandpa is at His side.