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Frank C. DiDonato - February 10, 1939 - June 16, 2023

Frank C. DiDonato, 84, of Rotterdam, NY, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loving family on Friday, June 16, 2023 at Albany Medical Center after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

Born on February 10, 1939 in Schenectady, he was the son of the late Angelo (Charles) DiDonato and Carmella (Ann) Fazzone DiDonato. After graduating from Mont Pleasant High School in 1957, Frank enlisted in the United States Army. His tenure in the Army included a deployment to Japan, which was a source of many of the stories that he shared with his family. After three years, he was honorably discharged and earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science with a major in Air Conditioning Technology at Hudson Valley Community College in 1963. From 1964 through 1996, Frank was employed by the New York State Department of Labor and retired as the Senior Boiler Inspector.

While attending Hudson Valley Community College, Frank worked as a bartender at Uncle Danny’s restaurant on Broadway in Schenectady, where he met the love of his life, Sandra DeNofio, whom he married on July 11, 1964.

He was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Schenectady, as well as a past member of the Knights of Columbus and the Rotterdam Elks. Prior to the pandemic, he participated in the Fighting Parkinson’s boxing fitness class at Schott’s Gym and a Parkinson’s fitness class at the Guilderland YMCA.

Frank will be remembered as a man who was dedicated to his family and could always be seen and heard at his children’s athletic events, where he often served as a coach. He also was a fixture at Carman Little League, Rotterdam Babe Ruth, Rotterdam Girls’ Softball, Rotterdam Youth Soccer, and Mohonasen High School sporting events. In retirement, Frank’s grandchildren brought him great joy, whether that included riding the carousel with them at Rotterdam Square Mall, or cheering them on at their sporting events, or simply sharing moments of laughter and love. He could also be found walking the halls of the mall where he would catch up with old friends or talk to new acquaintances, as well as enjoying coffee at Stewart’s with the guys. An outstanding carpenter and handyman with a love for playing poker, shooting craps, and visiting casinos, Frank also had a penchant for telling elaborate, yet slightly exaggerated stories. Much to his wife’s and sons’ dismay, Frank was a New York Yankees fan in a house dominated by Boston Red Sox fans.

Survivors left to cherish his memory include his loving and devoted wife of nearly 59 years, Sandra DeNofio DiDonato; his children whom he adored, Charles T. (Gina) DiDonato of Saratoga Springs, Kimberly (Gary) Gauer of South Windsor, CT, and Frank DiDonato Jr. of Rotterdam; his beloved grandchildren who affectionately called him “Papa;” Megan Gauer, Nicole Gauer, Arianna DiDonato, and Charles F. DiDonato. Frank is also survived by a nephew, several nieces and cousins, and many friends.

In addition to his parents, Frank was predeceased by his sister, Ann DiDonato.

The family extends their gratitude to Frank’s caregivers, Dr. Dzintra Celmins, and the nurses and doctors at Albany Stratton VA Medical Center and Albany Medical Center.

Family and friends are invited to Frank’s Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated on Friday, June 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1255 Pleasant Street in Schenectady. Interment will follow at Saint Cyril Cemetery, 611 Duanesburg Road in Rotterdam. There will not be any calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Frank’s memory to Hope Soars Parkinson’s Research Fund at Albany Medical Center, 43 New Scotland Avenue, MC 119, Albany, NY 12208. The goal of Hope Soars is to inspire the Parkinson’s community to live fully while battling the disease, which Frank certainly did with courage and grace.




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