Mrs. Frances Grippo passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Mrs. Grippo, at St. Theresa's Church, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 9:45 am. Mrs. Grippo will interred at St. Raymond's Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Fran's memory, may be made to Homers For Heroes. https://homersforheroes.org (http:homersforheroes.org/)
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ralph Giordano Funeral Home.
To share a memory, or leave an online condolence, please visit www.giordanofuneralhome.com
Frances Ferries Friend-ship
(A dear friend of mine who is also a teacher writes amazingly pithy three-word sentences. He inspired me with the one above.)
Frances was a friend. A fiercely devoted, selflessly giving friend.
Over these past few months, as she has been going through so much... I've been struck by the effect she has on people. I see firsthand how she has, over the years, acquired a family of friends.... If "blood is thicker than water".... Frances tapped into something even thicker from the tree of life.
Through Frances I've learned the true meaning of "friend." It's a word that transcends its pedestrian meaning. We throw it around, conflate it with acquaintance, somehow diminish it next to "family." But a friend like Frances... that is a friend. Yes, Frances's family were friends, but ALL of her friends were family.
If you told Frances you liked something -- like maybe you have a thing for llamas -- she packed that away and remembered it. Next time you see her, here's a llama mousepad, a llama t-shirt, a llama calendar. Mention you're thinking of trying a new cereal. Next time you see her, here's the new cereal. And this extended.... we just got off the phone with her primary care physician and he told us that they were talking about different kind of powders. She mentioned "Monkey Butt" powder and how she swears by it. The doctor had never heard of it. Next time she saw him, she brought him a sample. We loved ordering from Joe's Pizza on Middletown Road. She bought them all pizza-themed t-shirts. Businesses all up and down Crosby Avenue know her. When we were making funeral arrangements with Steve from Giordano's Funeral Home and he rung up St. Theresa's Church on the phone to give the info to schedule the funeral mass, the person on the other end of the line was devastated. Jeannie at Giordano's developed a bond with Frances, who, ever thoughtful, pre-planned her funeral arrangements so that Catherine wouldn't have to bear the burden of making those decisions. She paid in installments and developed a friendship with Jeannie.... who referred to her as "my sister from another mister." Shake the tree of Frances's life and stories like this come floating down.
I remember a few years ago I had an eye doctor appointment on Crosby Avenue. I was nervous because I hadn't been to an eye doc in a while. Frances knew I was going to be there. As I was waiting for the doctor to see me, she walked in. Just to sit with me. Just happened to be in the neighborhood.
With a world that is seemingly falling apart at the seams... COVID-19, political instability, economic crises, racial hatred.... one takes stock in what is truly important. We want to change the world. We want to heal it.... but we feel helpless. Frances provides an inspiring answer that has been right in front of our noses. You change the world, you heal it, by being a friend to those around you. Those friends, inspired by your loving kindness, transfer that energy into their actions. And ripples of a glorious butterfly wing cascade infinitely.
Today... as I write, just 13 hours after that terrible phone call that told us Frances had passed away, I have seen so many examples of the love... of what it means to be a friend. "Outpouring" is the only word that comes to mind. The more people hear of the loss of their friend, the more you see the ripple of her friendship and inspiration.
You know how a real friendship can transcend time and space? You know how, even in absence, friendships endure? It is because that bond imbues our actions with love, inspiration and strength. Friendship doesn't die. Frances may be gone. It hurts us unbelievably that we cannot see her anymore. But her friendship is eternal. Presently in a here & now beyond our here & now, yet somehow within it, we are all together in friendship. Each act of friendship is a resurrection, or a reminder, of the love that was never born and will never die.
I'm a teacher, but Frances has taught me an extremely valuable lesson: be a friend to all, change the world.
Eulogy by Catherine's husband, Tom Stroh (son-in-law).
Due to the continued public health mandates and concerns, facial coverings must be worn at all times in the church, and social distancing must be practiced. Your adherence and cooperation will be greatly appreciated by the family, staff and the community.
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