Obituary: Frank Spatafora, 1953-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Frank Spatafora, 1953-2022 

Navy veteran was a talented drummer and history buff who loved spending time with family and friends

Published October 3, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated October 3, 2022 at 10:24 a.m.

click to enlarge Frank Spatafora - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Frank Spatafora


Frank Spatafora passed away on September 29, 2022, at the Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilita tion Center in Middlebury, Vt., with his loving wife and sister by his side. Frank was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on November 2, 1953, to G. Robert Spatafora and Vera Rizzo Spatafora. He grew up in Sands Point on the north shore of Long Island and graduated in 1971 from Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington. Frank graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pa., in 1974, and enlisted in the United States Navy soon thereafter, where he attended Field Medical Service School and became a member of the dental detachment. Frank was proud of his military service, which included many months on the West Coast and a year in Okinawa, Japan.

Playing the drums was Frank’s talent and passion. He was most at home when seated behind one of his many drum sets. He played along with his big band/swing albums or as lead drummer of the Little City Jazz Band for many years. He was an avid collector of vintage drums and took special pride in his marine pearl Slingerland set, which he restored himself. Frank was also a history and nostalgia buff. He could spend hours talking about military history and putting together models of military tanks, ships and airplanes, all with the finest of craftsmanship. His collection of old movies, TV shows and military memorabilia could rival anyone’s.

Frank and his wife, Pamela (White), formerly of Barre, Vt., met in 2006 and were married in Middlebury in 2008. They enjoyed trips to Maine, where they would spend time on the beach, visit antique shops and dine out. They enjoyed riding bikes, going for long walks, and spending time with family and friends.

Frank was a laboratory manager in the biology department at Middlebury College from 2004 until his retirement in 2019. He was a member of the Middlebury Congregational Church, where he served as a deacon for a short time. He was also a proud member of the American Legion in Middlebury and Vergennes.

Frank is survived by his wife, Pamela (White) Spatafora; his sister, Grace Spatafora, and her husband, Douglas Rooney; his niece, Olivia Grace Rooney; cousins Frances Tucci and Michael Rizzo, among others; and best friend, John Guercio.

His family is grateful to the staff at Porter Hospital, Helen Porter Healthcare, University of Vermont Medical Center, and Addison County Home Health and Hospice for the care they provided Frank over the years.

Funeral services will take place at the Middlebury Congregational Church on Saturday, October 8, at 11 a.m. Committal will follow at a later date at the Randolph Veterans Cemetery.

Donations can be made in Frank’s memory to Addison County Home Health and Hospice or to the Middlebury or Vergennes American Legion.
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