Mr. Frank V. Berinato, of Waltham, died Friday, January 24, 2014 in the E.N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford. He was 97. Frank was born in Waltham on July 12, 1916, a son of the late Vincent and Maria (Vasquez) Berinato. He was raised and educated in Watertown and in March of 1941 enlisted in the United States Army. After the outbreak of World War II Frank was assigned to the 104th Infantry Regiment of the famed "Yankee Division"; the 26th Infantry Division that traces its Massachusetts roots to Colonial times. Assigned to General George S. Patton's 3rd Army Frank's unit saw heavy fighting in Northern France, the Rhineland, Central Europe and the Ardennes; home to the infamous 'Battle of the Bulge'. Trained as a machine gunner Frank spent the war as an infantry sergeant on the front lines of almost every major battle that Patton's army was involved with. A week after his unit crossed the Moselle River to liberate the city of Metz, France he earned the Bronze Star for heroism on November 15, 1944. As part of a four man volunteer team his small band of brothers held off an attacking German unit five times their number to save the crew of a disabled American tank from certain capture or death. With enemy artillery fire raining down around them and snipers firing from the woods Frank's unit held out until advancing American tanks could secure the safety of their comrades. A month later the 26th Division, and Frank, found themselves in the middle of one of the largest military operations in U.S. Army history that later came to be called the "Battle of the Bulge", an attempt by Hitler to break through Allied lines to reach the port city of Antwerp. Fought during one of the worst European winters in history the American soldiers spent weeks fighting in frozen conditions holding off the enemy onslaught, paving the way for the liberation of the continent that came five long months later. After the war Frank came home and went back working for the company he left, the A&P food store chain, and spent the next forty plus years working as a store manager, mainly at their Cambridge location. He was a Waltham resident since 1953, moving from Cambridge. Frank was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter No. 45 in Waltham, the PFC John M. Sullivan USMC Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10334 in Waltham and the American Legion, Marsh Post 442, in Cambridge. As a devout Catholic Frank was a fixture at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church in Waltham where he was a longtime usher at the Saturday afternoon four o'clock Mass. The husband of the late Victoria (Carceo) Berinato, he leaves his children, Vincent F. Berinato and his wife, Paula, of North Reading and Sandra A. Berinato of Waltham; his grandchildren, Lisa DiNapoli, Michael Berinato, Scott Berinato, Matthew Berinato and Mark Berinato; his great-grandchildren, Emily Berinato, Jack Berinato, Molly Berinato, Isabella DiNapoli, Thomas Berinato, Nicholas DiNapoli, Mary Berinato, Caroline Berinato and Abigail Berinato and many nieces and nephews. He was the longtime companion of the late Harriette Robson and brother of the late Josephine Bastinelli, Joseph Berinato and Marion Ruggerio. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, January 29th, in Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham. Burial followed in Cambridge Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Frank Berinato Scholarship Fund, Waltham Disabled American Veterans, Chapter No. 45, 18 Prospect Hill Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451. To offer condolences online, please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com
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Joyce Funeral Home
245 Main Street Waltham, MA 02453
Published in Waltham News Tribune from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, 2014