Francis Joseph Valtri

Francis Joseph Valtri Frank Valtri, 91, passed away on March 22, 2013 from complications of cancer. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, mentor and inspiration to so many. Frank was an Air Force navigator, a veteran of World War II and thereafter served in the Air Force Reserves at Willow Grove Naval Air Station. Lt. Colonel Valtri transported supplies and troops throughout the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Frank was born in South Philadelphia on March 14, 1922 and named for St. Francis of Assisi. He was graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Boys as valedictorian, and went on to attend both Temple and Drexel Universities. He spent much of his life as a mechanical engineer and founded both Valtri Associates, Inc. and Lavaco Industries. Most recently, he was working with a team to design and produce environmentally sustainable seating for McDonald's Corporation. In his final days, Frank was designing an alternative to the current generation of wind turbine. His unique design held promise for significantly increased efficiency and a much smaller footprint. The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Frank five patents. His work has been cited in more than 90 other patent filings. His first patent was awarded in 1958. Frank was interested in physics, mathematics, and history and read sumptuously in these areas. For much of his life, he kept up a pace of reading one, and sometimes two books per week. He was well versed in string theory, Euclidean geometry, the American Civil War, and the Roman Empire among many other topics. He was also well travelled. He spoke fluent Italian and visited Italy every year for the last 40. At 86, he designed and built two pergolas at the home of one of his daughters in Tuscany. Frank battled diphtheria as a child of four and was so ill that the family's priest gave him the Sacrament of Last Rights. As an adult, Frank frequently remarked that he needed to live life to its fullest because he was on "borrowed time". His family and friends are deeply grateful that he was able to borrow another 87 years. Just before his passing, Frank remarked, "There are new things to be learned." From all of us who have learned so very many new things from you, Frank, please know you were dearly loved and will be greatly missed. Frank is survived by wife Jeanne Lynn Valtri, brother Sam Valtri and wife Sylvia, daughters Ellen Ann Knauer and Donna Lee Crane and husband Dennis J. Crane, son Ernest Anthony Valtri and wife Colleen M. Crunkleton, grandchildren Andrew C. Knauer, Keenan M. Crane, Rebecca L. Crane, Emily G. Toebbe, Sarah E. Giffin, and great-grand-children James and Avery Toebbe, as well as by many of his brothers' and sisters' children and their children whom he loved, cherished and always kept close. Contributions to Temple University's College of Engineering can be made in Frank's name.

Published in The Daily Local on Mar. 28, 2013