Frances DeLaura (Fiorito) SCHETTINO (1941 - 2018)

Obituary
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SCHETTINO, Frances DeLaura (Fiorito)

of Largo, FL, passed away Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the age of 76. Fran was born September 18, 1941 in Ossining, NY and was the youngest of four children born to Martin and Mary Fiorito, who had met not long after Martin immigrated from Italy through Ellis Island. Fran graduated Croton-Harmon High School in 1959 and the Wynn School of Beauty Culture in 1960. She married, Thomas D. Schettino Sr., in 1962 with the couple raising three children and five grandchildren over the next 54 years.

Fran was a remarkable woman, who unassumingly stood-out as an accomplished musician, cosmetician, hairstylist, and personal fitness trainer; there is even a US Patent application in her name. Sometimes she worked side-by-side with her husband doing make-up for film, including the Civil War film, Ironclads (1991), and Theater, including Fractions (2001), which was awarded the best new dance-theater concert at the University of New Mexico. Other times she independently led volunteer efforts through church, PTA, or organizations like, Girl Scouts of America, the Harwich Junior Women's Association, and Campfire; where her efforts greatly contributed to the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and enhancing habitat areas for the endangered blue bird, which she cherished.

In Fran's own words, however, what she was truly dedicated to, was raising her children, "Raising kids was my choice, I gave up 'things' for them, and I regret Nothing. My life was, and will always be, for my children, no matter how 'big' they get. They did not ruin my life; they gave me a whole new view of life. I could not love them any more than I already do!!" This love often extended to her grandchildren, foster children, and other family members who she opened her home to.

Often travelling throughout the country and overseas to make sure that everyone always had a loving environment, Fran made a wide-reaching impact in communities throughout the United States, including, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Montana, Colorado, Washington, Texas, and Florida and across the world, including Germany, England, Italy, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Croatia, and Japan. Fran, instilled deep values and a sense of patriotism, resulting in all three children, and two grandchildren, serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in support of numerous operations, including, Operation El Dorado Canyon, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve. Fran's devotion to all humanity, however, knew no boundaries, and transcended ideological, religious, and cultural differences. Her boundless support is directly attributable to her son's ability to co-found the world's only research center dedicated to traditional Arabic irrigation, at the University of Nizwa (UNIZWA), Oman, where she is known as the 'American Mother' to several.

Fran is survived by her sons, Thomas and Timothy Schettino; her daughter, Mary-beth Sandusky; her brother, Joseph Fiorito; and five grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Schettino Sr; her parents, Martin and Mary; her brother, Anthony L. Fiorito; and her sister, Christina Fiorito.

In death as in life, Fran wishes to impose as little as possible on others, and, as such, there is no formal funeral scheduled. Instead, a Life Remembrance will be held in her honor on August 25 at the Sugar Creek Clubhouse in Largo, FL, between the hours of 3-6 pm. Additional Life Remembrance gatherings are being planned to take place in Croton, NY; Chesterfield, VA; and La Conner, WA with dates and times to be announced in the future. Fran's remains will be maintained by her children and for those wishing to donate on Fran's behalf, she requests that donations be made to one of the following charities: Wheels of Success (wheelsofsuccess.org), The Humane Society of Pinellas County (humanesocietyofpinellas.org); Operation Homefront (operationhomefront.org); or The World Heart Federation (world-heart-federation.org).
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 14, 2018