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HAMPTON - Beloved husband, father, son, and friend, Frank J. Ottofaro Sr., 77 years of age, passed away Wednesday evening at Riverside Hospital, March 14, 2012, after complications due to congestive heart failure.
"Big Frank," "Otto," "Mr. O," "Peaches," and sometimes just "Frankie" as he was called by most of his friends and family, was born and raised in Newport News. Frank served five years in the Navy and Naval Reserve as a Seaman 3rd Class, receiving an Honorable Discharge. In both high school as a Newport News Typhoon, and in the Navy, he played football as his sport. Frank grew up working various jobs to earn money like at the Colonial Food Store with his father since the age of nine, at Red's Pier in Newport News with his brother, Domenic, at HRSD as a plant operator, and then as a deckhand for many years on the C&O tugboats. In 1960 Frank opened up his first business known as Frankie's Drive In, and a second business in 1968 known as Otto's Sunoco Service Center located on North King Street, both businesses in Hampton. During this time in the service station business, Frank worked hard to support his family by working between the 12-hour shifts at the C&O, and operating a full service business pumping gas, fixing tires, and meeting new people. He loved to socialize and participate in his many organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Peninsula Sports Club, and he was a lifelong member of the Hampton Moose Lodge. Frank was also a devoted Republican. He loved to play cards and flip a coin or two with his friends, usually with both sides winding up being even. Although his failing heart is what took his life, it was one of the biggest anyone could have when it came to giving and helping others. He would routinely buy fresh bread, crab meat, oysters, and most recently vegetables to give to his friends as gifts, and you would always catch him with the lifesavers mints in his pocket to give out. When he would find out that one of his friends had lost a loved one, he would make it a point to attend their funerals although he may not have known them that well. He wanted to help others, it was that simple. Frank is also known for his 11 year battle against the City of Hampton over the use of Eminent Domain to take his property from him and his family for the Power Plant of Hampton Roads. His story was most recently featured in the Daily Press newspaper just this past January, covering the majority of the front page. Due to Frank's never ending fight until his death, his case is now being used throughout the nation to change some of the laws governing Eminent Domain abuse, and is also being used in law schools.
He is preceded in rest by his father, Salvatore Frank Ottofaro; his mother, Sara Fertitta Ottofaro; his brother, Lawrence Salvatore Ottofaro; and brother, John Anthony Ottofaro.
Frank is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dora Ferguson Ottofaro; daughter, Jean Moore Harris and husband, Rusty Harris; son, Frank Joseph Ottofaro Jr., and wife, Carol Ottofaro; daughter, Sara Ottofaro Catalano and husband, Joseph Catalano; daughter, Teresa Ottofaro Devries; brother, Domenic Ottofaro and wife, Iva Ottofaro; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home at the corner of Hampton Center Parkway and Armistead Avenue on Sunday, March 18, 2012. There will be a viewing at 4 p.m., followed by a service at 5 p.m. The internment will be private following cremation services.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that any family or friends who wish to honor Frank in the way that he would have most appreciated it, is by attending the next City of Hampton Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Hampton City Hall on the top floor's Council Chamber. Should you wish to speak on his behalf regarding knowing him from your past by sharing a story, or in support of his continuing fight that he pursued until his death to right the wrong that was done to him by the city. You must get to the meeting by 5:15 p.m. to sign up to speak. If you wish to make any monetary donations in Frank's behalf, you can make them to one of the following: The American Heart Association, St. Vincent's Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, or to the Boys and Girls Club of Newport News. The family would also like to thank the Riverside Hospital ICU caregivers who stood vigilant with the family during this hard time-thank you all. The Ottofaro Family Friends are encouraged to visit to share memories and words of condolence with the family.
Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave., in Hampton, 23666. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Press from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Frank J. Ottofaro Jr. (For my dad at Christmas 2013, you will never be forgotten)
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52 entries
June 12, 2015
Tomorrow you would be 81 Frank. I never had a close friend like you and I think about you all the time. I hope they throw a great Birthday Party up there for you.I know you are watching over the family.
December 20, 2013
Remembering our dearest friend, Frank J.
Ottofaro, Sr. at Christmas. We love this gentleman dearly and talk about him everyday.To his family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and one time for twenty.
Love, Mickey and Carol Marcella
Mickey and Carol Marcella
December 15, 2013
Still missing you dad, Merry Christmas.
Frank Ottofaro Jr.
March 27, 2012
I am sorry to hear about Big Frank. I knew Frank from the old Plantation BBQ where I was a waitress way back in the 70's, my husband who is also deceased - Ray Williams - would sit around and crack jokes and have a good old time. I always remember what a big heart Frank had and would always try to help people out when they were in need. He certainly left a mark in this world and it was a good one. Peace
Barbara Ann Williams
March 25, 2012
Very sorry to hear of your loss.
March 22, 2012

I met Mr.Ottofaro a few years ago. He would always bring vegetables, to my house and a few mints for everyone. I will always remember your smile and your kind heart. My Dad passed away in January,I am sure you both will become friends in HEAVEN.... Love,Sherry
Sherry Tyson
March 21, 2012
Frank Sr., mom, and Frank Jr. in 1986.
March 21, 2012
Frank Jr. showing dad that he is on the internet now being supported in his fight on Eminent Domain.
March 21, 2012
Thanksgiving with the Ottofaros, always enough food.
March 21, 2012
Latest photo of dad before his passing.
March 21, 2012
All of us at Dad's birthday party at Anna's Pizza.
March 21, 2012
Sara's wedding, he loved to dance.
March 21, 2012
March 21, 2012
I will allways remember Big Frank. He was my football coach and with the youth program at Boys Club. When we needed anything Frankie would always help. After I grew up, he would come to visit & we became good friends. He was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He would always bring by cookies or something for you in his car. He will be greatly missed. I was sorry that I had to miss his service, I just had a hip replacement.
Danny Edwards, Sr.
Danny Edwards Sr
March 21, 2012
Frank and family, so sorry for your loss.
Louise Ellis
Louise Ellis
March 21, 2012
March 20, 2012
Since I can remember, the Ottofaros have been part of my life, from our backyards being cattycornered on 18th and Oak when I was a toddler, to my babysitting Donnie & Iva's children, to seeing Frankie and Papa in the Colonial Store, or at home. Over the years, any time I ran into Frankie I knew I was in for some reminiscing and lively conversation. In later years I would occasionally go with Mama down to Oak Ave. to see his mother, which Mama did until the last. My family called Frankie's parents "Mama and Papa" Ottofaro. Frankie sent my mother a Christmas card every year, and attended her funeral. He made everyone feel special, because he was such a special person. We are older now and some memories seem far away, but my memories of the Ottofaros and those early days are embedded in my memory and heart. Donnie, Iva, and family, please know Frankie will be greatly missed by anyone whose life he touched.
Susie Collier McKown
March 19, 2012
Big Frank was one of the most dedicated TYPHOONS and the best of friends I've ever known. We're all better for having him in our lives.
Steve Veazey, Williamsburg, VA
March 19, 2012
Frank Jr. and family,

I am sorry to hear today about the loss of your father. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Bobbie Harris
March 19, 2012
To Frank Jr. and the rest of the family; You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for you loss. It is a loss that hurts your heart.
Vanessa Butler
March 19, 2012
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Sandy & George Owen
March 19, 2012
I knew Frank when the Ottofaros lived across from us in Stuart Gardens. We were on the 53-54 NNHS track team also. Trips to Huntington Park always included a visit to see Frank working at Red's Pier. As my mother loved soft shell crabs, Frank would come by to see her at The First National Bank quite often. On several occasions, we rode together as he also delivered seafood to his many friends in Hampton. Frank was a loyal friend to all who knew him. For all those familiar with his unwavering pursuit of justice, he should be known as Hampton's Man of the Year. We will miss you dear friend.
Dan Bradley
March 19, 2012
Frank Jr. and family, My deepest sympathies to you all. Although I never met Frank Sr.,the guest book entries paint a vivid portrait of the man. Frank Jr., your tribute to your dad in the guest book was very touching. May the Ottofaro family find comfort in the cherished memory of their patriarch.
Marshall Massengill Jr.
March 19, 2012
I worked on the boats with both Frankie, and Dominic. I would have loved to have been there to pay tribute to Frankie. Also to have seen the spread of food that must have been on display ! !
Donnie ~ my condolences to you, as well as the rest of the family.
Clyde Murphy
March 19, 2012
Frank Jr, I am sorry to hear of your father passing, thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Joan Daube Lyons
March 19, 2012
Our sincere condolences to the Ottofaro family. Frank was a very special, thoughtful man. He would stop by bearing gifts, usually fresh produce and crab meat. Jim helped him maintain his property on Wythe Creek Rd. Since Jim is retired, Frank would often call him just to talk or pop over for a visit. We both deeply respected Frank for not backing down in his fight with the City of Hampton. RIP Frank - we miss you!
Jim & Lorie Strachan
March 19, 2012
So sorry to hear of the loss of such a nice, big hearted man. We are so sorry for your loss Teresa and the rest of the Ottofaro family. RIP big Frank
the Faraci Family
March 18, 2012
Teresa and family,
Remember that no one really dies as long as there is someone who remembers, and when there is no one left who remembers it really doesn't matter because we will all be together again.............
Please accept my deepest sympathies
Pat Frederick (Twila's mom)
March 18, 2012
Frank Jr and family. Know that our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to you all for your loss. But from what I have read here in the guest book, "Big Frank" has gone home to await a time when he will be reunited with his family in God's Mansion. Thank God for sharing him with you and cling to the loving memories you have of the man who loved you. Godspeed "Big Frank".
John Hefner
March 18, 2012
Frank JR,
I do not know you or your family ,but had read about your Dad's plight with the city in the paper. In reading your note to your Father it touched me so much I needed to tell you that somehow he sees this and is so proud of you.
Joanne Wainwright Miller
Joanne Miller
March 18, 2012
Dora, Frank Jr & Family,
I want to extend my deepest condolences to you in this time of loss. I was so sorry to hear about Frank Sr. passing. He was a wonderful man, full of spirit, had a warm heart, and was known for his generosity. When I saw him at the city council meetings, he always had a bag of mints in which he would give me a hand full, and he always had a kind word. This world will not be the same without him and his jovial personality. He put up a good fight against the city, and I guess his heart was not strong enough to endure the stress. I hope Frank Jr. will continue the fight and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Frank Sr. will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched and by the sound of it, there were many. My heart and prayers go out to all of you.
Linda Counts
March 18, 2012
Dear Ottofaro family,

Our heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Frankie Junior's message said it all....what a wonderful tribute for a wonderful man and father.

Ruben Jr. and Tammy Cook
Ruben Cook , Jr.
March 18, 2012
To the Family:
Many years have passed since the NNHS Class of 1954 went out into the world. Frankie stayed true to his principles and has effected changes for the better. We are proud of him and will remember his contributions. He left a big footprint. Our sympathy goes out to all of you.
Perry Wornom Moore
March 18, 2012
Life brings tears, smiles and memories. The tears dry, the smile fades, but the memories live on forever. With deepest sympathy to the Ottofaro family,
Joe Fazzi
March 18, 2012
Dora and family:
Frank was a wonderful man, full of passion and love for all he knew.
My early memories of "Frank the Typhoon" was
As a friend of my sister Mary Ann Kearney I loved
watching them dance - and reminded him of our
early encounters in Phoebus while high schoolers.
Hampton is a lot less the community it has been for
Seventy-seven years with Frank's passing.
Ross Kearney
Ross Kearney
March 18, 2012
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
March 17, 2012
Frank was an unforgetable person and we of NNHS class of 1954 will never forget him. Frank and I were in the same home-room in high school. I have been away from Newport News for many years now, but will all ways remember him.... Charles Hall
Charles Hall
March 17, 2012
Many years ago we rented a house from Frank. We were on a month-to-month rental when we bought our first house. I was worried that Frank would be upset when I told him we would be moving. Quite the opposite! Frank said he was certain that we would need help moving and he did, with his Chevy panel truck. I never forgot that act of kindness but that was the way Frank was. To the family, I will pray that you memories of good times will carry you through these tough times. Frank was loved by many, God Speed my friend!
Gary Carl
March 17, 2012
Our deepest sympathies on your loss. May the lord give you strength during this difficult time.
Dolores Nicastro/DellaCorte
March 17, 2012
Dear Dora and Family,
It's hard to put into words how much we loved Big Frank. Mickey met Frank about 1946. Frank was on his way to Ray's Barbeque and he came from 28th Street to 35th Street to buy his barbeque, which was 15 cents at that time. We have been eating together ever since. I want to tell his children, Jeanne, Frank, Jr., Teresa and Sarah what wonderful children you are, standing by your father in his last days. I so admired each and everyone of you for supporting your mother and father. We know Frank is in Heaven. I want to share that Frank and I are the only two NNHS Typhoons who have a street named after them in Hpt., one is Marcella Road for me and the other is "One Way" for Frank. With all of our love to Dora and family.
Mickey and Carol Marcella
March 17, 2012
Dora and family,

So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. I will always remember my visit with him when I was in Hampton.
George Rosso
March 17, 2012
Our deepest sympathies on your loss. May the lord give you strength during this difficult time.
Salvatore & Jane Nicosia, Jr.
March 17, 2012
Dora and family,

My sincere condolences to all of you in your loss. You are all in my prayers.

I came to know Big Frank through a mutual friend, John Muir. John used to share with me some of the many phone calls between him and Frank. Those two always made me chuckle! Big Frank had such a good sense of humor! But best of all I had the joy of getting to know Frank. He was the sweetest, most generous and kindest man I have ever met. He was always giving somebody something. Such a big heart! I have no doubt that everyone in Heaven right now is enjoying a Doumar's barbeque from him.

I will miss him, and with fond memories remember this kind, sweet teddy bear of a man that I called "Big Frank".

God bless all of you.
Norma Topping
March 17, 2012
I only saw Frank at NNHS class reunions. I am now known as Bud, but Frank always remembered our High School days, and would affectionately greet me with "Hey, Buddy." Also, knowing that I live in Wisconsin, he would push: "I'm gonna send you some soft shell crab." I don't eat it, so that did not come to pass.

He will surely be missed by family and many friends, and it was an honor to have known him.

Bud (was known as Buddy) Stein
March 17, 2012
Dear Dora and members of the Frank Ottofaro family,

Words cannot express the loss I feel for this friend of mine. May God hold Frank in the palm of his hand until we meet again.

I know that all who knew Frank will miss his humor, generosity and friendship.

With sympathy,
Jack Nelson
March 17, 2012
I think my dad, Harlan Cronk, knew Mr. Ottofaro from the C&O. I am sorry for your loss. Surely he will be missed in many ways.
Cyndie Cronk Eberhardt
March 17, 2012
We are so sorry to hear of Mr. Ottofaro's passing. Our prayers are with his family. We have followed and supported his fight with the city for years and cheered him on at the council meetings. We had the pleasure of meeting him in person last spring at a seafood party held at Rollins on the waterfront in downtown Hampton. We talked about how he was hurt by loosing his property and also had some good laughs. He gave us each a life saver. Rest in peace, Frank.
Annette & Kevin Sauer
March 17, 2012
March 17, 2012
HI! I'm Fulvio OTTOFARO from Italy and I believe to be somewhat relative! I Join in the sorrow for the death of Frank! Me, too many friends, call me "Otto" and this thing makes me fill with emotion! Bye "Otto" I saw you in somewhere!!!
Fulvio Ottofaro
March 17, 2012
Dora and Family

I am so very sorry to read on-line this morning in the Daily Press about your loss of Frankie - I have many fond memories of him (and you) during the times we worked together at Langley. My heart goes out to you at this most difficult time. I wish I could be with you but you may not know that in 2007 I moved to Louisiana to be nearer my son. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you - God Bless!
Doris Taylor Williams
March 17, 2012
Generous is the word that most often comes to mind when we think of Frank. He never paid a visit empty handed. Hot dogs, collard greens, crab meat .... you name it, he seemed to have it tucked somewhere in that van of his. As his legs began to fail him, he made it a habit to drive up in front of the house and honk and honk and honk until he was able to get someone's attention .... even if it was the neighbor 5 doors down. We all love Frank.

We have all truly been blessed by having the opportunity to meet such a loving person. We should all go through life trying to bring the "Frank" out and the world would be a much better place.

Our sincerest condolences to all of the family and friends. May our many wonderful memories bless us all with a smile, a warm heart and a funny story to tell when honoring the memory of Frank Ottofaro, Sr.

Jeff and Page Kremp
Page Kremp
March 17, 2012
Dad, I miss you very much, and I am proud to have had you as my father. I know that we challenged each other on things sometimes, but I always did love you. When I was little, I remember all of the personal times we had together. Growing up as Big Frank's son required me to listen to you every night about what are the right things to do in life, to always respect people, never to take anything that didn't belong to me, and to always help others if I could. You taught me to be a good person. You demonstrated these things yourself to so many of your friends each and everyday while you were with us. When you had bought the service station in 1968, you had taken me with you to learn how to work early in life by pumping gas, fixing tires, checking oil, and washing windshields. You taught me to say yes sir, yes maam, and to always treat people as I would want to be treated. Many nights after closing the station, you would always take me out to get some breakfast, whether at the Waffle House or the Pancake House. Everywhere you went, you always wanted to take me with you. I followed your path of life very closely by working on cars, playing football for a time, going into the Navy and Naval Reserves, working a full-time job and opening a small business, and even buying rental property. I am you dad, through and through. I will always carry your name with pride as your only son, and I will take the fight that you were unable to finish to the City of Hampton. I will take care of mom, so please don't worry, just rest. Please look over us from time to time until we can be together again. Love you dad.
Frank J. Ottofaro Jr.
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