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 www.parklawn-woodfh.com
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 dailypress.com/guestbooks.