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Frank Mandola

1947 - 2016
Frank Mandola Obituary
Frank Batiste Mandola
Frank Batiste Mandola ("Frankie B."), 68, of Houston, Texas, passed away on Friday, July 8, 2016. Frankie was born July 28, 1947 in Houston, TX to Batiste and Mary Theresa Mandola. He grew up in the "East End," attending Blessed Sacrament School.
Frankie then attended St. Thomas High School, where he was twice named All State in baseball. In football, he was twice named All State, thrice named All District and was an All American his senior year. The school won the TCIL state championship in baseball his junior and senior years and the TCIL state championship in football his senior year. Frankie was co-captain of the 1965 American Legion Baseball team that was undefeated and won the state championship. In a very real way, Frankie continued to lead his teammates and lifelong friends through the next five decades. He graduated from STHS in 1965 and thereafter actively supported its academic and sports programs. He was inducted into the STHS Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, in which he took great pride.
Frankie was then awarded an athletic scholarship to Rice University, where he was a starting offensive lineman for the football team and a starting first baseman for the baseball team. The baseball squad was ranked fourth in the nation in 1967, and Frankie graduated in 1969. He was a huge supporter and fan of the university and always gave of himself when called upon, whether it was catering an event or employing current students. One of his greatest joys in life was cheering on the Rice Owls baseball and football teams.
Frankie was in the Army Reserves from 1970-1976, stationed in San Antonio, TX. He then worked for many years in the food and beverage, oil and gas, and restaurant industries. For the past 24 years, he was the co-owner of Damian's Cucina Italiana in midtown Houston, and for the past eight years, he was co-owner of Frankie B. Mandola's Catering. These businesses weren't mere jobs to Frankie; they were his social scene, and he was the master of ceremonies. His clients, customers and employees became his extended family.
For such an active and busy man, Frankie was fairly simple in his passions. He loved his family, his friends, great food, the Astros, fishing, The Sopranos and sitting on the deck of his beach house in Galveston with his wife. Frankie was an emotional Italian man who wore his heart on his sleeve, and you always knew where you stood with him. He gave the best hugs, made the best pasta and barbecue and made everyone that he met feel loved and special.
Frankie is survived by his wife Judy Mandola of 47 years, his daughter Claresa Mandola, his daughter Stephanie Pollard and her husband Doug, his son Johnny B. Mandola and his wife Carol, and his five grandkids, the lights of his life, Zoey and Mikayla Pollard and Reed, Nicholas and Jaxon Mandola. Frankie is also survived by his brother Luke Mandola, his wife Joan and their children and grandchildren.
Frankie was proudly sober for the past eight years, a feat deemed unimaginable and impossible by many. There are hundreds of unnamed supporters and sponsors who guided Frankie into becoming the best version of himself. His family is eternally grateful to these comrades; they know who they are.
A special thank you to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital for their loving care and support.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 from 6:00 pm until 9:00 with a rosary being recited at 7:00 pm in the Cemo Auditorium at St. Thomas High School, 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77007. Funeral Mass will be Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 10:00 am in the Cemo Auditorium at St. Thomas High School, 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77007 with interment to follow at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale Avenue, Houston, Texas 77023.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Texas Italian American Sports Foundation Scholarship Fund at http://tiasf.net/contributions.html or P.O. Box 130163, Houston, TX 77019-0163.
Published in Houston Chronicle on July 12, 2016
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