Frank Tony Cavoto
Frank Tony Cavoto served a great purpose on this earth; exhibiting a deep love of life, wisdom, grace, and intelligence from January 14, 1928 until February 18th, 2021.
He was honored to be a first-generation Italian-American as the son of Tomaso and Anna Cavoto who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900's. The San Francisco flat that Frank was born and raised in stands today in the Castro District, still leading with the tiled steps his father had put in. Frank was the 5th child and first son after his beloved sisters: Katherine, Palma, Claudia and Mary.
When Frank was a boy of 15 and wanted to start working, it was his sister Palma who encouraged him to inquire at the hotels. After several days with no luck, he found himself in front of the St. Francis Hotel and wondered if he dared go in as it was so prestigious. He did enter and was told they were looking for a pageboy but they did not have a uniform to fit him. He was small for his age still not showing the signs of his eventual 6'1" height. Somehow, he convinced them to alter the double-breasted, dark blue suit to his size, with a determination that would continue to benefit him throughout his life.
Frank was proud to serve his country in WW11, as an army band member stationed in Japan. He loved his country and recently created baseball caps with the phrase "Make USA More United."
After the war he went to San Francisco State University on the GI Bill, earning his BA in Music.
He continued his education later in life, receiving credentials in teaching and administration.
In 1955 he moved to Modesto for his first teaching job at Del High Elementary. This is where he met and married the love of his life, Freda Doerksen.
Frank and Freda eventually moved and made Concord their home for 43 years. Frank worked for the Mt. Diablo School District for over 20 years. First as a band leader at Clayton Valley H.S., and later moving into administration, as vice principle at College Park, Pleasant Hill and Mt. Diablo High Schools.
After retiring from the school district Frank got his real estate license and enjoyed a new career as an agent for Centex Realty. He recently remembered these years of selling homes during the day, returning home for a swim in the pool, a chilled martini and dinner with Freda, as "golden days".
Frank enjoyed sports; playing tennis and golf throughout much of his life. He was a lifelong avid football fan all the way to the 2021 Superbowl.
Frank was devastated by the loss of his wife, Freda in 1995, but persevered to create a new and fulfilling life in Benicia. He enjoyed a healthy social life as a member and musical coordinator of the Benicia Yacht Club. He also continued to serve his love of music as the conductor of the Diablo Regional Band. The Benicia Library manager, Fran, says that she'll never forget the conversation she had with Frank that convinced the Library to open the fireplace area for concerts. "It totally changed how we did things. Frank had walked back there and was impressed with how great the acoustics were. His audience capacity went from 40-85 people. I remember some Christmas concerts where I just kept bringing more chairs out. He was a special man."
Frank enjoyed many jobs and careers including in his city days as a detective for the San Francisco Burnes Agency, but when asked which career he would like to try he said, "I'd like to be a working cowboy, moving the cattle." He loved riding horses as a young man, old Western movies, and never tired of starting his day by watching Gunsmoke while eating breakfast.
Frank's legacy will continue to shine and thrive through those who knew and loved him: his three cherished daughters Amy, Judea, Karen, his much-loved son-in law Mark, his many nephews and nieces, their children, and grand-children. Those special in his heart who will remember his presence: Deborah Selman, his music students, Benicia Yacht Club members and the artists he promoted and supported with his nearly 20 years of Jazz-Wine-Art events. We also remember the special bond he shared with his other son-in-law, Phil, and his dear friends Sam and Nancy.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Habitat for Humanity. Arrangements under the direction of Passalacqua Funeral Chapel, Benicia. Please visit the online tribute at www.passalacquafuneralchapel.com