Francis Edward Piccinini
Francis Edward Piccinini, 87, of Bethel, CT, formerly of New Milford, CT, died peacefully at home on October 15, 2020, surrounded by his family, following a recent cancer diagnosis. Born in the Bronx, New York on July 31, 1933, he was the son of the late Frank L. and Pearl (Gibson) Piccinini and the stepson of the late Mary (Scarcella) Piccinini.
Francis was a 1951 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he was a member of the track and field team and excelled as a runner. From 1953 to 1956, he served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He then attended college on the G.I. Bill and received a B.S. degree in psychology from Manhattan College in 1960. Over the years, he also completed additional college coursework at Columbia University Teacher's College, Yeshiva University, Hunter College and Western Connecticut State College (now University).
After a brief stint in the insurance industry, Francis taught mathematics in the New York City school system for 30 years. For 21 of those years, he taught at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, the last all boys public high school in New York City. Affectionately known by students and staff as "Mr. Picc" or "Picc", he was named Teacher of the Year in 1992.
Francis was a dedicated parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in New Milford for over 40 years and the Church of St. Mary in Bethel. He was an avid walker and a voracious reader, often reading until early morning light. He loved chess, card games, word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, Bananagrams, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. He was a fan of professional football (either Giants or Jets, depending on the year) and college basketball (particularly the UConn Huskies women's teams). He was also a generous supporter of many charitable causes.
Francis is survived by his five beloved daughters and their spouses: Judeth Yeany and her husband, Philip of Marlton, NJ, Terésa Piccinini of Bethel, Monica Van Peski and her husband Jeff of Belfast, ME, Miriam Dasic and her husband, Dejan of Bethel, and Regina Burdick and her husband, Kevin of Amherst, NH. His daughters were the lights of his life, and he was a supportive and devoted father to them. He was a loving grandfather to grandchildren Matthew Francis Piccinini, Ethan and Celeste Yeany and Joshua and Amanda Burdick and was pleased to welcome step grandchildren Roger and Eliot Van Peski to the family.
Francis is also survived by his brother Mark Lawton and his wife Holly of Saratoga Springs, NY, his brother Salvatore Piccinini and his wife Susan of West Islip, NY, his sister Mary Catherine Piccinini of Leland, NC, his sister-in-law Mildred Lawton of Congers, NY, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sharon and John Graham of Jonesboro, GA, and numerous nieces and nephews. Francis was predeceased by his infant son, James Francis Piccinini, his wife, Jeannine Norton Piccinini, and his brother Peter L. Lawton.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 26 Chestnut Land Road, New Milford, CT on Friday, October 23, 2020 at 2 p.m. Those attending are required to wear masks and observe social distancing protocols. There will be no calling hours. Interment will be at the convenience of the family at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations in Francis's memory be made to New Milford Social Services, 2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776 or Regional Hospice at www.regionalhospicect.org
. Arrangements by the Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge Street, New Milford.
We'll say goodnight, Dad—you will be greatly missed.
Published by Danbury News Times on Oct. 17, 2020.