William A. Frankonis Jr.
Frankonis, William A. Jr. DELMAR William A. Frankonis, Jr. ("Cap'n Billy If'n"), 70, of Delmar, died Thursday, April 10, 2008 at St. Peter's Hospital. He was born in Bridgeport, Conn. on May 15, 1937 to the late William Frankonis Sr. and Antoinette Volpe Frankonis. He was treasured father to Christopher "Kit" and Melissa; father-in-law to Chris; proud grandfather "Pa" to Lex; once-husband and continued friend to Elaine; and longtime special friend to Olga. He is also survived by several cousins. A professor at both Empire State College and SUNY Albany, and more recently, before retiring in 1992, deputy producing director of the New York State Theater Institute. He mentored, guided and inspired a community of creative individuals, becoming their respected colleague and friend. A successful director at NYSTI, he was also an author of numerous novels and plays. He was the recipient of a 2004 Audie Award for the audio book adaptation of his play, "A Killings Tale" and, through NYSTI, he successfully partnered with Warner Home Video and DVD to create a video version of his original work "A Tale of Cinderella." A man who believed "children are jewels of immeasurable worth," he loved long walks, the Red Sox, Cape Cod, music, and inspiring people to believe in the magic within themselves. He will be missed by family and friends alike and would wish to all those in his life, "A bit of sun, and the touch of love's hand." A service of memory will be held at a later date.
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Published by Albany Times Union on Apr. 13, 2008.
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7 Entries
I have not seen Bill for many years but have always remembered him fondly and with a great deal of respect. I recall very distinctly that when I first arrived at Empire State College and hadn’t any idea what hiring on as “Mentor/Professor” was really supposed to mean, Bill had struck me as the person who most embodied the ideals of that role. Now 36 years later, I still believe in the accuracy of that impression. It was a real privilege to have known him.
Angela Li-Scholz
April 21, 2008
Bill Frankonis was one of the pioneering faculty of Empire State College, who helped shape our institution and our imagineation in many creative ways. We who knew him as a colleague send our fond tribute and deepest regrets.
Carolyn Broadaway
April 21, 2008
Bill Frankonis was one of the first people I met when we started Albany State in the Fall of 1956.
After we exchanged our respective roommates, i became his "roomy."
That fall, with Bill's help, I converted to Catholicism and he became my Godfather.
He used to write a weekly column for the "State College News" and I
would go over it with him before he
submitted it. His wit and sarcasm were always interlaced with the facts. He became well known on campus -- and popular, too.
Within the year, Bill decided to join the Army -- it was very sudden when he did leave, but I knew that finances were not any better for him than for me -- except his uncle used to send him some spending money and I worked in the Student Union and was able to buy him lunch.
He started writing letters as soon as he could -- had to get everything on paper.

I only learned of his passing this afternoon in an e-mail from Kathryn/Tom Garno. I was shocked.
I had some plans of coming to Albany and thought I might see him.
We talked on the phone last year when I called him on his birthday.
He was so brilliant and talented and
I am happy to say that I have many letters that he wrote to me when he left Albany and joined the Army.
He sometimes forwarded some poems or a play for me to critique --
imagine my reviewing works of someone who one day would become
a noted artist.
My deepest sympathies to you Melissa (I think your father called you Missy?), Kit, and Elaine.
I have noted the blog entries and will
keep them with my other memoirs.
I would love hearing from you.
Take care. Bill has always been in my prayers, and, while I have not seen him in years, he has always been part of my being.
l dw
Dick Willis
April 17, 2008
I saw this in the paper and was very sorry to hear the news. I remember your dad as a very kind person. My thoughts and sympathies go out to you.
Jim Blau
April 14, 2008
Elaine, Melissa, and Kit;

I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Bill/your dad. He was a real gentleman, even to strangers (like myself) outside the family. I recall him once showing me star constellations through a telescope at the house in Schodack. Being from Framingham, I had something in common with him: the Bosox. I'm really glad that he was able to see them win in '04 and again in '07. I'm also glad that you have one another during this tough time. My best to all of you. ~Rick
Rick Matters
April 13, 2008
All of us who knew Bill, worked with him or were inspired by his achievements will greatly miss his dedication to his art, to his friends and to his community.
It was a pleasure to have known him.
Martin Kelly
April 13, 2008
My thoughts go out to everyone who knew Bill.... He was able to put a smile on your face no matter how awful you were feeling......
A truly inspiring man who will never be forgotten.....
John McEnerney
April 13, 2008