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Frank Jesse Torregrossa
Birth: Oct. 11, 1927
Manhattan
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Jan. 13, 2007
Staten Island
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA

Frank was born at Polyclinic Hospital in Manhattan, the first child of Alphonso and Bessie (nee Flashenberg) Torregrossa. He was given the Anglicized version of Francesco, the name of his paternal Grandfather and Great-Great Grandfather.

He grew up in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn enjoying the company of his younger brothers Alfred Anthony and Robert Edward with whom he shared one big bedroom in his parents' two family house on 14th Avenue. Frank would fondly talk of his Depression Era childhood. His favorite games were "Buck, Buck how many horns do I have up?" and marbles. Along with his brothers and little sister Maureen, he learned how to help his parents around the house. He often said he would have preferred sharing kitchen duties with his sister than being responsible for disposing of the trash each evening.

Frank took the middle name of Jesse in honor of his confirmation Godfather and paternal Uncle, Gesuri Torregrossa. Gesuri, like the children of many Sicilian and Italian immigrants, Anglicized his name.

According to his official file from the U.S. Navy, Frank attended a vocational high school for 3 years but did not complete coursework to graduate. Instead, he enlisted on April 11, 1945 for 2 years of service. His enlistment classification was V-6 and he reported for active duty on May 23, 1945. Frank often told his first wife and children that he learned the value of team work, studying and learning during his time in the Navy. Frank's records show that he did well in all his training. On August 17, 1945 he was transferred to Naval Air Training Center in Corpus Christi, Texas where he served for 2 years.

In 1947 he completed his service and went to work with his father Alfonso at a firm that imported leather and reptile skins. While on a blind date he met his future wife, Emily Leatrice Serrapede. They were married in 1950. Frank continued to work in various companies that were part of the importing or tanning of leather but discontinued such work when he began to suffer from severe migraine headaches. He changed professions and became an Office Manager/Bookkeeper for small contracting and home heating oil companies in Brooklyn after the birth of his daughter in 1953. By the time his son was born in 1957, the limited income began to cause difficulties in his marriage.

Through it all, Frank continued to work hard and budget the household money very carefully so that there were always new books in the family library, trips to museums and movies, and vacations to Williamsburgh, Virginia. He was a great believer that recreation should also have educational value. This outlook helped his children do well in school and eventually get accepted into the colleges of their choice.

On weekends Frank loved to read novels by Taylor Caldwell or listen to the music of the Big Band Era. He had an extensive record collection. His favorite artists were Bennie Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rich and Billie Holliday. He also enjoyed playing the organ and saxophone.

In 1980 he divorced Emily and went on to make a new life for himself. Through church and friends he met the woman whom he shared the second part of his life with and she remained with him until his passing. Frank also did very well professionally by obtaining a position at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

Frank passed away on January 13, 2007. Services were held at Casey McCallum Rice South Shore Funeral Home followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Staten Island.

Bio Updated: 4/2/2014

Sources
Birth and Death Certificates for Frank Torregrossa.
Marriage License of Frank J. Torregrossa and Emily L. Serrapede.
Official U.S. Navy Records for Frank J. Torregrossa.
1930 and 1940 Federal Census Records.
Wedding invitations of Frank and Emily L. Torregrossa.
Divorce papers from Frank Torregrossa served to Emily L. Torregrossa.
Phone call to Resurrection Cemetery to confirm location of plot. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Alfonso Torregrossa (1902 - 1964)
  Blanche Flashenberg Torregrossa (1905 - 1995)
 
 Spouse:
  Emily Leatrice Serrapede (1931 - 2011)
 
 Siblings:
  Frank Jesse Torregrossa (1927 - 2007)
  Alfred Anthony Torregrossa (1929 - 2008)*
  Robert E Torregrossa (1931 - 1977)*
  Maureen Torregrossa Malinowski (1934 - 1995)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Resurrection Cemetery
Staten Island
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA
Plot: Sec 25, Row 20, Grave 75.
 
Created by: EmilyAnn Frances May
Record added: Mar 29, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107508364
Frank Jesse Torregrossa
Added by: EmilyAnn Frances May
 
Frank Jesse Torregrossa
Cemetery Photo
Added by: EmilyAnn Frances May
 
 
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