|Birth: ||Jul. 16, 1862|
San Francisco County
|Death: ||Nov. 10, 1952|
Santa Clara County
"THE MAYOR OF NORTH BEACH"
The Italian Colony of San Francisco has always been blessed with good men and women who believed that it was their duty to give back to the community. Without a doubt, one of the community's greatest benefactorsóof both the nineteenth and twentieth centuriesówas a humble and generous man named Frank Marini.
Born on July 16, 1862 in the Bayview district of San Francisco, Frank Marini was the son of Nicola Marini, who had arrived in San Francisco a decade earlier from Buenos Aires. Nicola had joined his brothers there who had previously emigrated from Chiavari in the Italian province of Genoa. Like many others, Nicola Marini had tried to make his fortune in the Gold Country, but returned empty handed. Upon returning to San Francisco, he met Domitilla Perata, who had arrived from Alpicella, also in the Italian province of Genoa. They subsequently married, and had eleven children, the oldest of which was Frank Marini.
At the age of 15, while still a school boy, Frank Marini had his first political experience by successfully rounding up some of his relatives and their friends for the election of delegates to a county convention. This helped him gain a bit of influence in the political arena, and through these new-found political acquaintances, Marini was able to obtain a number of favors and improvements for North Beach.
In 1880, Marini graduated from Heald's Business College as an accountant. After a series of jobs earned by unusually high civil service exam scores, he helped reorganize the firm of Valente, Godeau and Company, a North Beach funeral parlor owned by Joseph Valente, Julius Godeau, Steve Sanguinetti, George Glover, his uncle Michele Perata, and Frank Marini himself. When Godeau sold out two years later, Marini became the manager of the new Valente, Marini & Co.
He was active in a number of clubs and civic organizations, including the Garibaldi Club the North Beach Athletic Club (now the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club), the Old Ironsides and Morrow clubs. He served as Director of the Italian School for 18 years, and was involved in the International Order of Odd Fellows, the Druids, and the Order of Native Sons of the Golden West, where he held the record for the longest service.
When the Great Earthquake of 1906 struck, Frank Marini ordered his firm's horse-drawn livery and transport wagons to serve as emergency rescue vehicles. When the fire approached North Beach, he buried the firm's historical records in Washington Square Park. These records, containing family information, addresses and other vital statistics, aided survivors in reclaiming property, businesses and citizenship rights. Later that same year, Frank Marini was nominated to run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by the Democratic, Republican and Labor parties. He humbly declined all three offers.
The characteristic for which Frank Marini was best known, however, was his philanthropy. There was hardly a charity in existence that did not benefit from his giving spirit. He gave to both churches in North Beach, of course. Saints Peter and Paul Church got a new playground, and Saint Francis Church got a new gymnasium, which now houses La Porziuncola Nuova. Sadly, the sign over the entrance indicating that the building was donated by Frank Marini has been removed.
A year before his death, the Italian Welfare Agency (now known as the Italian American Community Services Agency) received an anonymous donation of $198,000 worth of stock in Bank of Italy (now Bank of America). There was never any question as to who the "anonymous" donor was. Nobody but Frank Marini could be so generous. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Agency himself, he was "informed" of the donation by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Rena Bocci. "Who was the darned fool that gave you all that money?" Marini asked. To which she replied, "I believe it was you."
Frank Marini, known by all as the "Mayor of North Beach," was honored with a bronze bust of himself designed by sculptor Gladys Quilici. That bust now stands near Marini Pond, in the small triangle across from Washington Square Park bordered by Columbus, Union and Powell Streets. It stands as a lasting memorial to a man who believed that the greatest joy in life was giving to others.
[The above biographical sketch of Frank Marini, first appeared in the weekly newspaper L'Italo-Americano on March 24, 2011.]
Nicola Marini (1827 - 1907)
Domitilla Perata Marini (1845 - 1901)
San Mateo County
Plot: Block 104, Lot 1
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: James Seidelman
Record added: Aug 03, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7733417