Rotterdam- Frances “Fran” A. White, 96, passed away on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in the presence of her sons. Born in Schenectady, NY, the daughter of the late Giuseppe and Rose Suraci. She married Ralph White in 1967.
Fran was a devoted member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish where she was an active member of the Altar Rosary Society, the Parish Evangelical Committee, and past member of the Parish Council and many other committees over the past 70 plus years. She was the president of the Rosary Society for 12 years, chairperson of the Diocesan Development Program for 5 years, and chairperson of the Annual Festa for 3 years for which she would bake 30 loaves of zucchini bread and serve as a ticket seller.
She was employed by the General Electric Company for 15 years and the Rowledge Insurance Company for 27 years before retiring in 1985.
She was one of the founders and first president of the Cornelia Lodge #180 of the Order of the Sons of Italy of America. She held various offices in the Cornelia Lodge. In 1982 she helped in its merger with the Gabriele D’Annunzio Lodge #321, served as its second and first vice-president before becoming the Lodge’s first female president in 1987, a position she held until 1991. Over the years she chaired various committees and held an office at the lodge through 2011, when she served as the lodge’s treasurer. That year she was honored a second time at the Lodge’s Annual Columbus Dinner Celebration. She was the Sons of Italy Salero Award Winner of 2018.
She was a delegate to the New York State Grand Lodge Convention every year since 1951. There she served on numerous committees such as; Ceremonial, Budget, Newsletter, and Nominations. She held the position of State Trustee from District VI for nine years. She represented District VI on the State Scholarship Committee for many years and chaired her lodge’s Scholarship Committee until recently. She was a regular at many lodge activities and fundraisers throughout the state over the years. She had many fond memories of her years at the State Convention and other lodge’s activities where she made many cherished friends.
Fran was involved in many other organizations throughout the city and county including; Calabra Auxiliary, Italian-American Federation, Amity Hall, American Committee of Italian Migration, Music-Parents Association of Draper School, Volunteer Tutor Program at Bradt Elementary School, Co-Chair of her Mont Pleasant High School Class Reunion Committee, and the Columbus Qui-Centennial Committee. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Town of Rotterdam.
Fran was a devoted sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She enjoyed preparing many delicious Italian dishes and could always be found in her kitchen, trying out new recipes she found in a book, magazine, or seen on television. Christmas Eve Dinner was a highlight of her family’s year. Her sons loved popping in for lunch and a game of Rummy. She loved to play Bocci even playing several games last year. She was a regular at her grandchildrens’ school and sporting events such as little league, AAU and high school games, concerts, plays and graduations. Fran’s deep faith and reverence for the Lord live on in her grandchildren and the numerous children she sponsored and prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
She is survived by her Sons; Francis (Helen) Pugliese, and Joseph (Claire) Pugliese, her grandchildren; Rose Pugliese (Andrew Wheeler) Kathryn (Joseph) LeRoy, Patricia (Adam) Spiegel, Taylor Pugliese and Andrew Pugliese, her great grandchildren; Abigail LeRoy, Hannah LeRoy, Logan Spiegel, Agusten Wheeler, her sister, Candida Suraci, and her niece, JoAnn (Steven) Taylor, as well as many loving friends and relatives.
She is predeceased by her parents, Giuseppe and Rose Suraci, her husband, Ralph White, her sister, Josephine Zaremba, and her niece, Victoria (Daniel) Ragnoni.
Calling hours are Friday from 5-7pm at DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, Rotterdam. Please note that masks and social distancing will be required and that only a certain amount of people will be allowed in the funeral home at one time. Funeral services will begin Saturday at 8:45am at the funeral home followed by mass at 9:30am at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Princetown Road, Rotterdam. Fran will be laid to rest at St. Cyril’s Cemetery in Rotterdam.
Contributions may be made to the Our Lady Queen of Peace Alter Rosary Society.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances "Fran" A. (Suraci) White, please visit our floral store.