Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

Coda - Final Notes and Obituaries for Jim Misitano's Parents and Siblings

(Obituaries edited to remove names of grandchildren of Jim's parents)

Francis John (Frank) Misitano
  • Birth: September 12, 1930
  • Death: June 28, 1986
  • Marriage: March 26, 1956, to Margaret H Hairfield (Divorced November 1976)
  • Marriage: to Denise M (Divorced October 1980)
  • Marriage: June 5, 1980, to Maria Ann Allen
  • Military Service: August 31, 1950 to August 30, 1954, Air Force

Obituary in Altoona Mirror,

Mr. Frank Misitano, 55, of Winlock, WA, formerly of Altoona, died at 11:30 am Friday, June 28, 1986, in his home, after suffering a heart attack.

Mr. Misitano retired as a policeman from the City of San Fernando, CA after nine years of service.

He was born in Altoona, the son of Frank and Frances (Mollica) Misitano. Surviving are his wife, Ann, six children, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Also surviving are four brothers and a sister: Philip, James, Joseph and Tom of Altoona and Grace Lotti of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Mr. Misitano was a graduate of Altoona Catholic High School.

He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and served as a military policeman in the Air Force.

Nephew Jim Jr's Final Notes

I can't say whether I ever actually met my Uncle Frank. There were only a few years after his service in the Air Force before he moved to and was married in California, so it's unclear whether he spent much time at my grandparents' Misitano household, and I would have been under six years in age at any rate.

Dad's letters and the local newspaper articles mention, however, his affinity for pets. Diverting this note from being about my Uncle Frank to my youngest brother Frank, who brought home a puppy when he was about 5 years old and "gifted" it to our family. We had had a cat before that, but I think he (Fluffy) was gone by then. Frank had an uphill battle convincing my dad to allow the dog to stay, but stay he did, and an Altoona canine legend was born.

The little black dog (surprisingly named "Blackie") became my dad's constant companion. As soon as the puppy was old enough, he began shadowing my dad as he made his rounds on his letter-carrier route. Soon Blackie was on the mail route every day. Dog leashes weren't as common then as today, and Blackie had free rein to explore while on the route. Dad had a loud and distinctive whistle, and he could always summon Blackie back to him from blocks away. As the years went by, Blackie's knowledge of the neighborhoods of Altoona became legendary, and smaller versions of him began popping up all over the city.

Blackie had a long and fruitful life, passing of old age quietly in his sleep under a china cabinet at home. He was soon replaced by a new black puppy, who was also named Blackie. As the years and pets passed, there was later a Whitey, a Brownie, a Barky, another Blackie or two, and a Scooter.

From the day that my brother Frank brought home that first Blackie, my Dad was never without a doggie companion, and often two at the same time. The last of the "blackies" passed in 1999, and dad was crestfallen, and had him cremated and placed in an urn on his mantelpiece. It is rumored that "someone" put that small urn in his pocket and took it to the funeral home at dad's wake, and placed it in the casket with him surreptitiously just before it was closed, so dad continues to have a blackie companion with him in perpetuity.

   - Jim Jr.

Frank, Dad and Jim Jr. at about the time Blackie first arrived; Blackie; Blackie and Jim Jr.

On a sad note, we lost my brother Frank when he was just 27 years old, leaving behind a wife, son and daughter.

Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page