Frank John Germinaro

Frank John Germinaro, aged 74, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on January 19, 2023.  Frank was born on July 7, 1948 to Jerry and Elsie Germinaro. He graduated from Bradford High School in 1966, from UW-Parkside in 1972 with a degree in music education and earned his Master of Science in education supervision and administration from UW-Milwaukee in 1985. Frank started his career in Racine Unified in 1973 as a music teacher, and transitioned to the role of principal, serving at Windpoint, Fine Arts, and Gifford elementary schools until his retirement in 2003. Just 30 days later, he was hired as the principal at St. Marks Catholic School and served in that role for six years.

Since childhood, Frank lived with a variety of kidney issues, resulting in numerous hospital stays and medical treatments.  At the age of 19, he started dialysis, and the Kenosha community rallied around him, creating Frankie’s Kidney Fund, that brought the first kidney machine for St. Catherine’s Hospital leading to the creation of the dialysis unit still serving Kenosha today.  On March 11, 1970, Frank received the gift of life; a kidney transplant from his angel Rosemary.  Despite predictions, Rosemary’s kidney served Frank for 46 years, at which time Frank received a second gift of life, a living donation from his youngest daughter Leanne on April 19, 2017.

In 1971, Frank met his wife Janet at the Music Center, where they both taught private music lessons.  Despite concerns around Frank’s health and the possibility of not having children, Frank and Janet were married on April 20, 1974 at St. Mark’s Church. In their 48 years together, they raised four children: Andrea (Craig), John (Belinda), Frank (Sandra), Leanne (John). They were blessed with three grandchildren: Andrew, Frida and Adela.

Frank lived a life of service, as he felt that helping others was probably one of the greatest things we can do as human beings. This began with his work with the National Kidney Foundation to promote and educate the public about the benefits of organ donation which included his work on the Patient and Family Service Committee. He was a tireless advocate for organ donation, a mentor for dialysis and transplant patients and a support for families who have donated the gift of life.

Frank was appointed to the Board of Directors of Society’s Assets, a five county home healthcare Foundation in 1996. One three year term turned into eight terms, including him serving as the chairperson of the Board from 1993-2020.  He was instrumental in creating a scholarship fund for college students with disabilities.

Frank’s musical career began with the accordion lessons his mother insisted he take around the age of 11.  He picked up other instruments, including clarinet and percussion as he attended UW-Parkside.  Frank was a consummate entertainer, a gift he honed with his wedding band in the early years, and later with the Kenosha Pops Concert Band after joining in 1968. Through the 70s and 80s he was the assistant conductor and later served as the musical director and conductor from 1992 – 2002. In 2018-2021, he again stepped into the assistant conductor role. 

Frank and Janet made beautiful music together, sharing their talents with St. Mark’s contemporary choir, weddings and funerals. After his accordion grew too heavy for him, Frank returned to a former instrument, the ukulele, and with a few friends created the Sunnyside Strummers group who toured the nursing home circuit entertaining even more people.  Frank’s beautiful baritone voice, musical skills and sense of humor made him a performer all enjoyed.

In retirement, Frank enjoyed fishing, family, friends and was never far from his favorite TV remote. He also joined Janet as a volunteer for Hospice Alliance in 2018, after seeing the care they provided for family members. 

Frank was blessed with three siblings who supported him through all the challenges in his life with love, laughter and a few curses during their competitive domino games: Leo (Marikay) Chiappetta, Carmela Parker and Gerdo (Diane) Germinaro.

We are so thankful for the many medical professionals, especially those at Froedert and the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedert Moorland Reserve Cancer Center for their exceptional care of Frank which allowed him to be with us for the past 74 years. He especially loved his “Moorland ladies” for their care this past year.

We also wish to thank the caring staff of Hospice Alliance, especially Tiffany, Meghan and Chaplain Charlie for their care of Frank these past two weeks.

Finally, thank you to all the family and friends who sent hearts, messages and stopped in for visits over the past few weeks. It brightened Frank’s days with love as he made his final journey home.

Memorial mass will be celebrated on Saturday February 4, 2023 at 12 o’ clock noon at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Kenosha at 7117 14th Avenue.  Visitation with the family will be on Saturday at the church from 9 AM until the time of mass.  In honor of Frank, we invite you to join us in wearing clothing representing all the hearts and love he received during his journey. 

In honor of a life well lived, the family requests memorials to Hospice Alliance, Donate Life Wisconsin, and St. Mark’s Church.

Frank’s service will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend, please see the link below.

Casey Family Options Funerals and Cremations

Stephen P. Casey, Owner/Funeral Director

(262) 653-0667

Thoughts for Frank John Germinaro;

    • Frank was one of a kind.His ever present smile,wonderful sense of humor and kind heart were the gifts he gave to everyone who knew him.As I write this I am convinced that he is conducting the Heavenly choir.We will miss you Frank.

  • Sending love and light from part of your Lions Camp/Club friends! Thank you for sharing his beautiful story!
    -Myra Morrow (Ligman)

  • Frank was an inspiration of love and wisdom for generations. My hope for his loved ones to carry on his beautiful legacy. Rest well Frank

  • Love to Janet, Andrea, John, Frank, and Leanne. I will always remember his kindness and generous spirit- not to mention that silly giggle.
    A.k.a., Silagh (Chiappetta) White

  • Karen Giannola says:

    Frank was a temporary principle at St. Peter’s Catholic School for a short time when my son attended there. Very well liked and personable guy. Our deepest sympathy to your family.

  • Frank was a diamond in the rough. It was a pleasure to have known him. He always made me laugh and had a way to help you unconditionally. I knew him thru choir and The Kidney Center where I worked for 26 years. He always would speak with patients. He gave back and never complained. He had a lovely family who backed him 100%,even giving him a kidney. I’m sure their grief is great with his loss! Grief only comes from LOVE! We’ll miss you Frank!! Prayers to your family!

  • William and Marianne Germinaro says:

    Dear Janet and family,
    Our hearts hurt for you on the loss of Frank. He was a very special man. Always a smile on his face and a joke to tell. People that would be in a group with him were always happy and laughing. I remember the first time I (Marianne) met him, he was playing his accordion at a function. It was so cool to see and hear, because I never saw someone play an accordion. He did so much for our community. We can’t count the times when we would be introduced to someone new and when they heard our last name Germinaro they would always ask “Are you related to Frank Germinaro the one who plays and directs music? “ He touched the lives of so many people and will be sorely missed. Love cousins,
    Bill and Marianne

  • Mr. & Mrs. Jon Cronin, Jaime & Jamal, Sons says:

    Our heartfelt condolences and deepest prayers, to all of Frank’s family members! He was a well respected, fun loving and caring middle school music teacher for our son in RUSD…Extremely witty, personable and thoughtful, he cared automatically and showed it repeatedly. We often laugh 😂 at his instrumental 🎼 instructions to “hold your String Bass like you’re holding some love ❤️ of your life in the future!” It was an embarrassment for the kids yet it worked to get them to imagine an approach that resulted in greater attention to playing this instrument and getting a better sound during the performances…

  • Luz Chavez-Gutierrez says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the Germinaro family. He used to be my principal when I attended St. Marks, I remember him as a kind man who helped his students and enjoyed being a help to others.

    To honor him, I plan to make a blood donation to my local blood bank.

    Please accept our sympathy and condolences on behalf of the Gutierrez family.

  • Marilyn & David Lauer says:

    Well, Frank – you beat all the odds. And in the process, benefitted untold millions of organ recipients. And let’s not forget all of the children you educated to be good, caring adults. What a legacy you leave! Our thanks to you, and our condolences to Janet and all of your family at your passing.

  • It is evident that Frank lived a full and blessed life and he will be missed by so many friends and his wonderful family. May God watch over you and bring you His peace during this time of sadness. Frank is now in the heavenly place of many mansions with the Lord, where there is eternal light, love and music.

  • Susan Wallis Bolyard says:

    Frank was such a kind, compassionate and talented person. I have fond memories of his band playing at my wedding reception along with Janet on the organ for the wedding mass. He will truly be missed by so many. My sympathies to Janet and the whole family.

  • Such a sucker punch to the heart. Have been out of the choir family for many years now but the choir family has not been out of my heart! Frank was such an amazing soul taken far too early. My thoughts and prayers to the family! ❤️

  • Ann Krulatz Rosmann says:

    Sending condolences to Janet and family. I surely remember the many great times at the music center with the accordian. May Frank’s lifetime memories ease the sorrow you feel today and always.

  • Jackie Malone says:

    Condolences to the Germinaro family. What a wonderful life and such great accomplishments regardless of Frank’s health issues. Such wonderful memories of a life well lived.
    Dennis & Jackie Malone

  • Gary and Patricia Whitrock says:

    Oh my where do I begin. First of all sending prayers and condolences to his great family. So much laughter and sweetness from cousin Frank. He would always tease me in a loving way. Pinched my cheek several times in my lifetime. He was amazing, so much laughter and love when he was around. We will always cherish the great memories. I was always honored to call him my cousin. Love to all..he will be missed so much.Heaven has gained a beautiful man and i am sure he will be entertaining to all our lost family members.❤❤❤

  • Love to the Family of a Great Man I had the pleasure of working for. Have a Great time in Heaven Frank !!
    Rosalie Murphy

    I am deeply sorry for your loss, Frank was one of a kind and the Sweetest man I have ever known.
    God Blessed him with one wonderful and loving Family ! Thank You Family for loving him so much !!

  • Gary and Pat Carlino says:

    Our sincere sympathy for your loss. It is a loss for many others too. He was a man who we were blessed to have known. He was a caring, friendly, talented loving soul, who blessed many people during his lifetime. He will not be forgotten.

  • Frankie was always a kind and gentle man and so many people were honored to count him as a friend and mentor. He lived a life full of love, always meeting whatever challenges that came his way with grace and dignity, keeping a song in his heart.
    My love to his family and I hope that his memory always be of comfort and a blessing to you all.

  • Shirley A. Reynolds says:

    I remember Frank from the early 1970s when we shared a room at Jefferson School in Racine. He used it for teaching music and then I came in and used it for speech/language therapy, so we crossed paths a few times a week. He was always so “up” and optimistic and a real pleasure to know. Later he taught my daughter an instrument (I forget which one) when she was about 8 years old, and she thought Mr. Germinaro was very cool! My deepest sympathy to Frank’s family.

  • Manley Brudvig says:

    Frank always had a soft touch with people and a magical one for music. I was his Pops Band Business Manager for four years…all of them enjoyable, educational, and rewarding. I’ll always remember him and his love for music; which has rubbed-off on me. One of the good guys is now gone. Farwell my friend.

  • Charmaine Robinson says:

    Janet and family,
    What a remarkable man, what a devoted and loving family filled with faith.
    My heartfelt condolences to all. May Frank’s love carry you through this difficult time. The best obituary I ever read.
    God bless ❤️🙏🏻
    Charmaine Robinson

  • Sending our heartfelt sympathy, Janet, to you and your family. We still remember some good times and good laughs with Frank. He was a kind, generous soul, always a positive attitude, a great sense of humor and never without a smile. Heaven will never be the same! Keeping Frank, you and your family in our prayers.
    Mary and Dave Seibert

  • Danny Cardinali says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to the Germinaro family. Mr. Germinaro was an incredible man and was loved by so many.

  • JoAnne Rubjerg says:

    Dan and I will miss our neighbor, Frank, deeply. We remember his strong, clear baritone voice floating outside the window on summer days, as he practiced for the Pops and other events he had been invited to entertain at. We remember competing to see which of our yards would attract more yellow finches and his always won. We remember a few vacations in northern Wisconsin, with all of our kids, which always proved to be full of laughter and adventure. As a teacher myself, I remember having many chats on his patio about the current state of education. And I always, when our conversation was over, wished that I could have worked for him. We remember spending quite a few New Years Eves with both Frank and Jan, as well as all the kids, that lasted until the next morning when we all gathered at their house for breakfast! Of course, we all had a short sleep break in between. I remember how Frank never let me get away with making excuses for my left-handedness. Dan and I also remember finding items planted in our yard through out the year. Fake flowers, for example, planted in our magnolia bush in early March making me believe spring had sprung. Artificial grapes and wine bottles planted along our fence where our fruitless grape vine grew. A huge cardboard statue of Moses, from some Shows a Popping event, planted in our front yard or on top of our now extinct T.V. antenna to celebrate a significant birthday! These are just a few of our great neighborhood memories. They are as priceless and irreplaceable as both Frank and Jan. Thank-you, dear Frank, for enriching so many of our lives with love, laughter, music, and special warmth that only you could do. You will be missed! Dan and JoAnne

  • Rose (Metallo) Daniel says:

    Frankie was loved by many. His mother and father were very close with our family in the late 50’s. We played with Frankie, gerdo and Carmella. Frankie played his accordion for all of us. He was blessed and loved. Angels are assisting and we are praying for him.

  • Frankie, you were simply a great guy. We’ll miss your humor and smile at bocce. You touched our hearts and made our lives better. Thanks Frankie.

  • Steve and Joanne Relich says:

    We share in your sadness at the loss of this wonderful guy. Frank was such an inspiration. He brought music, joy, laughter and optimism wherever he went. The world needs many more human beings like Frank Germinaro. Peace and love to Janet and the family.

  • Janet, and family. My Deepest condolence to you all. Thank you for the novel, what a Beautiful tribute to an amazing man. Janet, Thank You for the time you both spent with Jim, He always looked forward to seeing you both. I am sure our heavens are truly rocking it out now.

  • Lee and Nancy Ryshkus says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We knew Frankie and Janet through my brother Les, who we recently lost as well.
    I’m sure those two fellow travelers through life will find each other again and reminisce about their road trip to California.
    Our deepest condolences to Janet and family.

  • Thoughts are with Janet and the family. Frank’s humanity was proof that we are not entitled to perfect health, but a solution always exists. Persevere. Frank’s spirit was proof of the biblical charge to be Christ to others. Share. Persevere and share — brought a beautiful smile to Frank’s face, we shall never forget.

  • Doug and Grace says:

    So sorry for your loss. We first met Frank while we were at UW Kenosha. He was such a delight to know. Music classes were crazy funny when he was there. He touched so many lives in such a positive way. Rest in Peace Frank.

  • Ron Yenter Family says:

    Our thoughts and prayers to Janet and the entire family. I was chatting with my Dad and he recalled how Frank was discing my 20 acre field on the Town of Franzen side and how this happened…… Not even Frank knew. But he had ran over a screw driver that had to be in that field for YEARS! It was all rusty and caked with dirt. It got impaled in the sidewall of the front tire and took the tractor out of service for the rest of the day until it was repaired. And there are a few more like that…. The city boy playing farmer lol. He was a good man and will be missed!

  • Extreme sympathy for your loss. The hardest goodbyes are often never said or explained. Even though grief will never end but the memories will always live on forever for Frank!!

  • Stan Nosal and Nancy Nosal says:

    Janet and Family: May the days ahead be kind to you as the Good Lord blesses and keeps your life forces adjusting to your new journey in life.
    Stan Nosal and Nancy Nosal

  • RIP FRANKY. I just want to offer my sincere condolences to Janet and the entire family. I worked with Frank in his wedding band for a number of years. We were not close friends but I knew what a wonderful human being he was. After everything he went through he accomplished so much in his life. He also helped people in hospice late in life including a good friend of mine Jimmy Conrad who passed recently. RIP

  • Christopher Lawell says:

    I have remembered him since 1984 when I first met him at defunct Greco’s restaurant on 22nd Avenue on August 1984 when he conducted the musical performance there. He told me he have deaf and hard of hearing plus hearing children. Then he introduced his wife and children at his house. Now, he have been in Kenosha Pops Concert band all of his life and help inspire his kids to involve in the band. Although, he introduced his siblings and his biological parents too. He’s so inspired me about his tough life with his kidney issues including the transplant in 1970 at old Froedtert hospital ten years before the ‘new’ Froedtert facility was opened in September of 1980. Not always the way, he was spoiled dad and grandpa. I also want to congratulate them for nearly 50 years of marriage. Now, he have had departed Kenosha community forever.

  • Paulette Sacksteder says:

    Frankie and my other dear Kidney Foundation volunteers and friends Sheldon Mielke, Bruce Lublin, and all their courageous wives taught me how to care, to laugh at problems, and to not be a victim. I still remember Frankie and Sheldon’s dark but funny stories of sharing a “dialysis bath” in the early 1970s before they each got a kidney transplant. What story tellers they were! All those heroes and my business partner Edith Oberley and her husband Terry, helped me understand how to deal with my husband’s chronic disease (Parkinson’s) in his early 50s. I’ll never forget any of them, nor Frankie’s smile and joy. He lives forever.

  • I knew and worked with Frank teaching Accordion at the Music Center. Had a great time knowing him during those early years. Always enjoyed seeing him and watching him playing his Accordion at various venues. Directing the Kenosha
    Pops band, singing and always entertaining the public. You will be missed. Rest in Peace Frank. I was proud to know you. Deepest Condolences to Janet and her family upon the passing of her husband Frank.

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