Longtime Schenectady Mayor Frank J. Duci passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on April 28 at the Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida while being cared for by the hospital's excellent staff, and Sun Coast Hospice. At the time of his death he was surrounded by his loving family.
Frank was born on June 25, 1921 in the Stockade area of Schenectady, NY to Annunziata and Giovanni Duci.
After spending time in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he returned to Schenectady's Goose Hill neighborhood and went to work in the Metallurgy Department of General Electric where he was employed for 39 years.
Mayor Duci's first love was God and his family. But all who knew him knew that he also loved serving the people of Schenectady, NY. Beginning his political career in 1948, he was first elected as Second Ward Leader, then County Legislator, where he worked hard on the behalf of the citizens of Schenectady. He was also elected Mayor of the city in 1971 where he served for 12 years. During a brief respite as mayor, he served on the City Council and was reelected as Mayor in 1991 retiring from elected office in 1995. Mayor Duci was most proud of his participation in the creation of Schenectady Community College and often pointed out that he was the first to suggest a riverboat Casino as a source of revenue.
Frank loved life and lived it to the fullest. Whether visiting with his Goosehill friends in Schenectady, or enjoying his Sunday evening dinners with his wife and friends in Largo, Florida. He was always happy just to be with people. Listening to and absorbing the stories and needs of those he came in contact with was one of Mayor Duci's strengths and is what made him and exceptional friend and politician. In his later years, Frank enjoyed keeping up with Schenectady politics, playing golf, spending time in the sunroom of his Florida home, dinners out with his friends and the nightly card games with his wife Pat that often went late into the evening. Mayor Duci's first love, after God and his family, was serving his city and the people of Schenectady. His love for the people of Schenectady can be summed up best in his own words, "...I had the opportunity, on a weekly, if not daily, basis to pursue the concerns that the people [of Schenectady] had about their neighborhoods, their schools and their welfare."
Frank is survived by his wife, Patricia (Evans Costanza); his loyal Yorkshire Terrier, Bella; his daughter, Nancy Donofrio and her husband, Donald; his son, Patrick Duci and his wife, Jackie; his stepson, Gary Costanza and his wife, Christine; two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and his many loving nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Bette Jane Kelly; his brothers, Phillip and Samuel Duci, and nephew, John Duci, and his stepson, Jeffrey Costanza.
Over the years, Frank was a member of the Schenectady Historical Society, Sons of Italy lodge 321, the Italian American Veterans Association, the Knights of Columbus, the Schenectady County Republican Committee, and many more civic and benevolent associations. As mayor he traveled the country on behalf of the city of Schenectady. An accomplished artist, he sketched many famous political and entertainment people who visited Schenectady and sent them finished sketches which they signed and returned to him. Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan where among the many who delighted in his work. Frank also loved to play golf and to drive his Chrysler convertible around the city with the top down whenever possible.
The Mass of Christian Death and Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. John the Evangelist Church, Union Street, Schenectady NY, with His Excellency The Most Reverend & Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, D.D., H.L.D., Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Albany. Concelebrating and delivering the Homily will be Fr. Richard Carlino, Pastor of St. Anthony's and St. John the Evangelist Churches and Schenectady Fire Department Chaplain. The Honorable Mayor Gary McCarthy will deliver a Eulogy after Holy Communion. Interment will follow immediately at the St. Anthony's Cemetery in Glenville NY.
The Bekkering-Ellis Funeral Home, Inc., 1 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia NY, will be open Wednesday afternoon May 22nd from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for those who wish to call.
The family requests that donations be made in care of the funeral home to the Schenectady City Mission, St. Jude's Hospital, or Sun Coast Hospice of Largo.
Online condolences can be made at www.bekkeringellisfuneralhome.com
Schenectady City Mission
425 Hamilton Street, Schenectady NY 12305
Suncoast Hospice of Largo
5771 Roosevelt Blvd, Clearwater FL 33760