YOUNGSTOWN - Frank M. "Frankie" Gallo, 90, of the city’s west side, passed away early Friday morning, Nov. 23, 2018, at Austintown Healthcare Center with family by his side.
Frank was born March 8, 1928, in Isabella, Pa., a son of the late Michael and Anna Berdella Gallo, and came to Youngstown in 1945 after graduating from Brownsville High School.
He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during the World War II era and upon his return home began his legendary career in music which lasted a lifetime.
At the age of nine, Frankie received his first trumpet from his uncle and at age 15 he enthusiastically started his own band. After the war, he started “Frankie Gallo and the Ohioans,” which subsequently became “The Frank Gallo Band.” Frank played at many, many dance halls and events throughout the area, which included the Elms Ballroom at Idora Park, Kuzman’s, Avon Oaks, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival, Youngstown and Warren Italian Festivals, and his favorite, the Brier Hill Italian Fest, just to mention a few. He also played for more than 800 weddings and anniversaries during his lifetime.
Frank especially enjoyed participating in the annual Dean Martin Day in Steubenville, his six-week performance at Mountaineer, with the cast of The Sopranos, and serving as commentator for 20 years at the annual Del Sinchak's Polka Man of the Year banquet.
Frankie was the “voice” of the Italian Radio Show in Warren for five years, and most recently could be heard "hamming it up" on WPIC 790 with his friends Butch Nichols, Joe Godina, Joey Naples, and occasionally, Dominic Tocco. He was very proud of an article written about his life by Ben Lariccia and published in La Gazzetta Italiana, an Italian newspaper distributed throughout the United States.
Mr. Gallo was also active in local real estate acquisitions, sales, and rentals, took Italian classes at YSU, and he was a longtime member of St. Brendan Church in Youngstown.
Frank will be remembered as "Frankie Gallo the Legend,” a singer, musician, and comedian, who shared his music and talent with the community and always went beyond what was expected of him. He made a “statement” when he walked into a room and was often referred to as the “life of the party.” His last performance took place on Oct. 13, 2018, at the Oktober Fest in Mineral Ridge. Arrivederci, Frankie!
He leaves his daughter, Valerie Gallo, and his two grandchildren, Michael and Angel Lynn Cusick, all of Youngstown; his nieces, Christine and Michaelene, who were very special to him; his personal assistant and best friend, Teresa "Tess" Yeropoli Tirabassi; and special cousins, Barbie, Angie, and Sharon.
A son, Dennis Gallo, two sisters, Flora Vagasky and Paula Slovak, and his companion of 30 years, Harriet Satolli, preceded him in death.
Family and friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road, Youngstown where funeral services will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a military tribute.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital in memory of Frank M. Gallo.
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