Those words were written in about 1624 by John Donne, a poet. I believe his point is that when we lose someone, all of us are less. And now, with the death this past Saturday of a Port Washington icon, Frank Scobbo, we are all the less for it.
My dear old friend, Phyllis Scobbo, asked me to write an obituary for Frank, who has been my pal and confidant for more than 50 years. When those little voices we have inside that talk to us every now and then, asked, “But aren’t obituaries written for someone who has passed? How are you going to do that when you know in your heart, as far as you’re concerned, Frank will never pass away?”
You know, that is true. Frank is probably up there with the angels teaching them how to barbecue. But what I have is like one of those obsequious camera phones that your friends stick in front of your face to see the great photo they’ve taken. But my remembrances of Frank Scobbo are locked in the camera of my brain. And they will be there to recall at will until my brain and I are no more.
How can a community like Port Washington ever forget a benevolent police commissioner who served them for 27 years—and took time away from his business and other responsibilities to travel our country meeting with law enforcement leaders to find ways to make our police department as good as it can be. Frank Scobbo was the poor son of an Italian immigrant. He became a successful businessman and never stopped volunteering whenever his strong back or his determined leadership were needed. He was a Marine, volunteer fireman who drove a fire truck, the Island representative of the USO, a Rotarian, a 14-year chairman of the Community Chest parade on Long Island. In his prime, Frank Scobbo, was built like a fullback and strong as a bull. But I never saw him use his strength or even threaten anyone harm. Only a strong man like Frank could be as gentle, thoughtful and affable—and live with his kind of high values.
To borrow one from the Bard:
“Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Frank is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and seven children: Pamela Alvi (Ijaz), Patricia Scielso (Nick), Christopher, Dina Marie, Faithe Ann, Frank Jr., Andrew, plus eight grandchildren: Abraham Alvi, Sophia Alvi, Sarah Alvi, Nicholas Scielso, Joseph Scielso, Amanda Azus (Scielso), Jonathan Azus, Lily Scobbo, Riley Scobbo; a great grandchild: Zoe Azus; and Frank’s sister, Marie Hahn (Scobbo). A funeral will be held at St. Peter’s on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m.