Francesco G. ‘Frank’ Distefano, 93, Haverhill’s Former Director of Public Buildings

Francesco G. “Frank” Distefano, 93, of Haverhill, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday, March 7 at The Hannah Duston Healthcare Center in Haverhill. He was the devoted husband of the late and beloved Mary (Russo) Distefano. Distefano was born in Haverhill on Dec. 4, 1924, the son of the late Biagio and Concetta (Raiti) Distefano. His parents were immigrants from Italy before settling in Massachusetts. He was a lifelong resident of Haverhill.

Distefano honorably served his country during World War II in the United States Army. He was a veteran of the American invasion of Normandy in 1944. He was employed as a director of public buildings for the City of Haverhill for many years until his retirement. He also worked for Franklin Plumbing & Heating in Merrimac and Mario Buccini Plumbing & Heating in Haverhill.

He was well known for the beautiful garden he and his family owned and maintained in Haverhill’s Mount Washington area. He famously grew only the finest tomatoes and peppers and was very generous when it came to sharing his garden vegetables with the community. He was a lifelong member of The Victor Emanuel Lodge #1646 of The Sons of Italy in Haverhill and a member of The Italian Brotherhood. Distefano will be dearly missed by his family and friends and will be remembered as a strong man with a generous heart and incredible work ethic.

He is survived by his daughter, Marie C. Pimley and husband William of Ogunquit, Maine and two sons, Blase Distefano and Frank Distefano, both of Haverhill. He also leaves behind two grandchildren, Allison Potter and husband Jody of Portsmouth, N.H. and William Pimley of New York City, a great-grandson Liam Potter and his niece Diana Mooers and husband Barry of Bradford. He will also be forever remembered by his cousins and many dear friends. He was predeceased by two sisters, Vincenza (Jennie) Distefano and Grace Fici.

Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours Wednesday, March 14 from 9 to 10 a.m. at The Grondin–Carnevale Funeral Home, 129 Kenoza Avenue, Haverhill. A funeral mass to celebrate his life will be held Wednesday following visitation at 11 a.m. at Saint James Parish, 185 Winter St, Haverhill. Burial will take place at Saint Patrick Cemetery in Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.