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03/16/12 - NNHS Newsletter - Frank Ottofaro

Frank Joseph Ottofaro, Sr.
(13 June 1934 - 14 Mar 2012)

Newport News High School Class of  1954

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   
   There is still more sad news today. 
     Frank Ottofaro, Class of 1954, passed away at Riverside Hospital on Wednesday evening, March 14, 2012 at the age of 77. 

   From Jack Nelson ('54) of Northern VA - 03/16/12, 6:53 PM - "Re:    Frank Ottofaro":

Fellow Classmates,

  Harry Simpson ('54 - of VA) notified me this afternoon (see below) that one of our most beloved
classmates has passed away. Go to following for story in today's Daily Press:,0,4024245.story

Sadly yours,

Jack Nelson

   Oh, Jack, I'm so sorry to hear this!  I only met Frank once at one of     Evelyn Fryer Fish's ('58 - of TX) Buckroe Birthday Bashes for All of Us, but I was aware of the esteem in which he was held by his classmates.  Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your friend.

From the Daily Press - 03/16/12:

Hampton activist Frank Ottofaro dies Wednesday night

Ottofaro fought against the city's use of eminent domain

  HAMPTON Frank Ottofaro, a resident best known for being a thorn in the side of Hampton's City Council, died Wednesday night at Riverside Hospital.

Ottofaro, 77, was admitted to the hospital earlier in the day because of congestive heart failure and succumbed to his ailments later that day, according to posts on his son's Facebook page.

"As we get older, we tend to forget those special times growing up with our parents both good and bad, it makes us who we will become in life ourselves," Frank J. Ottofaro Jr. wrote. "He was a man of principles and morals, and he would never forgive you if you did him wrong."

In the public's eye, the elder Ottofaro was known for addressing the City Council on the issue of eminent domain.

Frank Ottofaro
(Daily Press / December 29, 2011)

His rental home at 11 Pine Chapel Road was taken using eminent domain and the structure was demolished in 2000 so a road could be built for the Power Plant development.

After a five-year legal battle, Hampton Circuit Court jury awarded Ottofaro $170,000 in 2001 for property. Ottofaro's appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court was denied.

"You've done me wrong," Ottofaro would repeatedly tell City Council members during public comment sessions he attended.

Ottofaro's case against the use of eminent domain may be used to amend the law in Richmond.

The argument is also being eyed by academia.

"Regardless of whether the full factual record of the Ottofaro case proves the landowners' claims, it is at least an instructive example of the potential harm inherent in the condemnation power when political entities have broad discretion in its application and commercial development is in play," wrote Donald J. Kochan, a visiting professor at George Mason School of Law in an article for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Arrangements for funeral services have not yet been announced.

From the Daily Press - 03/17/12:

  Frank J. Ottofaro, Sr.


HAMPTON - Beloved husband, father, son, and friend, Frank J. Ottofaro Sr., 77 years of age, passed away Wednesday evening at Riverside Hospital, March 14, 2012, after complications due to congestive heart failure.


Frank Ottofaro



"Big Frank," "Otto," "Mr. O," "Peaches," and sometimes just "Frankie" as he was called by most of his friends and family, was born and raised in Newport News. Frank served five years in the Navy and Naval Reserve as a Seaman 3rd Class, receiving an Honorable Discharge. In both high school as a Newport News Typhoon, and in the Navy, he played football as his sport. Frank grew up working various jobs to earn money like at the Colonial Food Store with his father since the age of nine, at Red's Pier in Newport News with his brother, Domenic, at HRSD as a plant operator, and then as a deckhand for many years on the C&O tugboats. In 1960 Frank opened up his first business known as Frankie's Drive In, and a second business in 1968 known as Otto's Sunoco Service Center located on North King Street, both businesses in Hampton. During this time in the service station business, Frank worked hard to support his family by working between the 12-hour shifts at the C&O, and operating a full service business pumping gas, fixing tires, and meeting new people.

He loved to socialize and participate in his many organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Peninsula Sports Club, and he was a lifelong member of the Hampton Moose Lodge. Frank was also a devoted Republican. He loved to play cards and flip a coin or two with his friends, usually with both sides winding up being even. Although his failing heart is what took his life, it was one of the biggest anyone could have when it came to giving and helping others. He would routinely buy fresh bread, crab meat, oysters, and most recently vegetables to give to his friends as gifts, and you would always catch him with the lifesavers mints in his pocket to give out. When he would find out that one of his friends had lost a loved one, he would make it a point to attend their funerals although he may not have known them that well. He wanted to help others, it was that simple. Frank is also known for his 11 year battle against the City of Hampton over the use of Eminent Domain to take his property from him and his family for the Power Plant of Hampton Roads. His story was most recently featured in the Daily Press newspaper just this past January, covering the majority of the front page. Due to Frank's never ending fight until his death, his case is now being used throughout the nation to change some of the laws governing Eminent Domain abuse, and is also being used in law schools.

He is preceded in rest by his father, Salvatore Frank Ottofaro; his mother, Sara Fertitta Ottofaro; his brother, Lawrence Salvatore Ottofaro; and brother, John Anthony Ottofaro.

Frank is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dora Ferguson Ottofaro; daughter, Jean Moore Harris and husband, Rusty Harris; son, Frank Joseph Ottofaro Jr., and wife, Carol Ottofaro; daughter, Sara Ottofaro Catalano and husband, Joseph Catalano; daughter, Teresa Ottofaro Devries; brother, Domenic Ottofaro and wife, Iva Ottofaro; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home at the corner of Hampton Center Parkway and Armistead Avenue on Sunday, March 18, 2012. There will be a viewing at 4 p.m., followed by a service at 5 p.m. The internment will be private following cremation services.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that any family or friends who wish to honor Frank in the way that he would have most appreciated it, is by attending the next City of Hampton Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Hampton City Hall on the top floor's Council Chamber. Should you wish to speak on his behalf regarding knowing him from your past by sharing a story, or in support of his continuing fight that he pursued until his death to right the wrong that was done to him by the city. You must get to the meeting by 5:15 p.m. to sign up to speak. If you wish to make any monetary donations in Frank's behalf, you can make them to one of the following: The , St. Vincent's Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, or to the Boys and Girls Club of Newport News. The family would also like to thank the Riverside Hospital ICU caregivers who stood vigilant with the family during this hard time-thank you all. The Ottofaro Family Friends are encouraged to visit to share memories and words of condolence with the family.

Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave., in Hampton, 23666. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from March 17 to March 18, 2012.
Visit Guest Book


March 17, 2012 
  Dad, I miss you very much, and I am proud to have had you as my father. I know that we challenged each other on things sometimes, but I always did love you. When I was little, I remember all of the personal times we had together. Growing up as Big Frank's son required me to listen to you every night about what are the right things to do in life, to always respect people, never to take anything that didn't belong to me, and to always help others if I could. You taught me to be a good person. You demonstrated these things yourself to so many of your friends each and everyday while you were with us. When you had bought the service station in 1968, you had taken me with you to learn how to work early in life by pumping gas, fixing tires, checking oil, and washing windshields. You taught me to say yes sir, yes ma'am, and to always treat people as I would want to be treated. Many nights after closing the station, you would always take me out to get some breakfast, whether at the Waffle House or the Pancake House. Everywhere you went, you always wanted to take me with you. I followed your path of life very closely by working on cars, playing football for a time, going into the Navy and Naval Reserves, working a full-time job and opening a small business, and even buying rental property. I am you, Dad, through and through. I will always carry your name with pride as your only son, and I will take the fight that you were unable to finish to the City of Hampton. I will take care of Mom, so please don't worry, just rest. Please look over us from time to time until we can be together again. Love you, Dad.

March 17, 2012 

Generous is the word that most often comes to mind when we think of Frank. He never paid a visit empty handed. Hot dogs, collard greens, crab meat .... you name it, he seemed to have it tucked somewhere in that van of his. As his legs began to fail him, he made it a habit to drive up in front of the house and honk and honk and honk until he was able to get someone's attention .... even if it was the neighbor 5 doors down. We all love Frank.

We have all truly been blessed by having the opportunity to meet such a loving person. We should all go through life trying to bring the "Frank" out and the world would be a much better place.

Our sincerest condolences to all of the family and friends. May our many wonderful memories bless us all with a smile, a warm heart and a funny story to tell when honoring the memory of Frank Ottofaro, Sr.

Jeff and Page Kremp

~ Page Kremp, Hampton, Virginia

17, 2012
  Dora and Family,

I am so very sorry to read on-line this morning in the Daily Press about your loss of Frankie - I have many fond memories of him (and you) during the times we worked together at Langley. My heart goes out to you at this most difficult time. I wish I could be with you but you may not know that in 2007 I moved to Louisiana to be nearer my son. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you - God Bless!

17, 2012

HI! I'm Fulvio OTTOFARO from Italy and I believe to be somewhat relative! I Join in the sorrow for the death of Frank! Me, too many friends, call me "Otto" and this thing makes me fill with emotion! Bye "Otto" I saw you in somewhere!!!

~ Fulvio Ottofaro, Verona, Italy


March 17, 201

   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to Frank's family and friends at this difficult time.

   This information is also posted here:


  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

  O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Text: Anonymous; trans. by Paul Gerhardt and James W. Alexander
Music: Hans L. Hassler, 1564-1612; harm. by J.S. Bach, 1685-1750

1. O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

2. What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

3. What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.

"O Sacred Head" midi courtesy of - 04/08/06

"O Sacred Head" lyrics courtesy of - 04/08/06

Image of Charles Bosseron Chambers' Painting, "The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ", courtesy
of - 03/11/09

Image of Zabateri's Painting, "The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ", courtesy
of - 03/11/09

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Animated Navy Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

Moose Lodge Logo courtesy of - 11/24/08

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