Mr. Frank James Renaldi, 85, of Lewiston, Michigan died peacefully at his home surrounded by the love of his family on February 28, 2023. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 6, 1937, to the late Frank and Victoria (Paffi) Renaldi.
Frank grew up on the south side of Chicago where he attended Fenger High School and enjoyed playing multiple sports, including his favorite, football. He played quarterback and kicker until his senior year at Southern Illinois University. While there, he earned his bachelor's degree in history and physical education. He was the first in his family to graduate college. Following his junior year at SIU, Frank received offers to play professionally as a kicker/punter. Instead, he chose marriage and shortly after graduation began his career in the Air Force. Frank married Judith Grabow on August 15, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois and together they celebrated nearly 57 years of marriage before her passing in 2016.
Frank proudly served his country as an officer in the United States Air Force for 22.5 years. He was a distinguished pilot and retired as a Major. He flew C-123s and the C-130E Hercules, his most beloved of all planes. He was in and out of Vietnam from 1960-1972 for many missions. He flew other missions as well including a rescue mission into the Belgian Congo saving over 600 people. While in Guam he flew in and out of Typhoons.
The Renaldi family were fortunate to live in Germany from 1976-1980. While stationed there, he worked in the Command Center at base operations and helped oversee the protection of our allies and our bases overseas. Ultimately, Frank retired from the Air Force at Wurtsmith AFB in 1982.
Air Force life was where many lifelong friends were met and kept. Upon retirement, Frank enjoyed a variety of hobbies including fishing, golfing, hunting, and watching sports on television. He adored his grandchildren and valued the time he spent with his family. He enjoyed many family dinners and cherished them the most. He was so proud of all his children and grandchildren and was fortunate to see all of them grow into fine adults. Family was of the utmost importance.
He loved life and lived it the way he wanted. He was smart, demanding, loving, stern, and supportive. He always made sure his children and grandchildren knew that they could do anything they put their minds to, and to never give up on their dreams. He taught them confidence, stability, kindness, and unconditional love. His family always knew they could count on him. He was always there for them. No matter what. He is and will be deeply missed.
Frank is survived by his children, Lynn Renaldi-Hause of Lewiston; Frank (Rocio) Renaldi of Kalamazoo; Laura (Richard) Renaldi-Korff of Lewiston; grandchildren, Katarina, Jayce, Sarah, Alicia, Amanda, and R.J.; sisters, Lanette (Bill) Knoerzer of Lemont, Illinois; Linda Godinez-Reed of Whittemore Lake; and companion, Pauline Stevenson of Ottawa, Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Victoria Renaldi, and wife, Judith.
Funeral services for Mr. Renaldi will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Green Funeral Home, Lewiston, Pastor Dave Engel officiating. Visitation will take place on Friday, March 10, 2023, from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM and again on Saturday from 10:00 AM until time of service.
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