|In Memory of Fran Moscardelli|
|Wednesday, February 29, 2012|
By EDDIE CALLIS
Our community lost one of its best last week when Fran Moscardelli died at St. Thomas Hospital. In his quiet unassuming way, Fran Moscardelli went about his life making things better for everyone. We will miss him. He cannot be easily replaced.It was on a summer night in 1970, as my wife and I meandered around the Lebanon Parent Back Club’s carnival grounds, when we ran into good friends who introduced us to their new next door neighbors who had recently moved to Lebanon. These new people had a strange sounding name. It was Moscardelli. Fran and Alexa Moscardelli soon became our close friends. Few, if any, such encounters have affected our lives so positively. They truly became members of our family and we of theirs.
There are many ways to measure a man’s worth or value to society. In the case of Fran Moscardelli, you need only look at his and Alexa’s three fine sons. Vincent Moscardelli is a Professor at the University of Connecticut. Richard Moscardelli followed his dad’s footsteps and chose a career in the manufacture of paper products. Michael Moscardelli became a lawyer affiliated with a prominent firm in Nashville. Richard and Michael are presently operating the successful business their Dad created about a dozen years ago. We must not overlook the fact that Alexa, mother of these three young men, became one of this community’s best educators, teaching 10th grade English with distinction at Lebanon High School for several years before her retirement.
The three Moscardelli sons brought a new aspect into the family as they married Virginia, Jenni, and Katie. Fran lovingly referred to his three beautiful daughters-in-law as “The Moscardelli Girls.” These three new Moscardelli families soon produced seven grandchildren, three beautiful girls and four energy filled boys. No man ever loved or respected his daughters-in-law more than did Fran. His pride in his grandchildren was evident whenever they were around him.
I believe that Fran Moscardelli was the best man I have ever known. Never have I heard one person speak ill of him. He loved his family and taught his sons that ‘family’ is important. His sons were known to call both of their grandmothers once each week after they left home for college. This happened because their Dad had taught them that respect for your grandparents is important. You can observe how well they learned by watching how they cared for their Dad during these past months and how they are caring for their mother now. It can also be seen by observing the way these Moscardelli men now care for their own families.
Fran Moscardelli taught all of us some important things. He believed in hard work and often left home long before the sun rose to see that everything was operating properly at the plant in Gordonsville. Fran also believed in enjoying life and having a good time. He taught us by example the value of honor and respect for others. In these recent months Fran also taught us about strength, courage, and dignity as he dealt with his illness.
Our families, including all our children, spent more than thirty New Year’s Eve nights together with other friends. Eight of us have had dinner together almost every Friday night for the past several years. We bring the newest pictures and stories about our children and grandchildren to share with each other. We have laughed and shared happy times and hugged each other when times were difficult.
Friday nights will now be a little different. Fran may no longer sit at the table with us, but he will certainly remain in our hearts. Things will be different in many aspects of our lives as we learn to adjust to Fran’s absence. I think that rather than think too much about how things may be different, we will try to concentrate on how much better things are now because he was here.
Editor's note: Eddie Callis is a local businessman and resides in Lebanon.