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Sylvester Frank D'Ercole
November 30, 1939 ~ November 10, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Sylvester Frank D’Ercole- Born November 30, 1939 in Penne, Italy departed family and friends on Friday November 10th to, most assuredly, race his red Porsche convertible right through the Pearly White Gates.
Affectionately called Bumpy by his grandchildren, Grumpy by others, Frankie, Dopey, Frak, Frank-the-Tank, Water Rat and many more names by the multitude of friends which he collected throughout his life. Raised in Berlin, NH by Italian immigrants who ran a small grocery store during the boom-town days of local Main Streets, Frank learned early the value of hard work and an American education. After attending Berlin High School, Frank was the first in his family to obtain a college degree, graduating from Colby College in 1961. Frank continued on to Law School at Cornell, but an unexpected tour in the Armed Forces fortuitously sent Frank to Germany instead of Vietnam, where he met his future wife Christa. They were married in 1964 in a small ceremony and returned to the States soon after to begin their married lives.
Christa sustained Frank through most of the challenges of his life, including Cornell Law School, and he attributed the preponderance of his successes to her. He went on to a prosperous career at Robinson & Cole in Hartford where he specialized in public and corporate finance, securities and municipal law. Known for his incredible work ethic, his children were often asked, “Where’s your Dad? Working?” He served on numerous state, local and national committees and boards and was recognized as one of the best private lawyers in America, all while simultaneously shepherding his two children through school, youth sports careers, ski adventures and while caring for a wife with a life-altering disease.
As befits a fine lawyer, Frank’s penchant for argument was legendary and he was a fighter until the end. He fought his Parkinson’s Disease with a vengeance, insisting on walking long after he should have been
wheelchair-bound. Frank loved nothing as much as a good joke with friends or family. His laugh was equally legendary and would leave people laughing long after the joke’s punch line had been forgotten. He delighted in having his family all together at Bald Peak Colony Club, playing “mean boss” with his granddaughters and watching his grandsons play golf, often trailing them in a golf cart after he could no longer play himself. He was an affectionate and exacting father who loved his children and in-law children fiercely and who kept all of them on their toes.
Frank’s greatest sadness was losing his wife Christa too soon. He is survived by his son Justin D’Ercole (Sarah Whitely D’Ercole), of Mamaroneck, NY, his daughter Jessica D’Ercole Stanton (Michael Stanton) of Wellesley, MA, Grandchildren Abigail and Jay D’Ercole, and Wesley and Elsie Stanton, brother Donald (Sue) D’Ercole of Brunswick GA, and nephews Christopher and Matthew (Nicole) D’Ercole. Frank loved his friends as passionately as family and while many have passed on, those surviving were his comfort. After family and friends, Frank’s greatest pride was Colby College, where he volunteered in numerous capacities and was the School’s greatest cheerleader. He was an avid Colby sports enthusiast watching football and hockey games on his iPad until his final days. He never missed an opportunity to talk about all things Colby and his big booming voice yelling “Go You MULES!” from the bleachers still reverberates today. Frank made many gifts to Colby over the years, but his D’Ercole Family Scholarship will provide a path for others to know the Colby experience that he cherished.
Frank was supported by an incredible team of caregivers in the final years of his life, each remarkable in their own way. Their ability to keep Frank at home and comfortable until the very end is a blessing too impossible to measure.
At this time no Memorial Service is planned, but next summer family and friends will be invited to join in a celebration befitting Frank. In lieu of flowers, Frank would have recommended support of a favorite charity or educational institution— a certain NESCAC in particular— the irony of which would have delighted him given that so many of his friends were NESCAC or Ivy League graduates themselves.