Condolence & Memory Journal

I had many excellent professors at St. John's in the early 60's, but Dr. Franzetti was the best. I was not his brightest student but I actually looked forward to his classes as they were always interesting, very informative, and frequently humorous as well. In addition to his teaching prowess, he was a good and decent man who we should all try to emulate.

Posted by Robert Murphy - Houston, TX - student   January 04, 2021

I've known Jack Franzetti since 1967 when he became my advisor at SJU. We always stayed in touch through my work as a writer and editor for 14 years after graduation. Eventually I applied for my M.A. at SJU, and became Jack's teaching assistant; it was a difficult road as an older student who had been out of school for so long. Jack nurtured me through it and constantly reminded me that I could do it! I finished the degree in 1985, still connecting with Jack when I relocated to Georgia and earned my Ph.D. at The University of Georgia. I owe so much to him; a kind, thoughtful, dedicated teacher and dear friend my whole adult life. I will miss him dearly. Godspeed, Jack, and rest in peace.

Posted by Lorraine Fox - Lakewood Ranch, FL - friend   December 19, 2020

I owe so much to Dr. Franzetti even though we had but a few conversations back in 1968-72. I had been accepted to St. John's with the intention of entering the School of General Studies as a Computer Science major. He asked me if I loved math (my guess is he had my high school transcript in hand). When I answered with a less-than-enthusiastic not particularly' he tossed into the air a pen he was holding. As he caught it on the way down from near-ceiling height he said to me in a very kind way: then you don't want to be a computer science major. He then suggested I look at the newly formed Communications Arts and Sciences major. I did, enrolled, and loved every minute of the next four years. Thanks to the guidance of Dr. Franzetti and my mentor Marty Healy I continue to enjoy a nearly fifty-year career in the profession. I have often told this story as an adjunct professor to students I have taught over the years at a community college here in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I do so that they may take seriously the advice of good men and women who aim to guide them in their academic careers. God Bless Dr. Franzetti.

Posted by Charles Genna - Macungie, PA - Student   December 16, 2020

It is with great sadness that I heard of Jack Franzetti's death last week. Jack had hired me rather fresh out of graduate school in 1968, so I was fortunate to have him as my chairman for so many years. His door was always open; I could always bring my problems to him and and could count on him to offer encouragement and sound advice. He loved teaching and the students loved Jack. Whenever I met people who had attended St. John's and asked who they remember as a wonderful teacher, it was Jack who was always mentioned, even though his rigorous reading assignments might have daunted students and other teachers. Again, when asked what it was they liked about Dr. Franzetti and his courses they often would say he made teaching fun.
As I got to know Jack over the years I was frequently surprised by his wide range of interests outside the academic world, whether it was his knowledge of music and long bore rifles, fine liquors and cigars. He waxed poetic in describing a Cuban Monte Cristo cigar that became a kind of holy grail he quested for. Nattily dressed always, always with a smile to greet you, he was the definition of an old-school gentleman. He certainly is a legend at St. John's, one that we will not see again. Rest In Peace, Jack.

Posted by Joseph Marotta - Waretown, NJ - Coworker   December 16, 2020

I love you Poppy and will to the end.

Posted by Jake Franzetti - Flushing, NY - Family   December 15, 2020

I was literally talking to someone the other day about Professor Franzetti. One of my favorite teachers ever. We had such a good rapport and he was genuinely a fantastic human being. Great memories from the late 1970's. He called me Mr V. Heaven is better now with Professor Franzetti scooting right in.

Posted by Lou Veltri - Westerville, OH - Student   December 15, 2020

So sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. Franzetti. I was one of his students and he was the best professor I ever had. Such a nice and kind person.

Posted by Kevin McCarthy - Smithtown, NY - Student   December 15, 2020

I was so fortunate to have him as my father-in-law. Over the decades I saw a man of quiet reserve, gentle, kind, generous beyond imaging. Dad taught me about living a life of uprightness and genuine goodness, with intense love of family. His ability to perform acts of generosity with utter humility was amazing. He wanted no credit or fanfare for any act of charity (Falderal as he would call it with a wave of his hand.) He loved to teach and it was embedded into the fabric which made him who he was. In the last years, he accepted al the diminutions and physical challenges with grace and without complaint. I will so very much miss this man whom I was privileged to call Dad.

Posted by Maria Franzetti - Flushing, NY - Family   December 15, 2020

Jack Franzetti, one of the finest human beings I have ever known, was my mentor, my divisional chairperson for many years, my colleague, and, most importantly, my dear friend. Last week, I sent him my annual Christmas card. Yesterday morning, I mused that I would soon receive his card and, as was my custom, I would then call him to catch up on the year. Sadly, instead yesterday found me getting the news of his passing. May my beloved and cherished friend rest in peace. His journey, marked by intellectual gifts, tireless work, generosity, collegiality, dignity, and love is now over. His memory will always be a blessing to me.
Vivian Valvano Lynch, Professor Emerita of English

Posted by Vivian Valvano Lynch    December 15, 2020

Jack was the epitome of a cultured, intelligent Christian gentleman. He loved God and all God’s people.... most of all —family.

Posted by Michael Callaghan, CM - Friend   December 14, 2020

Paul,
Please accept my condolences at the passing away of your dearly departed father. Please email me your home address so I can mail you a Mass card.

Posted by Andrew Scotti - Woodside, NY - Coworker   December 14, 2020

Jack Franzetti was one of the most decent, one of the most wonderful men I've ever known. He was always warm, welcoming, and easy to talk to. I loved his Christmas gatherings--he called the cake he served-- Panettone-- "a little piece of heaven", and I enjoyed our chats whenever we bumped into one another in Marillac Hall. He will be missed!

Posted by Barrie Rosen    December 14, 2020

Our deepest condolences

Posted by Manny Salvato - SOMERVILLE, NJ - Family   December 14, 2020

Dr. Jack Franzetti was a kind, compassionate, and open-minded individual and leader. Those of us who worked with him in the Division of English and Speech are forever indebted to him. When I succeeded him as chairwith Professor Nancy McGeveran in-betweenI realized how he shaped the atmosphere of our department into one of not just professionalism and scholarship, but also of collegiality and warmth. It was an honor to work and learn from him.

Posted by Tom Kitts - Brooklyn, NY - Coworker   December 14, 2020

Jack was one of the finest men I have ever met and one of my most cherished colleagues. I was always amazed by his compassion, steadfastness and intellectual ability. I have missed Jack enormously since his retirement, he was truly a major force at St. John's and someone who played a crucial role in giving CCPS its distinct identity. Jack, I will always remember you and try my best to be like you!
Bob Tomes

Posted by Robert Tomes - Staten Island, NY - Coworker   December 14, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear of Dr. Franzetti's passing. I was one of his students at St. John's University from 1979-1983 and I learned so much from him. May he Rest In Peace. A wonderful human being and incredible teacher.

Posted by Anita Bringe-Worth - Charlotte, NC - Student   December 14, 2020

Jack was my friend for more than 50 years. When I came to St. John's as a graduate assistant, he was one of the first to welcome me. Later, during my years as a faculty member, he was mentor, colleague, and a wonderful departmental leader. He loved St. John's and his students, and he was a vibrant, accomplished professor. Even after he retired, he always said he missed working! Jack was one of the founding faculty of what was ultimately to become the Collins College of Professional Studies. The College and St. John's University are richer and stronger for his leadership and love. Thank you, dear friend, for all you did through your long and illustrious life.
Dorothy E. Habben, Vice President and Secretary of the University emerita

Posted by Dorothy Habben - Garden City, NY - Friend   December 14, 2020

Thank you, dear Jack, for all you did especially for the English and Speech Division of St. Vincent's College on the SJU campus. We are The Collins College of Professional Studies now and I have just taken over as Chair after your hires, Tom and Claire; I have had legendary examples and will focus in our ever-changing world on keeping the student-centered spirit of your vision and formation. Godspeed!

Posted by Kathleen Marks - Forest Hills, NY - Coworker   December 13, 2020

He was an extraordinary professor with a kind heart who was willing to help along a newcomer.

Posted by Mary Noe - Glen Cove, NY - Coworker   December 13, 2020

My deepest sympathy to the family of Jack.
The way to heaven is through the valley of The Lord.
Mr. Franzetti has walked this path in grace and goodness.
God bless him and all the family

From Neil (and dear Pauline who has I am sure greeted him in heaven)

Has

Posted by Neil Griffin - Family Friend   December 13, 2020