In Memory of

Francis

D.

"Fran"

Malnati

Obituary for Francis D. "Fran" Malnati

Francis D. Malnati, 91, of Richmond, MA, died of leukemia on November 20, 2022, at home surrounded by his beloved family.

Born in Great Barrington, MA on April 1,1931, to Martin D. and Irene (Iemolini) Malnati, he leaves behind the love of his life, his wife of 66 years, Patricia (Bator) Malnati formerly of Cheshire; his children, Francis Malnati, Jr. and wife Deborah (Kruger) of Franklin, TN, Robert Malnati and wife Pamela (Provost) of Pittsfield, MA, Maureen Boisvert and husband John of Canaan, NY, Douglas Malnati and wife Nikki (Oswald) of Tigard, OR, and Jennifer Moccia and husband Luigi of Franklin, MA; his cherished grandchildren, Nicholas, Sean (Kaylen), Kenneth (Evonne), Eric (Ivanka) and Alec Malnati, Angela Ochs (Scott), Michael Blaker, Andrew, Ian, Nikita and Reed Boisvert, Samantha, Claudia and Benjamin Moccia; his adored great-grandchildren, Nolan, Wyatt, Jack, Cooper, Luke and Emma Malnati and Zachary Ochs. Children, cats and dogs were drawn to him.

He also leaves his siblings, Martin Malnati, Jr. of Richmond and Joan Carroll of Sierra Vista, AZ and sister in-law, Barbara DeForge Malnati of Richmond. He was predeceased by brothers, William Malnati (Dona McCarthy), and Joseph Malnati, sister Marjorie Crawford (Donald) and brother in-law, John Carroll. He also leaves his life-long friend, Edward Jurczyk of Lanesboro, MA.

A Korean War Veteran, Fran served overseas as a Sergeant and Commander of Mission with the 7th Infantry Division, 31st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne through the battles of Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill. He was awarded the Order of the Bayonet, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Upon his discharge in 1954, Fran continued serving his country in the United States Army Reserves.

He instilled in his family a love of and respect for his country and the sacrifices made by its military. Every generation was enrolled to install flags and realign military markers so that each gravesite would be decorated for Memorial Day.

Fran put the GI Bill to good use by earning his pilot’s license. Often with his brother Bill, he loved flying his Piper Cub airplane around the countryside. He was an avid photographer, a passionate reader, and took great pleasure in teaching others to garden and be good stewards of the land. Fran and Pat spent years exploring the back roads and rural landscapes of The Berkshires. Sunday drives almost always involved stops to visit elderly acquaintances because everyone needs to have company visit.

Together with his father and brothers, he owned and operated the 365-acre Martin Malnati and Sons dairy farm in Richmond. He loved the farmland and, with his brother Martin, was able to preserve much of it through agricultural preservation restrictions and outright donations to conservation groups. Fran was an active member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau.

He was a 65-year member of the Richmond Volunteer Fire Department, the Richmond Ambulance Squad, and a proud member of one of the first EMT classes commissioned by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After retirement from dairy farming, he was appointed as a Richmond Deputy Town Constable. He knew the names of every resident and their house locations to better be able to respond to a call, or to sell tickets to the annual Richmond Fire Department Chicken BBQ.

Fran was a wise, humble man who was extremely generous with his time, knowledge and humor. He volunteered at local church and fire department pancake breakfasts and fundraisers where his open heart, bright smile and easy laugh were put to good use. He was a communicant of St. Joseph's Church in Pittsfield where he and his wife Pat were volunteers in their food pantry. He founded and oversaw the Malnati Family/Richmond Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship Fund which benefits Richmond's youth. A lifelong community volunteer, he and Pat were honored with the Charles and Mary Kusik Award for Outstanding Civic Commitments and Contribution to the Town of Richmond.

Thanksgiving dinner was his favorite meal. Especially the pie. Pumpkin, apple, pecan, blueberry, mince? Yes, a sliver of each, with ice cream, please! Fran Malnati was a great friend, neighbor, husband, father, grand and great-grandfather and will be terribly missed by all who knew and loved him. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of his world.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held, SATURDAY, December 3, 2022 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church, Pittsfield, MA celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Michael Shershanovich, Pastor. Burial with full military honors will follow at Richmond Center Cemetery.

Calling hours will be held, FRIDAY, December 2, 2022 from 2 to 6 p.m. at DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford St, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Joseph's Church Food Pantry or to Fisher House/Albany, both in care of the funeral home.