Frank Mondello

Frank Merrill Mondello

September 22, 1942 - January 7, 2019
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Frank Merrill Mondello – September 22, 1942 – January 7, 2019
(Frank) “Merrill” Mondello,76, of Cheshire, MA died peacefully at home at 30 Church St. on January 7, 2019 after a lengthy illness. Born in Gloucester, MA to Anthony “Nemo” and Evelyn Amelia (Lowe) Mondello, he attended schools there, then worked with his father at their garage on Mondello Square. In those years Merrill always had his first Best Dog “Wags” at his side. As well as doing auto repairs, they (maybe not “Wags”) repaired equipment and engines at the various canneries and many fishing boats operating in and around Gloucester. Named for his grandfather Gilford Merrill Lowe - an engineer on the Boston and Maine RR - Merrill followed in his footsteps in 1971, signing on with the B&A RR (now CSX) on the Springfield to Albany run until his retirement in 2005.
Merrill - WE2FAX - was actively involved in amateur radio operation (Ham radio), a longtime member of the Northern Berkshire Amateur Radio Club ( and the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association ( He was also an advocate for black bears - an avid supporter of both Lynn Rogers at the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota ( and Ben Kilham with the New Hampshire department of fish and game. When he wasn’t repairing engines, riding the rails, on the air, or in the wild, Merrill was learning his way around computers – in the 1970s with those punched out IBM cards -- until nearly his final days. He learned to build his own PCs, rebuilt and gave away many units to needy friends for decades. Merrill’s interest in helping the Cheshire Library as it became part of the MLIN computer network in the 1990s started a friendship with Jack Girard – a trustee of the library. As his health began to fail, Merrill moved to Cheshire, and adopted Jack’s black and white Shih Tzu “Mignonne II”. They were well known regulars on the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail in Cheshire (as well as at the Red Carpet in Adams) for years. Merrill would walk two or three miles, and Mignonne would scoot along – doing easily four or five miles at the same time. Picture it – what dog walks for miles in a straight line?!
Merrill was preceded in death by his cousins Debbie (wife of Donald), Richard, William and Jeffrey White. He is survived by cousins Donald White, Janet (Bruce) White Jerome, Sue (wife of William) White, Judy (wife of Richard) White, Jenny (Chris) White Ryan and their three daughters, and Liz (wife of Jeffrey) White and her children. Among the many friends who grieve his loss are Paul Fasoldt, Adrian Sebborn, Dave Clark and his wife, and best dog Yuma, Nancy (wife of the late Tom) Andrew, Sandy and Mike Harrington, Mike Rivera and Jack Girard. The author of this tribute wishes to thank Merrill’s very dedicated caregivers from Hospice Care in the Berkshires – ( --- Desiree, Erica, Hope, Jennifer, Laurie, Lisa, Lori and Stephanie, as well as to the office staff.
In keeping with Merrill’s wishes, there will be no services. Merrill will be inurned in Cheshire Cemetery in the spring at a date and time to be determined. Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of Merrill may choose from the Bear Center, the amateur radio clubs, or Hospice Care in the Berkshires (note the websites mentioned above), or to any other group/cause of their choice. Friends and family are also welcome to visit Merrill’s website (, which will remain online for a short period of time.
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