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Frank Tricomi Remembered
By Joseph Farside ‘06
INTRODUCTION: Our classmate and friend, Frank Tricomi, ’06, passed away in May after an extended battle with cancer. His loving wife, Stephanie Tricomi, ’06, was by his side. While words cannot possibly describe or heal the heartbreak that Frank’s passing has caused to many, I would like to share with you the eulogy that I wrote for Frank. Frank would prefer to be remembered in this way, and as he was with us in law school for three of the best years of his life. Stephanie and I would like to thank Dean Logan for inviting us to post this eulogy on the RWU Law website, and for arranging a memorial service for Frank, held at the School of Law this past fall.
On May 16, 2011, Frank decided that it was finally time to take a rest. That he had had enough of a body-destroying disease that he fought with valor for over two years. That he had had enough of sleepless nights, and of foreign chemicals running through his veins, among other horrible things. If anyone deserved a rest, it surely was Frank.
But, Frank’s heroic battle with tumors and cancer that even world-renowned doctors couldn’t treat or even explain is not how he would want us to remember him.
To all of us, we will simply remember Frank as Frank. He was a great husband, a great son, a great son-in-law, and a great friend. He was his own person. He was unconcerned about what others thought, what others did and what others cared about. He was the kind of person who always did the right thing- simply because it was the right thing to do. And we all knew it.
The first time I had ever met Frank personifies who he was. I had never spoken to him before. It was our third year of law school at a social event. Frank approached me out of the blue – he heard that I liked to fish, and asked if I would be willing to take him along sometime. I didn’t have many friends, and even fewer who I was willing to let into my peaceful time on the water. But I relented, and let Frank in. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
On our first trip, to Westport, Massachusetts, we climbed down the rocks together and stood in thigh-deep water in an inlet that emptied into the ocean around dusk on an August evening. As we got set up and began to cast toward the rocky shoal in front of us, I began to explain to Frank how to go about hooking and reeling in a striped bass in moving current. I hadn’t completed my first instructional sentence and I heard Frank calmly say “Nevermind, Joe, I think I got it, I have one on already.” I looked up in disbelief, and, sure enough, his rod was bent, doubled over, as he fought the first striper of his life. Relieved, I watched Frank ease the striper into the shallows where we landed it, then we admired it together, and let it go. He caught four more stripers that night, and fishing together became an almost daily routine for us that fall of 2005 until the weather became so cold that we could no longer feel our fingers.
While I was focused on getting a million tiny details right, Frank, on the other hand, simply picked out a good place to cast and made it happen. That was Frank’s way. He didn’t sweat the small stuff in fishing or in life. He couldn’t be bothered by things or people that he didn’t believe in or that would waste his time. He was geared to enjoy life, and not to be overwhelmed by it. He wanted to be happy, and he knew how to look in the right places for it.
On this day of our sadness, let’s realize that Frank recognized and appreciated all of the good things that he had in his life. Frank was proud of who he was, and we were all so privileged to know him and be a part of him. Frank knew that God had blessed him with Stephanie, the undeniable love of Frank’s life. And, Frank was wise enough to marry Stephanie – on an unforgettably beautiful and perfect November day. Stephanie was the meaning and purpose in Frank’s life since the day that they met, and, thanks to Stephanie, Frank knew what it was like to be loved unconditionally. Frank had the beautiful gift of Stephanie’s love in his life, and he cherished it.
Let’s take how Frank lived his life and make ourselves a little more like him. More like the guy who caught a fish on his first cast. More like the guy who recognized all of the wonderful things that he had in his life. Let’s remember Frank for being Frank, and celebrate him forever.
And, for Frank, Go Cardinals, and Go Buckeyes!
Frank Tricomi '06 and wife Stephanie