Francis (Frank) P. Arena, 91, passed away peacefully on February 17 in his home surrounded by family. Frank was born on June 28, 1926 in Jersey City, N.J. to the late Joseph Arena and Susan Arena (nee Mastrangelo). Frank resided in North Bergen from 1927 until 1997. He then relocated to his Blairstown, N.J. residence where he and his family enjoyed weekends and summer vacations since 1966.
Frank graduated Horace Mann Elementary School (N.B.) in 1939 and Emerson High School, Union City, in 1943. He attended NY School of Mechanical Dentistry from 1943-1944. Upon graduation, Frank enlisted in the Navy and served two years 1944-1946. Upon his honorable discharge, he attended Brooklyn School of Optics 1948-1949 and achieved his N.Y. Optical License on graduation. He later received a N.J. Optical License in 1951. Frank practiced in Guttenberg, N.J. before opening his own practice, Arena Opticians (N.B.) in 1954. During his career as an optician, he attended Jersey City State College and then Newark State College (now Kean) and graduated in 1964 with a degree in Industrial Arts. During the 1960s, Frank was a member of the North Bergen Board of Education and ran for township commission.
Frank taught Industrial Arts in Roosevelt School, Union City, until his transfer to North Bergen High School to work as a social worker. He returned to Kean College to receive a Master's Degree in Social Work and subsequently worked with the child study team out of Lincoln School in N.B. until his retirement in 1992. Frank continued his optical practice until moving to Blairstown in 1997.
Frank enjoyed being outdoors, tinkering with his Model A Ford cars, raising sheep and chickens and gardening. Above all else, he valued family and enjoyed Sunday dinners, eating pizza out of his homemade outdoor brick oven, and making wine with his children which was a tradition he passed down from his father. He was predeceased by his sisters Marie Arena and Phyllis Mosera. He is survived by his wife Adele (nee Morano) of 61 years, sons Peter (wife Beth), Joseph (wife Olivia), Francis (wife Emily), daughter Susanne (husband William), grandchildren Nicholas, Levi, and Paige as well as many nieces and nephews.
To all those who knew him, Frank was a special man and an especially valued husband, father, and grandfather. He was a generous, humble, kind. He was a great listener who was always interested and supportive. He had an amazing way of making those around him feel loved and he will be deeply missed by all.
A private Funeral Liturgy was held under the direction of Newbaker Funeral Home, Route 94, Blairstown, N.J.