ASHLAND – Francis A. Venuto, Sr. passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on December 18, 2020. He was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Anna, who passed away this April.
Born July 25, 1929 to Joseph and Rose Venuto in Newton, Massachusetts, he was one of five children. He was predeceased by his brothers Joseph (and his wife Katherine) and Domenic, and his sister Victoria Poirer. His sister, Marie Rego, currently resides in New Hampshire.
Francis graduated from Newton Trade School and studied to be a machinist.
In 1948, he joined the Army and was sent to the Korea in 1950 as a radio repairman in the Signal Corps.
In 1952 he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his distinguished heroism in action against the enemy in Korea by the president.
On October 5, 1950, a small team, of which he was a member, had the mission of moving forward by truck to a North Korean village prior to an attack by a United Nations battalion, and broadcasting a surrender appeal to the inhabitants. After the team entered the village an approaching tank was hit by an enemy anti-tank gun and hostile fire suddenly blanketed the area. His team was scattered for cover and Frank showed complete disregard for his personal safety, climbed onto the truck and opened fire on the enemy gun crew. His accuracy destroyed the hostile troops who abandoned their weapons and fled. His heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed on this occasion reflected great credit to himself.
On leave in 1951, at a family friend’s wedding, he asked a beautiful girl to dance and they danced for the next 68 years. In 1952 he was asked by the army to re-enlist for a tour in Germany, but his marriage to Anna on April 20, 1952 was his only plan.
After his discharge from the army, Francis worked at the Watertown Arsenal as a machinist until 1963. He then went to work at the Federal Aviation Agency for the next eleven years.
After retiring from federal service, he served on the Ashland Water and Sewer commission, and on the school committee for the Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School.
After raising their six children, Francis and Anna wanted to fulfill their dream to build a home on the Cape. They bought land in Mashpee, and, with the help of friends and family, the house was completed in a few years. They had their house, a boat, a garden and the ocean.
After 39 years of living in Ashland, they sold their home and moved full time to Cape Cod.
In the late 90’s, Francis served as president of the South Cape Beach Estates Association for several years, and took great pride in his neighborhood. Planning the annual family cookout with his neighbors was highlight of every summer and he loved having his children and grandchildren attend.
Their grandchildren brought Francis and Anna much joy over the years, and they loved sharing their Cape Cod lifestyle: boat rides around the bay, taking everyone to the beach, having big family cookouts, feasting on the catch of the day (stuffed Quahogs was everyone’s favorite) and sharing the bounty of vegetables from their garden. Francis was active in senior golfing, the Men’s Club and his woodworking hobby, which included bird carving. Later they became official snowbirds, enjoying Florida during the winter months. In 2016 they made the decision to move off the Cape, and sold their home to be closer to their family.
Francis is survived by his children LouAnn and Tom Hopkins, Valerie and Phil Ottaviani, Cindy Wyman and Bobby Kirk, Peter and Lisa Venuto, Domenic and Kathleen Venuto and Francis Jr. and Lynn Venuto; his grandchildren Christine and her husband Lucas, Mark, Julia, Jack, Luke, Liam, Nicholas and his wife Anastacia, Alesia, Angelo, Dante, Kaylyn, Dario and Garbriella; his great grandson Giovanni and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and close friends are invited to attend a brief visitation at the Matarese Funeral Home, 325 Main Street, Ashland on Monday December 21, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. where social distancing will be maintained.
Please visit www.mataresefuneral.com for Covid 19 guidelines.
A graveside service will be held at Wildwood Cemetery on Tuesday, December 22 at 11am.
A Catholic Mass to Celebrate the Life of Francis and Anna Venuto will take place in the Summer of 2021.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Veterans Inc. 69 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. https://www.veteransinc.org or to a charity of their choice.
All visitors to the funeral home are required to wear a face mask. NO EXCEPTIONS
Funeral home visitors entering the funeral home will be limited to 10 at one time. Visitors may be asked to wait outside until room is available. Unfortunately no exceptions can made to this rule for inclement weather.
Condolences with the family should be kept brief so that others may enter after you.
Please refrain from embracing with the family.