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Obituary of Francis Xavier Newall
Francis Xavier Newall, passed away on Friday night after a long illness. He was 84.
He was known to everyone as Frank, except his children, who revered him as “The Big Guy.” He was a tireless provider – a man of singular charm and dry, gentle wit. His warm laugh and graceful grin made small moments sweeter.
“You can’t get enough of me,” he joked near the end.
We could not.
He was a Brooklyn boy. Flatbush born and raised. He and his mother, Winifred, listened to the Brooklyn Dodgers on the radio, while the roar of the crowd from nearby Ebbets Field drifted through the open apartment window. HIs Uncle Phil would sometimes pick him up from Holy Innocents Elementary School for field trips to the “park” – otherwise known as the grandstands of Belmont Park, where they would watch the horses run.
He joined the Air Force straight out of Erasmus Hall High School, and was stationed in his mother’s native Scotland, serving as security force specialist, training dogs, like his German Shepherd, Captain. While in Scotland, he formed cherished friendships and lifelong memories, working weekends as a bartender in a summer resort near base, celebrating his 21st birthday in the lovely lakeside burg.
He met his love, Patsy Kelly, on the Shores of Rockaway. He was handsome – and she liked how he danced. He called her his “Irish Rose.” Together, they lovingly raised six children – Kathleen, John, Patrick, Christine, Peter and Michael – in Marine Park, later moving to Breezy Point, and New Jersey. He was a terrific father, and his children never wanted for anything, especially love. He instilled in them notions of faith and fairness, of hard work and determination, kindness.
As a young fireman in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, he was assigned to the busy Ladder 111 in Stuyvesant Heights. He rarely spoke of the fires he fought, except to say he was proud to do the job. (Though the night he shouted in his pajamas at drunken Breezy Point volunteer firemen to get off the roof of a burning bungalow remains family lore.)
After a back injury forced him into early retirement, he quickly began the second shift of his life – attaining a business degree from Pace University and building a real estate appraisal company that he started in the family basement.
He read often on history and politics, and spent time on myriad interests, like learning languages on tape, working as a volunteer tour guide in historic sections of downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, and bird watching, which he savored even if expertise ended at telling the differences between a Piping Plover and a Penguin. In his retirement, he traveled with Patsy and saw Broadway shows. Mostly, he reveled in the accomplishments and company of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a master storyteller with expert timing. His warm, contagious laughter formed the heart of every family gathering.
A devout Catholic, he served as both a Eucharistic Minister and in the Ministers of Hospitality at Good Shepherd Parish, and was active in many charities.
The great tragedy of his life remained the sudden death of his oldest son, John, in 1999, at age 34. His family takes solace knowing father and son are once again together, where souls meet.
Frank was preceded in death by his grandparents; his mother, Winifred Newall (née Reilly), his father, Thomas; his brothers Charles and Thomas; his sister, Rose, and his son, John Francis Newall. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Newall; his children, Kathleen Rubenstein (Steven) Patrick Newall (Kathrine), Christine Stachel (Paul), Peter Newall (Adrian), Michael Newall (Jaclyn), and Sarah Fleming: his grandchildren, Ryan Rubenstein (Sara), Patrick Rubenstein (Ryan Elizabeth), Kerry Rubenstein (Jordan) Karolina Newall, Mikaela Newall, Annika Newall, Emily Stachel, Aidan Stachel, Caitllyn Stachel, Lauren Stachel, Maddie Newall, Riley Newall, John Newall, and Conor Newall; his great-grandsons, Jack Rubenstein, Colton Rubenstein, and Aiden Rubenstein.
Wake service will be on Monday January 30, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Marine Park Funeral Home. 3024 Quentin Road Brooklyn, NY 11234, 718-339-8900.
Funeral mass will be on Tuesday January 31, 2023 at Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church at 10:45 AM. 1950 Batchelder Street Brooklyn, NY 11229.
Committal service will immediately follow to Holy Cross Cemetery. 3620 Tilden Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11203.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Memory of Francis Xavier Newall by make a donation to Project HOME by clicking the link provided, http://www.projecthome.org/
At Marine Park Funeral Home, we do everything in our power to help you honor the memory of your deceased loved one.
3024 Quentin Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234