Frances A. Crispi, 75, passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness on April 4, 2018. Born on October 31, 1942, Fran was the only child of Jacob (Jack) and Clara (Helen) Spergel Groobman. Born in the Bronx, NY, Fran was raised in Forest Hills, NY.
A gifted singer and piano player, Fran was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music, but instead chose to attend public school and graduated from Forest Hills High School. She attended Syracuse University before transferring to NYU where she received her undergraduate degree in Literature. Fran then went on to earn her Masters in English from SUNY Albany and started her teaching career at Scotia Glenville High School. After a brief break from teaching with the birth of her children and a move to Poughkeepsie, NY, Fran taught reading at Van Wyck Junior High for the majority of her 25 year career. During this time she also earned a Masters in Administration from SUNY New Paltz, helping her to become Teacher in Charge of the Reading Department. All her students loved her and everywhere she went her students remembered her. At the end of her career, she started teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). She developed a special bond with these students and a few of them gathered every day before school in her room so she affectionately nicknamed them her “Breakfast Club.” After retiring, Fran took up a second career in real estate with Coldwell Banker until she retired for good and moved to The Villages, FL with her husband Jack Crispi.
Besides teaching, Fran’s other passion was music. Her beautiful soprano voice was featured in many musical productions, plays and operas throughout the Hudson Valley. In retirement, she would regularly perform and pack venues with her singing partner, Christopher Bolus, in The Villages.
Some say the true measure of a person is not determined by fame or fortune acquired in life, but by the memories they leave behind in the hearts and minds of the people they touched in life. Fran will be remembered as a generous and loyal friend to all who knew her. She would say, though, her greatest accomplishment in life was her family.
Fran will be sadly missed by her beloved husband and best friend of almost 30 years, Francis (Jack) J. Crispi of The Villages, FL; her children Craig (Leah) Wallace of Poughkeepsie, NY and Julie Wallace Clancy of Altamont, NY. Fran will also be lovingly remembered by her grandchildren Michael, David, and Lillian Wallace, and Bridget and Meghan Clancy, as well as Jack’s children Donna Gibbons of Modena, NY; and her children Kristyn, Lindsay, Amber, and Seth, Leigh (Bernard) Encarnation of West Grove, PA; and her daughter Rosalie and John (Maura) Crispi of Stone Ridge, NY.
In keeping with Fran’s wishes, funeral services will be private. A celebration of Fran’s life will be held in Poughkeepsie, NY at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cornerstone Hospice, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL 32778, or Mayo Clinic’s Brain Tumor (Meningioma) Research. Arrangements entrusted with HIERS-BAXLEY Funeral & Cremation Life Event Center. Sentiments may be left online at www.hiers-baxley.com.