Frank (Frankie) Bavaresco passed away peacefully on August 25, 2022. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Frank was the only son of Luigi (Bocia) and Mary Bavaresco. He grew up on the Eastside, along with other Italian immigrant families, including his cousins Ernie, Dickie and Dennis Zampese, whom he considered brothers. For someone who didn’t speak a word of English until the start of grammar school, he loved to brag to family about how he became class president at Santa Barbara Junior High. Upon graduation of Santa Barbara High School’s class of ’53, Frank was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Hawaii.
After being discharged from the Army, Frank returned to Santa Barbara in search of work and love interests. That’s where Flora Lucato came into the picture. Frank and Flora’s families had known each other for a long time, and they grew up together. But it took dating other people and elapsed time to realize that your true love lived right across the street. And that’s how Flora Lucato became Mrs. Frank Bavaresco on June 18, 1960.
In the meantime, Frank got a job as a maintenance worker for the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department. It turned out to be a job that he worked at for 50 years. And out of those 50 years at Parks & Rec, Frank only took 1 day of sick leave for poison oak. It was Flora who called in on his behalf. When Frank’s boss heard about his sick day, he actually drove over to their house because he didn’t believe it to be true.
When Frank was not working, he had a love affair with gardening. And no one could compete with the way he grilled chicken and tri-tip with help from Flora’s basting brush made of rosemary and sage. Mostly, in his spare time, Frank looked forward to spending time at home with family and friends in the neighborhood. He particularly enjoyed his walks down the street, hanging out in Bob’s garage with Guba and Art (aka Tico’s Bar) and drinking the only beer variety allowed – Bud and Coors Light. Frank may have lived his life simply, but he was someone who was definitely well liked and respected.
Frank is survived by his wife Flora of 62 years, daughters Sharon Soto and Lisa Richter, sons-in-law Peter Soto and Kurt Richter, sisters-in law Barbara Bianchi (Dave & nephew Darren) and JoAnne Lucato (niece Rayanna), as well as grandchildren Jonathan (Liz), Weston, Misty (Cam), Samantha and Sabrina.
Frankie, Dad, Nonno – while you may be gone in body you are certainly not in spirit. Your words of wisdom will forever play out in our minds. So now it’s our turn to say to you what we frequently heard you say to us: “Be good, get along with each other, and watch your step”.
Mass services will be held on September 9, 2022 at 10am at the Old Mission Santa Barbara. Burial immediately following at Calvary Cemetery.