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FRANK CARL MAROLDA, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, age 83, of Las Vegas, Nevada passed away peacefully at home on July 15, 2023.
Frank was born on May 2, 1940, to Ralph and Mldred (Cornell) in Chicago, Illinois, the 3rd of 4 children, growing up on 69th St. and S. Hermitage Ave. He attended Raster Elementary school in West Englewood, Chicago and was elected Mayor of the school in 8th grade and headed the patrol boys at that time. Frank moved on to St. Rita High School, also in Chicago, and graduated in 1959 - forever a proud Mustang! Frank attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL where he met the love of his life, Ms. Mary Ellen McKinney. After his education was concluded they moved to Chicago and were married in 1964 at St. Mary’s of Mt. Carmel church. Together they raised their 2 sons in Chicago until 1975, when they decided to move to the West Coast, settling in idyllic Saratoga, CA and raising their family in the same loving home for 40+ years.
In 1975 Frank became the President/Business Manager of Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Employees Union Local #19 (HERE), dedicating himself to improving the lives and well-being of his members and their families. He became a prominent labor leader in California, joining forces with other local/national labor and government leaders to stand up for better wages & improved working conditions for the American blue collar workforce. Frank marched in the streets of numerous cities for workers/human rights, in the fields with his friend and ally Cesar Chavez and on the steps of local and federal government to ensure that those without representation in the boardroom would be heard and represented. From the mid-1990’s until his retirement, he acted as Consultant/Advisor on delivering high-quality, member friendly health and dental plan options to union members & government workers across CA, always staying close to the labor movement he so dearly loved.
His political/labor/human rights friends & allies across the globe are far too numerous to mention - Presidents, Senators, Congress Men & Women, Sports & Entertainment celebrities, etc. They all loved ‘Big Frank’ and his legacy will always be one of “service to others”.
In 2017, Frank and Mary relocated in retirement to Las Vegas, NV. They settled in and quickly befriended the many wonderful people in their neighborhood, regaling neighbors with stories and tales of their life adventures.
Frank actively participated in all things community: coaching Little League baseball for over a decade, energetically organizing and overseeing nightly summer street games in the neighborhood at which all were included regardless of age, race, talent or ability and generally welcomed with his fun loving “hey, Hot Dog'' greeting - bbq and pool time for all hosted by Frank & Mary to follow. Loved playing racquetball nightly after work at his favorite club Courtside (Los Gatos, CA) and later in life took strong interest in Petanque.
Lifelong supporter of his local catholic church, Sacred Heart in Saratoga, CA. Passionately attended SF 49er/49er South Bay Booster Club and SF Giants games & their community charitable events every opportunity he could; hosted numerous legendary pre & post-game functions at Candlestick Park’s Stadium Club in its heyday - “i’m with frank marolda” got you instant access along with vip status yet nobody treated the door/help/work staff better than him.
To know Frank was to love him! He loved “all things Chicago'' except for the weather and joked about that throughout his life in “sunny CA”. He was extremely proud of his Chicago/Italian heritage and all that went with it. Frank lived his life to the fullest, embracing family first (all friends were considered family by him). He was “larger than life” in his most special way, a mentor and role model to many and had an enormous Heart of Gold í ½í²›
He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Ellen (McKinney); loving father of Frank Marolda, Jr. of Redondo Beach, CA (fiance Kerri Henry) and Greg Marolda of San Jose, CA. Proud Grandpa/Papa to Maysen, Mark, Andrew and Justin and loving “uncle Sugar” to many nieces & nephews. Dear Brother of Ralph (Gwen), and was preceded in death by his sister, Marlene Chocola (Marolda) and her late husband Joseph, as well as his brother Ronald (spouse Mary Louise).
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 11, 2023, at McKinney Hill Cemetery, in rural Carbondale, with Fr. Mark Reyling officiating.
Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville assisted the family with local arrangements. For more information, visit rigginpillatschburkefh.com.