Frank J. Pantano, age 65

of Boston

Frank J. Pantano, age 65

Frank J. Pantano, age 65, of Boston, died suddenly, Sunday, December 20, 2020, at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The family and friends of Frank J. Pantano give thanks for his 65 years of life. Born in Quincy, on June 18, 1955, Frank was the oldest sibling rooted in a large loving family, fun, generous of spirit and rich in faith. He had a passion for travel and was fortunate to have seen a large part of the world. His biggest passion was teaching, having spent over 40 years providing education and support to many students who would have been left behind had Frank not gone the extra distance to help them. Such was his involvement in the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) where he served tirelessly to ensure that students had a safe and supportive experience.

He was preceded in death by his husband of 37 years, Edward M. Conroy. They spent their time between their Dwight Street and Provincetown homes. From there he lived to serve others and was always raising his hand to volunteer. He was truly an exemplar of his generation, always willing to do his duty, and never counting the cost.

Frank was a true friend, the kind of friend who was there when he was needed most. Over the course of his life, he had amassed a beautiful and large circle of friendships, including colleagues from the Boston School System, his South End neighbors and friends, and an enormous circle of close friends in Provincetown. Frank also established connections all around the world through his frequent travels within our country, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico and most recently, Colombia, where he met Edwin Barranco, the second love of his life.

He was a wonderful cook and it brought him great joy to gather his friends and family to share a meal that he had prepared. He was the one who connected all sides of his family and all his groups of friends. A walk through town with Frank was an experience. He knew everyone and took the time to see how they were all doing. He made everyone smile, laugh, and know they had someone to turn to if they ever needed help.

Frank loved gardening and kept his property like a botanical garden. At his frequent outdoor dinners, friends and family admired his flowers and lawn, and the sheer beauty of his Bradford Street home.

Travel was a major part of his life, as a student, a tour guide, during the years Eddie worked for Sabena and of course, ten years at Cape Air. This allowed him to travel more of the world and bestow his personality in all he met. In addition to all his air miles Frank’s smaller journeys via car to and from Boston, sometimes multiple times per week, his zipping around on his Vespa, and his constant walks down the length of Commercial Street meant he was always on the go, in the know, and always connecting with people. Incredibly, for someone who travelled as often as Frank did, he was always right there, in person, whenever you needed him.

Frank was a force of nature, never allergic to hard work and to the very end kept on keeping on. We are incredibly grateful for his witness, his indominable spirit, and his love so freely shared. Frank is survived by his siblings Jack, Paul, and Janice.

A memorial funeral Mass will be celebrated in Saint Cecilia Parish, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston, on Friday, June 18, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. The Mass will be livestreamed at


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  • This obituary captures the life and spirit of Frank so accurately that the years to come cannot diminish the legacy Frank leaves behind to those many lives he touched. I offer my most profound condolences to Frank’s family and much gratitude for having known him just these past 5 years. May memories of him bless all that knew and loved him.

  • I am sad to learn of Frank’s passing. I knew him from our days at the JUC in Boston. There was never mistaking his kindness presented forth through that warm and welcoming smile. Condolences to his cherished family and friends.

  • As a frequent Cape Air passenger on flights between Provincetown and Boston, I came to know Frank as a gentle and helpful soul who worked hard to make travel enjoyable. He was always kind and thoughtful; I never felt I was “just another passenger.” His obituary teaches me about the richness of his life, from gardening and cooking to volunteering; I wish I had known him longer and better. I won’t forget his optimistic outlook and his warm smile. My thoughts are with Edwin, especially, for whom I wish peace and great memories.

  • Michael and I met Frank and Eddie years ago in Provincetown. I don’t even remember where … I’m guessing through mutual friends over drinks on the deck of the Boatslip during T-dance, because they were the sweetest guys who would befriend anyone who was a friend of theirs. Seeing Frank every summer was a great pleasure, and even during the couple of summers after Eddie’s passing, when it must have been difficult for Frank to keep smiling all the time, he did his best. One day, there was a knock on our front door — and who was it, but Frank, diligently performing his responsibilities as a tax assessor for the Town. I was never so happy to let a tax man into my house. And then a few summers later, who did I see guiding my Cape Air flight into position at Provincetown Airport? Was there anything this guy couldn’t do? It’s no surprise that he would be a beloved teacher too. Only in his obituary did I learn we were almost exactly the same age (he was 4 months younger to the day!). He was taken from us and especially from Edwin too soon, and we will all miss his smile and his quiet energy.

  • I taught with Frank. He was the consummate teacher; fierce advocate for kids; staunch union activist and, most important, a funny and kind soul. Boy: could he throw a party!!!!!!!! What I most remember about Frank was his ability to gather people. We’d have these stupid Professional Development Activities and Frank could take all that sighing and eye rolling and turn it into a team that got things done by just being Frank. That charm, though! Sad with his other friends for this great loss

  • Last night a group of New Teacher Developers who worked together from mentoring first year teachers in Boston Public Schools met on Zoom. From 2007-2014, Frank was among this group of experienced, highly-trained educators who guided new teachers through the challenges of the first year. Former colleagues from California and Oregon joined the Zoom meeting: No one wanted to miss out on paying tribute to our dear friend, esteemed co-worker, consummate host & chef (his Christmas parties were legendary) and all-around good guy committed to social change and justice. We salute you dear Frank and will miss you always. Rest in power, friend. We’ve lost a great one.
    Liz Kurkjian-Henry

  • My condolences to the Pantano family for their loss. One of the sweetest souls anyone could ask for as a friend. Rest in peace , united again with our dearest Eddie.

  • Frank was my neighbor in Provincetown I will miss him everyday. His smile will forever live with me.
    My heart goes out to all his family and friends.
    Everyday when out in yard I still look over hoping to see his smile so I close my eyes and I can see him.

    Custodio and Karen Silva

  • I was so sad to read about Frankie. He was my cousin . I always remember our days as children and the farm of my grandmother and his great grandmother , now the Braintree Plaza. Frankie was so caring and always upbeat and fun. He gave himself to others and was so dedicated to teaching. I will keep his sister , brothers and Edwin in my prayers and I will celebrate his life this Summer.

  • We are shocked and saddened about the news of Frank Pantano’s sudden passing. We just received a handwritten note in his recent holiday card, looking forward to 2021. He was a kind, considerate, and touching human soul–a true friend who was always giving. I remember the first time I met Frank and Eddie at Tea Dance in the 1990s. Upon being introduced, Frank said to me “You’re a Dugan from Weymouth? Is your father Mr. Dugan from the McCulloch School in North Weymouth?” Yes, my father had been Frank’s 6th grade schoolteacher in the 1960s. And so began our decades-long friendship. We spent many wonderful times with Frank in Provincetown–from New Year’s Eve to White Parties, Tea Dance, lazy days on the Delft Haven beach, casual times at 11 Bradford Street, and more–and in Boston at 50 Dwight Street, too. And his visits to us in D.C. and New York! We always thought of Frank as the “Mayor of Provincetown”–he knew everyone and always had a smile and something fun to say…and boy did he know how to cook (his stuffed eggplant is the best)! Frank was the consummate teacher, in the classroom and in life. He taught us all a lot about being human and valuing things that really matter, like friendships and family. We will greatly miss him, but we’ll forever hold his memory in our hearts. We love you, Frankie! Our condolences to Edwin, the Pantano family, and our entire community who has lost a gem.
    Bill Dugan & Jerry Yuille
    (Washington, D.C, and Provincetown, Mass.)

  • Frank was our neighbor in Boston. While we were blessed to have known him only 4 short years, he was a kind and thoughtful man. He will be sorely missed. We send his family our condolences.

  • To the Pantano family, please accept my sincere condolences. I met Frank the first day of freshmen year at UMassBoston in Park Square in Spanish class. Then we were at the Blackstone in 1977-78, Frank was the bilingual SPED teacher. I was a student teacher in Bilingual first grade. I went to Lawrence for the next 40 years. My sister an I would see Frank when we went shopping at Niemans. Frank was a lot of fun.

  • Words cannot convey my deep grief and sympathy to Franks family, and to so many of his friends. Frank and I taught side by side for many years at Boston High and BCLA. He was like a brother to me.
    He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. I feel grateful and blessed to have had Frank as a forever friend all these years.
    With love always , and a broken heart,

  • I was deeply saddened by the news of Frank’s passing. My sincere condolences to the Pantano family. Frank and I shared a classroom at BCLA in Brighton during my first year of teaching. I could not have asked for a better roommate and educational mentor. Frank taught ELA and I taught math, and we shared many of the same students. During my planning periods, I spent much of the time at my desk listening to Frank’s engaging lectures and observing how he developed such close relationships with his students. They absolutely adored him. I was also able to spend quality time with Frank outside of the classroom. One year he passed out fliers about a non-profit volunteer program in Guatemala that he participated in the previous summer and I agreed to join him there the following summer. We spent two weeks in Chajul, Guatemala, working with a wonderful organization that focused on providing educational opportunities for youth. Frank was completely selfless and connected on a deep level with people. He always put everyone else first. He was a dedicated educator, a great friend and husband, a marvelous cook and a prolific traveler. Frank had the biggest heart and a terrific sense of humor. He cared deeply about people, and I miss him terribly. Rest in peace.

  • I met Frank on a trip to Chajul, Guatemala in 2011 – he was kind, selfless, and had a gift for making everyone he met feel seen and heard. He’ll be missed.

  • Frank was my coach my first year of teaching in the Boston Public Schools. Always thoughtful, authentic, and kind, it was a blessing having known him. My condolences to his family.

  • I am so sad to hear about Frank’s passing. Frank served as my New Teacher Developer when I joined the professional ranks of BPS in 2009. He was familiar with my specialized school, understood the students and all of the challenges I was up against, and supported me with resources, knowledge, and humor. He was a true role model, and although I only worked closely with him for a year, his time with me made an impact and I am still to this day sharing fond memories I had with him with my husband. At the end of our year together, I remember having a dinner party at his beautiful South Boston home with all of his other fellow new teachers – all of us a little less green than we were in the fall, much of it thanks to him. It was a fantastic night full of fun conversation and laughs, and both he & his husband were wonderful hosts. Frank’s soul was full of light, his eyes full of sparkle, and his he was a warm, wonderful person. I have long thought about him and his impact fondly over the last decade, and I will remember him long beyond that. Rest In Peace, Frank.

  • I just read about Frank in the Independent and am very sad. Frank and I met years ago at Cape Air. I was a frequent flyer and Frank was pass riding. We connected instantly and shared our love for aviation and the airlines. I would see Frank every summer and looked forward to his bright and upbeat manner. He was a great guy! I will miss his smiling face. Very sad day.