Lena L. Frosini
August 30, 1930 - September 14, 2023
Lena is predeceased by her husband, Joseph Frosini; parents, Pasquale & Grace Soldi; brother Salvatore Soldi; & son-in-law, Joseph Rick Vasile. She is survived by her children, Joseph (Jill Abbey) Frosini, David Frosini, Jolie Vasile, Andrea (Bob Yost) Creary, Stephen (Johnna) Frosini, Michael (Renee) Frosini, & Thomas (Shelly) Frosini; grandchildren, Joseph (Melissa Gallagher) Frosini, Alexandra (Michael Tuberdyke) Vasile, Joseph (Melissa Moynihan) Vasile, Leah Creary, Andrew (Katie McIntosh) Creary, William (Sara) Creary, Matthew Frosini, Dominic Frosini, Andrew Frosini, Nicholas Frosini, Benjamin Frosini, Madalyn Frosini, Isabella Frosini, & Ava Frosini; great-grandchildren, Marin Creary & Peter Creary; sister-in-law, Christine Soldi & Cathy Frosini; caregivers, Amber Schwalm, Carole McGhie, & Necole McCullough; nieces, nephews & dear friends.
Lena's Funeral Mass will be celebrated, on Wednesday, September 20th, at 11 AM at St. Mark's Church, 54 Kuhn Rd. Immediately following Lena will be laid to rest in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to a charity of your choice in Lena's memory.
Lena Lucy Soldi was born on August 30, 1930, to parents Grace and Patsy Soldi. Grace (Gracia) had emigrated from Catania, Sicily in the early 1920s, and Patsy (Pasquale) was a second-generation Italian American.
Lena was the first of two children born to her parents. Her brother Salvatore (Sonny) joined their family in 1935. Lena lost her father at the young age of only nine years old. Having been born at the beginning of the Great Depression, Lena chose to leave East High School in Rochester, New York, and took a job to help her mother support the family. Lena also cared for her younger brother while her mother worked.
At around the age of twelve, Lena developed a crush on a boy by the name of Joey Frosini who worked at a butcher shop near her apartment in the "Old Neighborhood" of Northeast Rochester. Lena passed by the butcher shop often. The boy showed interest by throwing tomatoes at her as she walked by. Eventually, the two dated until Joey enlisted in the U.S. Navy near the end of WWII.
When Joey returned after eight years in the Navy, they were married at Mount Carmel Church on August 23, 1952. They made their first home together in an apartment on Smith Street, then purchased the "family homestead" on Augustine Street in the old Tenth Ward in 1959.
Together Lena and Joey raised seven children, as well as several foster children over the years. While pregnant with their firstborn, Lena left a production job at Fasco to focus on raising their family, while Joey worked in manufacturing at the Beech-Nut plant and pursued a career with the Rochester Fire Department.
While working for the Fire Department, Joey also worked at several regular part-time jobs to support his growing family. Lena and Joey together made sure their children always had full stomachs, clean clothing, a warm and welcoming home, and all the love a heart could hold. The house on Augustine Street always had an open door with a constant flow of family and friends over the years.
In 1976 Joey suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for several weeks. To plan for the future, Joey encouraged Lena to obtain her driver's license. Tragedy struck on the morning of June 16, 1978, when Joey suffered a massive heart attack while heading to work. Having suddenly lost the love of her life, Lena was devastated to the core, but she managed to find the strength to continue raising the family alone.
To manage finances, Lena went to work in the cafeteria at Aquinas Institute, where her youngest son, Tommy, attended school. After Aquinas, Lena went to work at the Rochester City School District, making cookies and preparing meals until she retired in 1999. That same year, Lena independently sold the family homestead on Augustine Street.
At age 69, Lena was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. This resulted in a double radical mastectomy, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy. Lena was courageous throughout the harrowing treatments and received lots of support from her family. During treatment, Lena focused on crocheting beautiful hats and scarves that she gave away as gifts.
In 2014, Lena underwent hip replacement surgery. A week after the surgery, the new hip developed a life-threatening infection. Lena went in immediately for emergency hip replacement surgery again, followed by a long and grueling period of healing. Lena developed Parkinson-Like symptoms as a result, and required assisted living support when she moved back into her home.
Lena entered in-home hospice care for several years but emerged from the hospice program to regular in-home care once again. Throughout the changes and adjustments, Lena was eventually blessed with three angelic caregivers who became a part of the family.
Lena continued to love life and her family and friends, despite her hardships. She still had vivid memories, and her love for her family kept her going on for several more years. The Parkinson's symptoms and arthritis eventually rendered her bedridden--a terrible burden for one as independent and compassionate for others' needs as Lena. True to form, however, Lena's courage and resolve kept her going until she made her final journey to the Lord on the afternoon of Thursday, September 14, 2023. She left this world as she lived her life; in quiet serenity in a house filled with her loving, gentle presence.
We will badly miss our Mother, Grandmother (aka "Nani"), and Great-Grandmother, but we know that she is now in a peaceful place, free of the pain she endured over the past several years. Lena was an inspiration to all those who met her. She was always encouraging and generous and never pretentious or judgmental. Lena's impact on this world will carry forward for many years to come through all the lives that she touched so deeply.