AUSTINTOWN — Frank Paul Doperak, 77, aka “Pap,” “Franco Bertuzzi,” aka “The Prince of West Samoa,” aka “Amigo #1,” passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, Oct. 7, 2020, at Assumption Village nursing home.
Today the world lost its biggest lover of oatmeal raisin cookies. In his final years, he would look forward to that simple confection that would give him great joy.
Frank said he was born in a hospital in Pennsylvania on Sept. 15, 1943. His parents, Paul and Agnes Sorokas Doperak, were delighted. As the story goes, he could see a sign from the nursery window that said “Pittsburgh City Limits.” We would tease him that if he could read the sign he wasn’t actually in the city. A debate would ensue.
Pap was a veteran of the U.S. Army and an avid sports fan. He enjoyed watching basketball with his grandkids, baseball with his pal “Poncho” and going to his great-granddaughter’s softball games.
Frank got his first job when he was 10 years-old and gave his wages to his parents to help out. He continued that generosity to family, friends and even strangers in times of need. He was a materials coordinator at GM, where he worked for 38 years, retiring in 2003. He also was a Realtor, working in the Trumbull / Mahoning County area.
Franco was a meticulous planner. Always organizing the next birthday, graduation and even pre-surgery parties, just to make memories. He also served as family photographer anytime we gathered in order to preserve these moments for all of eternity. He loved to talk to new people as well as keep up with buddies from work as long as he could.
Bertuzzi was a character and made life as memorable as he could for everyone. He always wanted to “help” with your problems and by that he meant — LET HIM TAKE CHARGE! He would go to the Ice House an hour early to set up tables and save seats so the entire football family could be together on game day because no one else could do it right. One of his sayings was “I’m just the driver!” But you were way more than that. You were the planner who made memories happen.
He now resides in Heaven and told us that God will grant him a “Mayorship,” where he can plan and organize projects. He has already told us what jobs he will be assigning us as we each arrive in our own time.
He served his country. He served his family and he never gave up. His faith was strong, and he wanted the best for all he knew and loved.
Frank is survived by two sons, Douglas P. Doperak of Lordstown and Gregory P. Dopirak (Christine, Amigo #2) of Stafford, Va.; brother, Dennis (Sandy) Dopirak of Wall, Pa.; sister, Carol (Wayne) Neissel of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Sarah (honorary mini-migo) and James Waldeck, Gregory P. Dopirak II and Jason N. Dopirak; great-granddaughter, Gabrielle Waldeck; former wife and friend, Mary Grate; his extended family, Joseph and Pat Virostek; his “little bro,” Joe Virostek (Amigo #3); Tom and Sandy Virostek; and many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved deeply.
We would like to thank the staff of Humility House and Assumption Village for the tender care they gave Franco.
A private family funeral was held at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, North Jackson Chapel.
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