TROY - Francis "Dick" Varone, 94, former resident of the Mechanicville area, died Friday, Sept 11th after a brief illness. Born in Mechanicville on Oct 26, 1925, the son of the late Alfred and Jennie Cefferillo Varone, at age 17 left high school and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served almost 3 years, battling in the South Pacific Theater of Operations, including the invasion and capture of the island of Iwo Jima, where he endured combat wounds and was an eye witness of the monumental raising of the American flag over Mount Suribachi. Proud of his Marine Corps service, Dick regularly met with fellow Iwo Jima Marine veterans over the years, and had participated in the Leatherstocking Honor Flight program, to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
After being discharged at the War's conclusion, he returned home, and worked at his family's business, the former Ellsworth Hotel and the Mechanicville Golf Club restaurant.
In 1946, he met his future wife, Mary Lou Oliver, and they were married that same year.
Dick worked in various positions for the G.E. Silicone Products Div in Waterford, retiring in 1985 as supervisor.
After his G.E. retirement, Dick took many courses in golf equipment design at Golfsmith Golf School in Texas, and began his successful career as a certified club maker, coining his business "Ace of Clubs".
A lifetime member, former President, and Board Member of the Mechanicville Golf Club, including this present season he was the oldest living and playing member of the club he so enjoyed. He enjoyed these last several years with his playing partner and aide, Anthony "Bing" Miller, who the family wishes to offer heartfelt thanks to for the countless hours he devoted to Dick, giving him the opportunity to continue playing the game he loved.
Dick, thru the years, served as a former president and coach of the Mechanicville-Stillwater Little League and the Pop Warner football program, and was a member of the High School Football Booster Club.
Five years after the death of Mary Lou, Dick married Jeanette Danskin, until her death in 2014. He was also predeceased by his granddaughter Danielle Solomine and brothers George "Bob" Varone and Al "Fireball" Varone.
Survivors include his proud and loving children: Kathleen Varone, Maureen (Paul) Kruger, Frank (Renee) Varone, grandchildren Keri Signoracci and Michaela Varone and 4 great grandchildren. Also Jeanette's children Leslie, Scott, Ricky and Mark and their families.
A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, Sept 16th at Noon at the DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home, 39 So. Main St., Mechanicville. Calling hours at the Funeral Home on Wednesday from 11 AM til Noon. Wearing of masks and social distancing procedures will be followed. Burial with military honors is scheduled at 1:30 PM at the Saratoga National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, and as a respectful remembrance of Francis "Dick" Varone, donations to the Patriot Guard Riders/New York, Attn: Treasurer, PO Box 637, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590 would be appreciated.