Tri-Village News

Fountain, music series part of Monaco's legacy

Former Marble Cliff mayor, 93, a 'people person,' loved village

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Former Marble Cliff Mayor Frank Monaco is pictured in 2001 in front of the Tarpy House, a historic home on Cambridge Boulevard formerly owned by the village. Monaco, a popular village mayor and council member, died Sunday, Aug. 17.
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Former Marble Cliff Mayor Frank Monaco, 93, died Sunday, Aug. 17.

Monaco served eight years as mayor before his retirement in 2003 and also served as clerk-treasurer and council president.

"Frank was probably the single biggest cheerleader the village had," Mayor Kent Studebaker said. "He took a lot of pride in living in our community and in serving the village."

One of his biggest sources of pride was his role in designing and planning the installation of the fountain on the Cambridge Boulevard island in 1992, commemorating the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to America.

"He kept saying that every town in Italy had a fountain in its park or town square and he wanted Marble Cliff to have one," Studebaker said.

Village Council named the fountain the Frank G. Monaco Fountain in 2013.

"It was certainly a well-deserved honor for everything he did for the village," Studebaker said.

He said he learned a lot about being a public official from Monaco.

"His top lesson was to listen to people," he said. "To Frank, that was the best way to know what you as mayor should be doing for the community. He was a people person."

Monaco always expressed the value and joy he felt in being involved in local government, especially in a small community, Studebaker said.

In an interview with the Tri-Village News after council named the fountain for him, Monaco said he was overwhelmed by the "really nice surprise.

"I certainly didn't expect it," he said. "I was never looking for anything -- I just wanted to serve our wonderful community."

Monaco "absolutely loved Marble Cliff," said former village clerk-treasurer Joan Klitch. "He was so versatile. He did just about every job there was in the village."

He also was instrumental in creating the village's Music in the Park series, Klitch said.

"That came out of him playing in a band," she said. "He had such a passion for music."

Monaco also loved people, Klitch said.

"He was very congenial," she said. "He was always fun to work with. He really listened to people and was willing to change his views on an issue if he thought it was the right thing to do.

"Frank did very well for the village," Klitch said.

Monaco was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mary C. (Montenaro) Monaco. He is survived by his daughters, Carole Monaco of Florida, Mary Lynn "Dee Dee" Monaco and Cathy (Don Parker); son, Frank (Amy); brother, Carlo John (Betty); sisters-in-law, Phyllis Monaco and Jean Montenaro; 11 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren. He was a member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus for 50 years and served in both the Navy and Marines during World War II.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today, Aug. 21, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 1559 Roxbury Road, Marble Cliff. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Lockbourne. Donations in Monaco's name may be sent to the Sorrowful Mother Shrine, 4106 state Route 269, Bellevue 44811.

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