Frances M. (Arbitrio) Krause - 83, passed away peacefully and surrounded by her family on January 2, 2021.
Born Francesca Maria Arbitrio on November 12, 1937 in Tarrytown, NY, Fran was the third and youngest child and only daughter of Italian parents. Her mother, Rosaria “Sadie” Cavalieri, was first generation American whose parents emigrated from Ragusa, on the island of Sicily, Italy. Her father, Guiseppe “Joseph” Arbitrio, emigrated from the town of Scilla, at the tip of the boot in Calabria, Italy. Fran grew up in a traditional Italian home, most evidenced by her name, which follows the Italian custom to name the first daughter after her paternal grandmother. Fran had several cousins named Francesca.
Upon graduating from Washington Irving High School in Tarrytown, Fran followed in the footsteps of her brother Dominic to advance her education and earn a college degree. Fran recalled that her maternal grandmother, the matriarch of her family (and lovingly referred to as “Big Grandma,” even though she was diminutive in stature), could not read or write. She marked an X for her signature. In 1959, Fran earned her bachelor’s in education from State University of New York at Potsdam. Being the first woman in her family to earn a college degree was an accomplishment she was extremely proud of and an example of the American dream coming true for her parents. After graduation one of her first positions was an elementary school teacher in Patchogue on Long Island, New York.
Shortly thereafter, she decided to answer an advertisement from the Department of Defense, which led her to become a teacher for the children of military families stationed at the U.S. Army Base in Darmstadt, near Frankfurt in southwest Germany. Seizing on an opportunity to work overseas enabled her to visit the old cities throughout Europe, including trips to Moscow, Budapest and Madrid. This daring departure from a traditional life can only be described as kismet. It was in Darmstadt she met a young officer, First Lieutenant Edward C. Krause, Jr., who would later ask her to be his wife. They were married for 54 years.
Ed and Fran, a native New Yorker, settled in Albany, New York where they raised their two daughters - Laura and Aurora; and in recent years, Fran enjoyed the arrival of her three beloved grandchildren. While she long joked that when her grandchildren came along they should call her “Fran,” she embraced and cherished her role as “Nonna” the Italian word for grandmother.
A lifelong educator, Fran earned a master’s in education from Fordham University with a focus on becoming a high school reading specialist. After a brief time “raising her babies,” she resumed her career spending several years teaching Reading and English as a Second Language to students at Amsterdam High School in Amsterdam, New York. Ever mindful of her Italian immigrant roots, Fran was driven to advance her career and be a role model for her daughters.
While teaching full-time and raising young girls, Fran went to night school to complete her School District Business Leader (SDBL) certification at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. Fran had a second career in school administration holding Assistant Principal and Principal positions at Ichabod Crane High School in Valatie, New York, and S. S. Seward Institute, a secondary school near Goshen, New York, respectively. Fran finished her career as the Education Supervisor at Tryon Residential Center for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services in Johnstown, New York, where she worked to help the boys residing at the facility further their education and obtain a GED.
When her professional career came to a close in 2003, Fran enthusiastically embraced her retirement, which provided the free time to resume her joy of travel and passion for theater. Fran and Ed made numerous trips both domestically and throughout Europe, and were ticket subscribers to several local theaters. A pinnacle of Fran and Ed’s travel adventures was a rare opportunity to do a tour of Italy sponsored by a local opera club to participate in the Verdi Opera Festival. Fran and Ed enjoyed six Verdi Operas held in five different Italian cities including Florence and Parma, a private tour of a Stradivarius workshop in Cremona, and a balsamic tasting in Modena. Fran also cherished her time spent with a group of retired teacher friends with whom she often attended the theater and met for lunch.
Fran spent the last few years of her life with her husband living in the Boston area to be closer to her grandchildren. Fran leaves behind her husband, Edward C. Krause; her daughters Laura R. Krause, and Aurora Chichester and husband John; her adoring granddaughters, Katherine, Josephine, and Gisella Chichester; and her dear brother Dominic Arbitrio; as well as many loving nieces and nephews. Fran was preceded in death by her brother Vincent Arbitrio. A private service will be held for Fran with an interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Fran may be made to the American Heart Association.
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American Heart Association
PO Box 3049, Syracuse NY 13220-3049