Born in New York City at the height of the deadly Spanish Influenza on Sept. 24, 1918, Frank Edward Marra succumbed to complications of COVID-19 on April 5, 2020, in White Plains at the age of 101.
The son of the late Arthur and Mary Marra, Frank resided for most of his long life in Yonkers, and had winter residences in Boca Grande and Sarasota.
Upon graduation from City College of New York Business School in 1938, Frank relocated to San Francisco to take a position with Bank of America. As world events presaged a coming global conflict, Frank returned to New York to join the Army Reserves and was called to active duty on Dec. 8, 1941. following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day.
A staff sergeant in the 101st Artillery Division, Frank participated in the Normandy Invasion in June 1944 and was later put in charge of Army Commissary activity while stationed in liberated France and Belgium. Many years later, at his granddaughter’s Cooperstown Central School graduation party, Frank enthralled listeners as he discussed details of the Battle of the Bulge with Werner A. Schulz – the grandfather of his granddaughter’s boyfriend – who was serving in the Wehrmacht of his native Germany at the time of the famous battle.
Following the end of the war, Frank was united in marriage with the love of his life, Cecilia (Genovese) Marra, on Sept. 14, 1946. Following his marriage, Frank returned with his bride to San Francisco and his pre-war position with Bank of America.
In 1947, the couple returned to New York where Frank took a position with Chemical Bank as vice president of the bank’s Rockefeller Center branch. Among his many well-known clients at the branch was a young baseball player, Jackie Robinson, and his wife Rachel, with whom he shared a long friendship.
In an unusual situation for a career bank vice president, Frank would leave the branch at closing time to go to a second job at Yonkers Raceway, where he served as operations manager for 35 years.
Frank was a very savvy and disciplined investor and was able to provide generously for his family and heirs. He was very proud to let people know that in a life of 101 years he never smoked a cigarette.
Frank is survived by two sons, Albert F. Marra and his wife Adrienne Rinaldi Marra of Woodstock, Md.; and Eugene V. Marra and his wife Montell D. Marra of Cooperstown and Sarasota. He is further survived by his four grandchildren, Andrew, Alexander, Clara and Gabriel Marra, and by three great-grandchildren, Dominic, Maggie and Cecelia.
Frank was pre-deceased by his loving wife of 70 years, Cecelia Marra, on Nov. 9, 2016. He was further pre-deceased by his parents and two brothers, Joeseph Marra and Edward Marra.
Due to current restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service and interment will be announced at a later date.