Today we celebrate the life of Francesca Loretta Delfino Schenkel. She was born Jan. 1, 1928, and lived a wonderful life until her passing on Aug. 15, 2020 at the age of 92.
Daughter to John and Mary Delfino, Francesca was raised in Bernardsville, N.J.
Learning the importance of a good work ethic, Francesca worked at the local Naval shipyard at age 16, helping in the efforts during World War II. As she grew up, Francesca developed a love for the arts and dance. With this love, along with her inner
and outer beauty, she become a successful model and dancer, working in New York City and the developing Las Vegas.
Francesca danced for June Taylor, which led to working on the Jackie Gleason show and working with legendary performers like Ray Bolger, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, along with many others. She was Miss USO and performed at the iconic Copacabana.
In 1954, Francesca met her husband of 50 years, pioneer broadcaster Chris Schenkel, at a New York Giant cocktail party. Less than 30 days later, the couple married and started a family.
Francesca was the wonderful mother of three children, Christina, Ted and John, grandmother to Christopher, Michael, and Katie, and great-grandmother to Ana. Francesca also took her role as mother-in-law to Kris-Ellen (Ted) and Lisa (John) and granddaughter-in-law to Aubree (Christopher) very serious and provided love to her entire family.
Francesca taught all of her family the values of respect and compassion to all, how to live life to its fullest, and how to love. She had a passion for food and cooking and passed this gift to all of her children, along with fantastic recipes that will live on for many generations.
Another important part of Francesca’s life was her faith. She was raised Catholic and was a practicing Catholic her entire life. Her life will be honored and remembered at Saint Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in North Manchester, on Saturday, Aug. 22.
Visitation will be at 11 a.m., followed by a noon funeral mass, celebrating her life. Her burial will be at St. John’s United Church of Christ Cemetery in Bippus. Masks will be required.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family can make a donation to the Dementia Society of America.
We were all blessed to be a part of Francesca’s life and hopefully whenever you think of her, it will put a smile on your face. We could all be so fortunate.