Frances Galbato

Final Resting Place

Monday, January 1, 1753
Southern Tier Cremation Corp.
46 E. Falconer Street
Falconer, New York, United States

Memorial Service

10:00 am
Saturday, April 9, 2022
St. James Catholic Church
Jamestown, New York, United States

Obituary of Frances Galbato

Frances Brigiotta Galbato, 89, of Lakewood, NY, passed away on November 16th, 2021, in her home. A lifelong area resident, she was born on August 28th,1932, in Jamestown, NY, the daughter of the late Antonino "Toni" and Giuseppa "Josephine" Vitanza Brigiotta. Frances was a 1950 graduate of Jamestown High School, and by the age of 22, she became co-owner of Brigiotta's Farmland Produce and Garden Center with her husband, Thomas J. Galbato, who passed on October 1st, 2021. The youngest child of Sicilian immigrants, she grew up in her family's business, working on the farm and spending countless hours in their specialty Italian grocery store in the Lost Neighborhood of Brooklyn Square. This was the foundation of her work ethic. A pioneering woman in every sense, her business savvy and entrepreneurship started from a young age. "Mrs. G" greeted many customers with her warm smile and bold personality. As a couple, Tom and Frances worked very hard to expand their mom-and-pop store into what it is today - a full retail produce and grocery store, deli, sub shop, wholesale produce, garden center, and floral shop. Tom and Fran were a great team that took exceptional pride in demonstrating how work and family can mix well together. In 2011, the Galbato family was the recipient of the Buffalo District Jeffery Butland Family-Owned Business of The Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a very proud moment for Frances. Her dedication and love for her family were evident in everything she did. Married for over 66 years, it was rare to see her without her husband at her side. They were childhood neighbors, high school sweethearts, devoted spouses, business partners, and best friends. As a dedicated Mother and Nana, she enjoyed family time at home and at "the store". It was important to her to keep the family together as a unit. At the end of a long workday, the family often gathered in the eating area of the store to share a delicious meal she prepared. The quiet of Brigiotta's after-hours allowed for conversation and family time. If a customer knocked on the door during family dinner, she would often invite them in to share a plate. There was always room at her table. Her cooking was also the highlight of many holiday gatherings and celebrations. Family favorites include her veal cutlets, stuffed artichokes, cannoli, and Bavarian Jello with fresh strawberries. Many of her original recipes are still used today at Brigiotta's, including her meatballs, potato salad, macaroni salad, sub oil dressing, and of course, the Fran's Favorite sub. Frances was actively involved in all extracurricular activities of her children and grandchildren. She was PTA President when her children were in Rogers Elementary School, she coached Southside Midget Football Cheerleaders, chaperoned many band trips, led fundraising activities, hosted multiple car washes at the store for the JHS Band, volunteered at Holy Family School repairing books in the library, and somehow found time to sew countless Halloween costumes over the years. A strong community advocate and supporter of the arts, Frances would often work backstage at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre as her husband liked to perform on the stage. They continued to support the theatre throughout their lives. She made costumes and sold the most membership patron tickets for several years. In addition, she was an enthusiastic audience member and supporter of the local Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet, Jamestown Harmony Express, and the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony. Frances was a lifelong member of the St. James Roman Catholic Church, where she was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, worked at the spaghetti dinners and summer festivals, and enjoyed singing in the choir and playing in the chimes group. In her retirement years, she was an active volunteer from the beginning at The Robert H. Jackson Center. She always recognized the impact of how Robert Jackson came from a small town and made such a significant impact on the world. She was the first docent at the Jackson Center and later became Head Docent. She loved to spend many hours there, and it gave her great joy to give tours and share her knowledge. In 2018, Both Tom and Frances were honored by the Jackson Center for their many years of support. She was a tremendous history buff and avid reader and could always be found with a book in her hands when she wasn't working. Frances was also a board member of NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Chautauqua County. She was an advocate for the mentally ill and worked to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and supported events that promoted education and awareness. She was an experienced gardener and enjoyed many hours cultivating beautiful flowers, especially in her rose garden. She spent many hours in the greenhouse with her husband growing the most fragrant basil. She had a genuine love of nature and the world around her, admiring the change of seasons and many sunsets. She loved to travel with her husband and family. Many trips were centered around patriotic, historical sites, and she especially loved collecting anything involving Native American history. She enjoyed traveling to the Southwest and Southern United States, Germany, and Italy. She will be greatly missed and remembered as a loving Wife, Mother, Nana, Aunt, businesswoman, and friend. She was loved by so many for her warm hugs, infectious laugh, and generosity. Her love of shopping proved her love language was Gift Giving. She never forgot a holiday or birthday and purchased gifts when something simply reminded her of someone. Her bigger-than-life personality was the outer shell of her warm, generous nature. Those who knew her, loved her. Surviving are her three children - Thomas N. (Barbara Shields) Galbato and Carla Galbato-Kayes, both of Jamestown, Timothy J. (Kathryn) Galbato of Lakewood; four grandchildren, James (Alex) Galbato of Lakewood, Collin (Karen) Galbato of Jamestown, Francesca Galbato of Pittsburgh and Andria Kayes of Jamestown, and two great-granddaughters: Audrey and Ellyn Galbato. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas, two sisters, Mary Brigiotta Tota and Francesca Brigiotta; and four brothers, Anthony Brigiotta, Sebastian J. Brigiotta, Thomas W. Brigiotta, and Peter Brigiotta. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. James Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, April 9th, at 10am. Visitation will not be observed. Memorials may be made to St. James Roman Catholic Church, 27 Allen St., Jamestown, NY 14701, or to The Robert H. Jackson Center, 3305 East 4th St. Jamestown, NY 14701. You may leave words of condolence to Frances' family at
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