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Frank Nuovo


Frank Nuovo

The Nuovo family dates back nine generations in Monterey to a Spanish cadet named Joaquin De Latorre who arrived in 1801 with the Spanish military. Frank Nuovo's father was born in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily on December 5, 1897, to Giovanni Novo and Caterina Alastra Novo (His father's surname was changed to NUOVO when Antonio came thru Ellis Island). Frank was born in Monterey Jan. 5, 1930, to Antonio Nuovo, a fisherman, and Rose Melicia.


As a kid and young man, Frank worked with local Italian family owned businesses that helped build an early and strong bond with the community in Monterey and provided many lessons learned and shared with his children as they grew. Hard work and honesty, respect and reliability, and follow through. These early experiences cemented his Italian roots and many related traditions. Frank began selling The Herald papers from Larkin to Franklin streets, then was hired as a clerk and a 14-year-old delivery driver at Roma Market, where the Marriott Hotel now stands. He also worked for D"Aquisto and Sons, a ship supply store, and for Del Monte Fish, a wholesale fish market owned by the same family.


Frank attended San Carlos Parochial, Walter Colton and Thomas Larkin grammar schools. He graduated from Monterey High School in 1948 and Monterey Peninsula College in 1950. He attended San Jose State College for a short while, and then the Korean War broke out. Frank enlisted in the United States Air Force on February 8, 1951, and did basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. After basic training he attended Pennsylvania State University for a few months and with luck of the draw was assigned to 15" Air Force Head­quarters, March Air Force Base, in Riverside, California. After serving four (4) years, he was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force on February 8, 1955.


Frank Nuovo and Francesca Lucido were childhood sweethearts who were married on July 28, 1951. Together they raised a family of four, starting with Antonio (Tony), then Francesca, Linda and finally Frank (Frankie).


Franks professional life started after his time in the Air Force, as he was hired as a billing clerk by California Water & Telephone (now California American Water Company). Frank worked his way to business manager.

Frank had played his first professional music job at 14 and developed quickly as a highly desired Central California drummer. Frank moon­lighted as a professional drummer, resting briefly after his day job at Cal Am, then headed out again to play gigs alongside Mike Marotta, John Catalano, Jake Stock, Buddy Jones and Jackie Coon, and many others. Through the decades, he would often be seen performing with different artists and celebrities; often together they would raise money for charities by performing at events and venues all around Monterey and central California. Frank also extended his experience and expertise serving on the Monterey Jazz festival as a member of the Educational Committee.


Outside of musical performance, Frank's contributions have been centered on utilizing strong business, financial and organizational skills. He readily applied these skills toward various activities for the communi­ty. Specifically, a passion for his community was demonstrated through service organizations like the Monterey Kiwanis, where he served as a director, and was endlessly helping out at Laguna Seca Races, golf tournaments, the Monterey County Fair and Monterey Jazz Festival events.


Frank extended his long family association with the San Carlos Cathedral, where he was baptized, and he and his parents and siblings were married. Frank, until very recently in his 90's, remained an active parishioner of the San Carlos Parish. His dedication to the San Carlos Cathedral and the local parish were evident by his passionate participa­tion in meaningful projects. As a Member of the Italian Catholic Feder­ation - Frank served on the fund-raising committee for the San Carlos Cathedral restoration project.


With a stellar reputation as business manager, Frank often was asked and accepted leadership roles. Frank was one of the co-founders of the Italian Heritage Society of the Monterey Peninsula and established it as a non-profit along with Jerome Lucido, Charlie Della Sala, and others. Together they were instrumental in breaking through the challenges of obtaining approval from the Coastal commission and the City of Monterey, as well as raising funds for the creation and dedication of the statue of Santa Rosalia. It was a great success, and it is installed at the wharf in Monterey. This statue effort is of course related to the Santa Rosalia Festival - a classic Monterey Italian and Catholic event as part of the "Blessing of the Fleet" that continues to this day. Frank led efforts that included the planning, logistics, set up, operation (and musical performance) of the festival and related activities.


As Business Manager of the California American Water Company in Monterey, Frank hired and managed a diverse range of people through decades of his work and Frank was always doing his best to make the company a strong supporter and good friend to the people and businesses of the Monterey Peninsula. This approach led him to accept the position of President of the Monterey County Water Works Association, and additionally serving as board member of the Monterey Chamber of Commerce. Frank also served on the Monterey division of the California Employment Development Committee. It was a busy time supporting his own family, but Frank found the time to deliver lunches and dinners and visited with people in need for the Meals on Wheels organization. Frank retired as a highly regarded, trusted and remains a truly admired figure.


On the social front, Frank enjoyed bringing together an important and effective group of business leaders and longtime Monterey natives. He served in a variety of positions over the years, including President of the Monterey Paisano Club, where he was honored by the Jim Russo Sr. Service Award, and Secretary and President of the Compari Club. Frank has earned Life membership status of the American Federation of Musicians and The Elks Club in Monterey and was an active member of the Kiwanis club for 35 years.


Frank J Nuovo was presented many honors in his lifetime including, a Congressional Award presented by Congressman Leon Panetta for his contribution to the community, the state and the nation, The Monterey Peninsula College Distinguished Alumni Award was present­ed to him in recognition of his contributions to the Monterey Peninsu­la. And two awards from City of Monterey: an award for special musi­cal contributions to the City of Monterey and a Centennial award with gratitude from the Mayor and City Council of Monterey.


Over Frank's 92 plus years, he considers his greatest achievements all arc around his beautiful wife and family. His wife Francesca was known for her own contributions and amazing cooking and her work in both public school and private preschool. They worked through life as a team to build a fabulous model and example for their four kids, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


ITALIAN HERITAGE SOCIETY HONOREE 2022



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