Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Francis S. Licata passed away March 13, 2014. Born in Lockport on November 25, 1943, he was the son of Samuel and Diana (Lupo) Licata. Fran was owner/president of Franbilt Inc. in Lockport, from 1968 to 2005. Building many Metro North Rail Bridges, he built the Irondequoit Bay revolving bridge, a set of lock doors which he shipped on barges east to their destination on the Erie Canal, and also a cable suspension walking bridge to the Intrepid Naval Carrier in New York City. He patented and invented the Log Grabber fireplace tending tool, was awarded Business Man of the Year in 1996, and also aside from being the owner of Franbilt, Fran also owned two pizza places, a laundry shop and multiple rental properties. Fran had a strong love for cars. In his early years he built his first motorized bicycle at the age of 10; by 14 he restored his first car; in 1961 he opened Licata Automotive Speed and Sport Shop on Davison Road, which closed in 1963; built four dragsters and raced them from 1959 to 1966, and he owned several antique cars, including a 1926 Model T and a 1970 Corvette. One not to sit idle, after Franbilt he became manager of Locust Street Gardens to present.
In recent years Fran enjoyed ballroom dancing with his wife, Patricia, of 49 years and 9 months. He could fix anything and everything which he always did for his family and friends. Fran had an outstanding musical ability to play any instrument and song by ear.
Fran is survived by his wife, Patricia Licata of Gasport; father of Francis S. (Kathleen) Licata, Jr. of Lockport, Charlene (Daniel) Conley and Jennifer (John) Ossont, both of Gasport; grandfather of Olivia Grace Licata, Alexander Francis Licata, Brendan Francis Conley, Evan James Conley, Andrew Francis Ossont and Jillian Patricia Ossont; brother of Pasquale (Lorelei) Licata of Youngstown, Marie (Ted) Hadley of Lockport; and the late Agatino (Beatrice) Licata; also several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may call Monday, March 17th, from 3 to 8 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, March 18th, at 11 AM in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, 168 Chestnut St., Lockport. Flowers gratefully declined. Memorial donations to a charity of one's choice would be appreciated.