PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Focus has learned that Board of Education Member Dr. Frank Anthony Calabria died peacefully on Monday, February 2, after a courageous battle with mantle cell lymphoma. He was 73.
Calabria was first elected to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education on April 16, 1974. He served on the board for over 40 years.
He was born on June 25, 1941.
Dr. Calabria graduated Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1963 and in 1965 he finished Grad School at Seton Hall University with a degree in Education. He received his PhD from Fordham University in 1991. His area of research was Educational Administration.
Last year, Dr. Frank Calabria, was recognized by the New Jersey School Board Association for 40 years of dedicated service.
The award was presented by Ray Pinney, director of member training and engagement at the NJ School Board Association and, coincidentally, a former student of Dr. Calabria.
The Board of Education has issued the following statement: “The Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education has lost a great friend and leader. We are deeply saddened to say that the longest serving member of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education, Dr. Frank A. Calabria, passed away on Monday. Dr. Calabria was a Board of Education Member from 1973 through 2015. During that time he served on numerous committees and served as the Board President for 11 years. Dr. Calabria was a man of such grace, commitment, diligence, and insights it was an honor to call him our colleague and our friend. During his tenure he mentored numerous Board Members about leadership, service to our community, and making a difference in the lives of our students. Dr. Calabria had the wisdom to embrace the changing world of education. He valued public education and dedicated his time on the Board to ensuring the students of Parsippany-Troy Hills received the best education possible. His actions were always guided by our Mission Statement, …“to provide effective instruction in all program areas, to develop the learning potential of all students in the district, to build skills for a lifetime of learning…” Dr. Calabria lived by example he was good, kind, and gracious…our community has lost a dear friend and a significant leader in education.”
In 2013, Frank Calabria, was appointed to serve as interim principal through June 30, 2014 at Fort Lee High School. Prior to that he was interim principal in Montville. He spent the bulk of his career leading Sparta High School in Sussex County.
Former Board of Education member, and current Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Dr. Louis Valori said “It was an honor and privilege to serve with Dr. Calabria on the BOE. He was always a mentor to all board members; he was such a wealth of knowledge. One thing that I will always remember about Dr. Calabria was that he always wanted to provide the students in our school district the best education opportunities. Dr. Calabria will truly be missed.”
Calabria was born in Newark, where he met his future wife, Angela. They moved to Lake Parsippany once they married. He was an active member of St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church, serving as Eucharistic minister and a teacher of CCD, Confirmation, and RCIA.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Angela, his two brothers Sam and Dom, his four children, Maria Manley and her husband Mike, Joanne Barkauskas and her husband Rich, Suzanne Petersen and her husband Jim, and David Calabria and his wife Kendra, and his 15 cherished grandchildren, Michael, Veronica, Caroline, Sophia, Richard, Matthew, Thomas, Emma, James, Emily, Julia, Ryan, Connor, Andrew, and Benton.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, February 7 at 9:00 a.m., at St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church, 1050 Littleton Road, where the liturgy of the Christian Burial will be celebrated. The family will also receive visitors at the Par-Troy Funeral Home, 95 Parsippany Road, on Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Calabria’s family is requesting in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a scholarship fund in his name. Checks can be made payable to the Parsippany Troy Hills Board of Education, and mailed to the Parsippany Troy Hills Board of Education, c/o Joni Benos, 292 Parsippany Road, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.
With Dr. Calabria’s passing there are now two vacancies on the Parsippany Board of Education. Board Member James Carifi submitted his resignation last week. The board will make an announcement on February 5 as to the procedure for replacing Mr. Carifi.