Your Story In History: Frank Consentino

Frank was born on July 17th, 1938. A proud Italian, he traces his family back 10 generations to Sicily in 1785, and is also the last of six generations of hand shoemakers.
In 1898 Frank’s family emigrated to Lawrence Mass, the heart of New England shoe making, and home of the largest woolen and cotton mills in the world. Frank learned shoemaking and machine repair there, as well, as how to survive life’s hardships and challenges. Those lessons, carried with him today, are why he chooses a life of service.
His life was especially fragile during the early 40’s because he lost his mother at three and a half years old, and lived in bad foster homes for years until War II ended. Fortunately, his grandmother was a stable and comforting presence in his life. He speaks of her today with love and a gleam in his eye.
After the war, his father started an athletic shoe repair factory where he worked summers, and had 3threee week. As a teenager he worked in a soda fountain after school, and summers in hardware stores when he wasn’t working with his Dad. He learned self-reliance at an early age.
In 1956, Frank graduated from Medford High School and joined the Navy, serving active duty from 1957 to 1963, followed by two years in the reserves between Korea and Vietnam. He was stationed in the Pacific as a radarman, aboard two aircraft carriers, USS Bennington CVA 20 and USS Midway CVA 41. Between the carriers he was stationed on Okinawa for eighteen months.
After the Navy, he spent several years as a field service engineer for the United Shoe Machinery Corp in 3 different branch offices.
The Nashville office gave him an education like no other. In the 60’s the KKK was burning churches all over the South and killing blacks and their white sympathizers. As a Yankee in the Deep South, Frank carried a 45 cal. Colt semi- automatic in the glove compartment and slept with it under his pillow every night.
He was not raised in bigotry and he could write a book about the inequities he witnessed during those years.
In 1965, at 26, he returned to Boston, married his first wife, Louise, and worked three jobs to save enough money to build a house. Together they had 2 children, Michele and Frank III. He built x-ray machines during the day, ran a Jenny Gas Station nights, and sold men’s suits on the weekends.
An avid outdoorsman, he competed in shooting matches, was an NRA certified rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor, and a certified Hunter Safety Instructor, teaching Hunter Safety to kids who wanted to get a hunting license.
Frank has collected coins, guns, shooting trophies, real estate, glass and more. He repaired and refinished antique furniture for over forty years. His special collection is over 1000 pieces of acid etched glass made in American between 1870 and 1970.
Frank owned and operated an X-ray service business, traveling millions of miles across the US and Canada. His life training served him well while running three successful businesses for over 30 years.
He has served on many civic boards and is always willing to serve in a leadership position.
After his second wife died, Frank joined the Haverhill Mass. Kiwanis club. His first project was feeding a bunch of hungry kids, who reminded him of his youth, and thus he was hooked on Kiwanis for life.
In 2006, Frank and his wife Ginette moved to Palm Coast, but his lifelong passion to serve didn’t stop in retirement. In 2008/2009 he became the President of the Flagler Palm Coast Kiwanis Club. In 2011/2012 he became the Lt. Governor of Div. 7 with 9 Kiwanis clubs in his division. Division 7 was named the “Most Improved Division in the Florida District” and he was named “Outstanding Lt. Governor of the Year.”
As a Florida Kiwanis Foundation Trustee for four years he was heavily involved with scholarships for our Flagler County kids. Frank served on the Board of Directors of the Family Life Center in Bunnell for 6 years, (2007-2013) because he saw himself in some of those victims of abuse.
Frank is a published author and poet. In 2016, he published his textbooks on glass, featuring his own extensive collection. After 19 years in the making, he won five awards for the book from the Florida Authors and Publishers Assoc.
He has taught several creative writing classes in the Flagler Schools, is very active in his church, and still writes poetry. As a 4th degree Knight of Columbus, he has served as the Color Corps Commander of his assembly for the last 5 years.
Frank, like so many of our community, understands and respects hard work and service to others. That’s why his story is our history.