The depth and scope of Fran Reale’s involvement in the city of Hartford was revealed at the memorial service held for her Saturday morning at Good Shepherd Church on Wyllys Street. As the church’s pews filled up and seats became scarce, bitter enemies sat side by side, forgetting their differences, for at least an hour, to honor a woman who had reached out to all.
Francesca Anna Reale, 60, passed away last Tuesday, January 11, after a long battle with cancer. She was a co-owner of City Fare Catering on Franklin Avenue and founder of Kidzzz, a program designed to teach youngsters the art of cooking.
She was active in numerous groups and organizations, including the South Hartford Business Alliance, Interval House and Les Chef Femmes.
Speakers at Saturday’s memorial service described Fran as a modern-day renaissance woman who passionately pursued a variety of interests, most prominently cooking, art and gardening. She was also a staunch supporter of Hartford and her own South Green neighborhood. A conversation with Fran, usually accompanied by a sampling of her latest culinary creation, would usually veer from topic to topic, from city politics to the latest exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum, with a discussion of ricotta cheese thrown in. She was always a good friend to the Hartford News and will be truly missed.
Fran is survived by her sisters, Angie Reale and Phillie Reale Risley, her favorite "brother-in-law" Rick Risley, her nephew Jason Courtemanche, her great-nephew Chase Courtemanche, her Aunt Mary and Uncle Philip Iannucci, Gail and Marie Risley, Gary and Teresa Preziosi, many cousins and countless friends.
Donations may be made in memory of Fran to Foodshare, 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield 06002 (www.foodshare.org) or Hartford Food System, 86 Park Street, Hartford, 06106 (www.hartfordfood.org).