Francis (Frank) Volpe, 67, of The Villages, Florida, formerly a longtime resident of Riverside, who died Sept. 13, 2021, generously volunteered for nearly 30 years as a youth coach, most notably as a legendary football coach for St. Mary’s in Riverside. Under his leadership, his teams won nine league championships, and during his finest season, the team went undefeated without allowing a single point. He spent several years coaching football at Riverside-Brookfield High School and St Joseph High School. A longtime board member for the Catholic Grade School Conference of Chicagoland, he was honored as Coach of the Year in 1999. The CGSC later annually awarded a plaque named after him to the junior varsity football league champion called “The Frank Volpe Award.” One of his female players, Laura Enriquez, recently authored a book about her experience playing for Frank titled, Demons (the nickname of the St. Mary’s football team).
He also coached basketball and baseball at St. Mary’s and served for many years as a board member of the St. Mary’s Sports Club. As someone once remarked: “Initially you see Frank as this gruff, kinda scary guy, but after you know him, you realize he is just a big cuddly teddy bear!” He will be sorely missed by his family and friends, including dozens of coaches and hundreds of players.
Frank was the husband of Barbara Volpe; the father of Joseph Volpe and father-in-law of Casey Volpe; grandfather of Oliver Francis Volpe; son of the late Joan and Joseph Volpe; brother of Joann Volpe and Alyce Sosnowski and brother in-law of John Sosnowski; uncle of Molly Sosnowski, Marc Sosnowski, and more nieces, great nieces and nephews, and cousins.
The family hopes to have a Celebration of Life event later this year.