Francis (Frank) Carver passed away peacefully on March 4, 2008 two days after
his 85th birthday.
Born On March 2, 1923 in Willsboro, N.Y. Frank was the son of Bridget Judge Carver and Francis Carver. The loss of his father at age two, growing up on a dairy farm in isolated upstate, New York, and the small close-knit Irish-Catholic parish of Holy Angels would shape Frank's early years. This seeded in him a love for nature, commitment to church and community, and faith in mankind.
In 1940 Frank headed off to college at the University of Notre Dame, in an important decision that would take him 900 miles from the farm. Coursework in philosophy catalyzed an emerging belief in progressive Catholic social activism that would open his world and set his life course. Many of the priests-his professors- would become lifelong friends and spiritual guides. When he graduated from Notre Dame in 1944 it was with a deep love and gratitude for the college that had given him so much. The experience nurtured a lifelong quest for knowledge, justice and peace.
In 1949 Frank met the love of his life, Mary Herman at a retreat for Catholic action and they were married in 1950. Children would quickly follow, and in 1960 with a wife and eight children Frank decided to change careers and go into teaching. It was this first teaching position that brought the Carver family to Trumansburg, N.Y.
Nestled in the heart of downtown T-burg, the family settled into the house by the waterfall that Frank would turn into a nature's wonderland for his children to grow up. The property became a gathering place for the neighborhood- with rope swings in the trees, monorails to ride from hillside to hillside across the creek, games of tag at night, ice skating on the creek, and a sledding trail stretching from the top of the driveway down the lawn, over a hand-crafted log ramp, and far down the creek- all engineered by Frank.
Frank was active in politics and the church, and strived to live the fullness of his faith each and every day. Frank stopped for anyone stranded on the side of the road, befriended the down-trodden, ministered to prisoners, worked diligently for Christian non-violence, and struggled to practice Gospel non-violence which he believed in deeply.
After Frank's retirement from teaching he didn't let the disability of growing hearing loss get in the way of even greater activism. His hitch hiking odysseys, very often with only change in his pockets and faith in the kindness of strangers, took him all over the country for religious pilgrimages, peace witnesses and civil disobedience. He shared Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.'s dream of a world free from Christian support for any killing.
Continuing a strong love of Notre Dame, Frank helped to found Notre Dame PeaceNet with a group of fellow alums in the early 1990s. The goals Of ND PeaceNet are to end the presence of ROTC on the Notre Dame campus and to establish a chair in Christian non-violence.
Most important to Frank were his children and immediate family who he loved very much, and in whose character and accomplishments he took immense pride.
Family includes his beloved wife Mary and his eleven children (and in-laws) and twelve grandchildren: Mike, Mark (Linda) Scibilia-Carver and children Christopher (Joselyn Lutter) and Danny, Angela and children Regan and Ben, Francis, Brigid Hubberman (Alan) and children Meg (Cliff) Coleman, Josh, Sarah and Jeff, Basil (Barbara Amtower), Mary Schwartz (Arnie) and children Lauren and Chelsea, René (Emily Parker) and children Jacob and Hannah, Regis and Clare, John (deceased). They share and continue his deep commitment to making a difference- working for a more just and peaceful world.
While he leaves few material possessions, Frank's legacy to his family, church and community will be in the example of the way he lived his faith, and stood up for what he believed in despite the cost.
A Funeral Mass for Frank will be celebrated on Saturday, March 8 at 10:00 am at St. James Catholic Church, 17 Whig St., in Trumansburg. The family will receive friends and Frank stories at a luncheon at the church following the service. Arrangements are being made by the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home. Frank's family plans to have an additional celebration of his life this spring.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to causes dear to Frank's heart, including: Notre Dame PeaceNet c/o Laurie Konwinski 302 Cascadilla St., Ithaca; Loaves and Fishes, 210 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca; and Family Reading Partnership, 54 Gunderman Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850
His family also asks that if your life was touched in any way by Frank Carver that you extend a kindness or take action in his name. In Frank's honor actively love your family; be kind to strangers; lend an ear; give a hand; stand up for what you believe in; read to children; take care of our good earth; and especially, fight for peace. In his absence we know he would also appreciate if you would also cheer, cheer for his 'ole Notre Dame.
Now let's all hope that God enjoys a good debate.