Updated On: Feb 09 2013 08:05:01 AM CST
Frank Bucaida passed away on February 6, 2013 in his adopted winter home city of Bonita Springs, Florida. He leaves behind his wife Joann (nee Straus), two daughters Amy Bucaida (Fred Bauer) and Beth Bucaida (Paul Konopacki), one son John Bucaida, sister Vinnie Thousand (Larry Jerdee), grandchildren Morgan Swanstrom, Alec Swanstrom, Michelle Konopacki, Peter Konopacki, Sophie Bucaida, Ted Bauer, Frank Bauer, his mother-in-law Loretta Straus, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Frank and Joann lost daughter Jill in 1974.
Frank was born August 17, 1932 in Madison, WI, to Giuseppe and Antonina Bucaida of Sicily, Italy, and moved to New Jersey with his parents shortly thereafter. He grew up in New Jersey, and graduated from NYU with a BA in History and Political Science. He went to Fordham Law School for one year. On summer break while on vacation to visit the city of his birth, he met his wife Joann at Brown's Bookstore on State Street in Madison, where they both had summer jobs. Frank won over Joann, and Joann's mother with a dozen roses, and transferred to UW Law School where he graduated with honors in 1957. Frank and Joann married in 1956 and have lived in "wedded blitz" since.
In 1955 Frank was employed by the law firm now known as Axley Brynelson as its very first law clerk, becoming a partner and practicing for 50 years there. Frank was a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Dane County Bar Association, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, and the Supreme Court Bar. He appeared before the United States Supreme Court in what he considered to be the most important case in his career when he defended Waunakee's right to keep its crèche in the Village Park, saving the crèche.
Frank was a Boy Scout leader at Queen of Peace church, a long time member of the Knights of Columbus being named a Columbian of the Year, the Italian Workman's Club, the National Italian American Foundation, and the Rotary Club. He was a trustee and member of St. Mary of the Lake Church, Westport since 1964, on the Board of Directors of several companies, and the attorney for many towns and villages north of Madison. He was a long-time resident of Westport, living on Mary Lake Road for over 30 years.
Frank was the spaghetti chef and meatball king at the Holy Name Seminary and St. Mary of the Lake spaghetti dinners for many years. He loved golf, was an original organizer and member of Bishop's Bay Country Club, and past president of Blackhawk Country Club. He enjoyed traveling the world with his wife and friends.
Frank was cremated in Bonita Springs, Florida, as he always said he'd rather be seen than viewed. A visitation will be held at Winn-Cress Funeral Home, 5785 County Road Q, Waunakee, on Sunday, February 17, 2013, 2:00-5:00. A mass will be held at St. Mary of the Lake Church, 5460 Mary Lake Road, Westport (Waunakee) at 11:00 on Monday, February 18, 2013, with a luncheon to follow at St. Mary of the Lake School (next to the church). In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, WI. The family would like to thank the many doctors and nurses at NCH hospital in Florida who took such wonderful care of Frank the last week of his life. The family would also like to thank all of Frank's many friends who were so supportive of and kind to Frank and Joann. "We will drink all wine before its time."