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Frank Criniti Jr.

February 11, 1947 ~ March 26, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Frank Criniti Jr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at his home at the age of 76, surrounded by his loving family.

Frank was born on February 11, 1947 in Montgomery, WV, to the late Frank Criniti Sr. and Mary G. Criniti. The oldest of three boys, Frank excelled both in the classroom and on the playing field and was valedictorian and a star athlete at Charleston Catholic High School. Frank’s hard work and dedication earned him a football scholarship to Notre Dame, where he earned a varsity monogram and played on the legendary1966 National Championship football team.

In 1969—while at Notre Dame—serendipity struck at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Frank met Patricia Snyder, a nursing student who happened to be on call and treating Frank for one of his many broken noses. Just two years later, on August 21, 1971, Frank and Patricia married at Sacred Heart Church on the campus of Notre Dame. Frank passed just a few months prior to their 52nd wedding anniversary.

In 1971, Frank earned his MBA from Notre Dame and shortly after, he and Patricia moved to Chicago, where Frank worked as a CPA for Coopers & Lybrand. Work and family eventually led Frank and Patricia back to South Bend in 1981, where they planted their roots for good. And we’re all so lucky that they did.

Over the past 40-plus years, Frank’s contributions to the South Bend community are too great to measure and too many to count: a dedicated husband and father, a selfless mentor and colleague, a proud and generous Notre Dame alum, and an active philanthropist. He has supported South Bend Rotary, the Youth Service Bureau, South Bend’s Center for the Homeless, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Prevent Child Abuse of St. Joseph County. Frank was also honored by the United Way as Man of the Year, for decades of his outstanding service. Frank’s dedication to his family, friends, colleagues, and the community was truly remarkable.

However, as accomplished as Frank was, he was even more humble and gracious. Frank would deflect all compliments and accolades faster than he ran the 40-yard dash in college. He was the epitome of humility and would give you the shirt off his back when you needed it. He found joy in simple things, like a great round of golf, a perfectly manicured lawn (no one cut grass or raked leaves better), and watching his children and grandchildren thrive. He jumped in the ocean with them, gave them “big fat hugs”, and cheered loudly at their many sporting events…always the proudest Papa. Faith and family were everything to Frank. He was the ultimate caretaker, completely dedicated to helping others. And this is why everyone who knew Frank loved him.

Although Frank has passed, his spirit and legacy live on. Along with his wife, Patricia, Frank is survived by his daughter, Amy R. Criniti (Jeff Avansino) of Bellevue, WA; son, Mark F. (Jenna) Criniti of Granger, IN; son Adam D. Criniti of South Bend, IN; six grandchildren, Mia, John, and Luke Avansino, James, William, and Clara Criniti, and two brothers, Stephen (Katherine) Criniti of Wheeling, WV; and Michael (Debra) Criniti of Hurricane, WV. Frank also leaves behind an extended family (Criniti and Snyder) that will miss him dearly.

Frank Criniti was one of the smallest players on the Notre Dame football team, standing barely 5 feet 8 inches, including his cleats and helmet. However, his impact on family, friends, and the South Bend community is massive. Frank leaves giant footprints and a true legacy for those of us who were blessed enough to know him. He will be forever loved and cherished. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please keep Frank’s spirit of caretaking alive and donate to one of his favorite charities below.

Visitation will be held on April 14th from 3-7pm at Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN. A rosary will take place at 6:30 pm that evening.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on April 15th at 10:30 am (visitation starting at 9:30 am) at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 N Fir Road, Granger, IN with interment to follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery at the University of Notre Dame at 12:00 pm.

The Mass will be live streamed and can be viewed at

A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 2:00 pm at Knollwood County Club 16633 Baywood Ln, Granger IN 46530

Online condolences and great stories about Frank may be left for the family at

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Visitation
April 14, 2023

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel
17131 Cleveland Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Memorial Visitation
April 15, 2023

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
St. Pius X Catholic Church
52553 Fir Road
Granger, IN 46530

Mass of Christian Burial
April 15, 2023

10:30 AM
St. Pius X Catholic Church
52553 Fir Road
Granger, IN 46530

Celebration of Life

Knollwood Country Club
16633 Baywood Lane
Granger, IN 46530


St. Jude Children's Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105

Center for the Homeless
813 S. Michigan Street, South Bend IN 46601
Tel: 1-574-282-8700

TSC Alliance
8737 Colesville Road, Suite 400, Silver Spring MD 20910


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