Frank Barella


PLATTSBURGH, NY - Frank Barella, 86, of Plattsburgh, died Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007, at the CVPH Medical Center.

He was born Aug. 21, 1920, in Torrington, Conn., the son of Colindo and Frances Barella.

Frank was raised on a farm and loved to hunt coons with hounds. He always wore a hat and smoked a pipe. Sir Walter Raleigh was his favorite tobacco.

Frank worked as an auto mechanic and spent his weekends crewing for a race car team, before joining the military. Frank was an Army Air Force veteran, serving in World War II as a tail gunner and aircraft mechanic. After World War II, he joined the newly formed U.S. Air Force and was one of the first airmen to be trained as a jet aircraft mechanic. He served as a jet aircraft mechanic on fighter aircraft at Williams AFB. While living in Arizona, Frank played softball on several teams and was quite good at it. He loved driving through the desert in his blue Plymouth station wagon with push button drive looking for old gold mines and getting stuck several times. He also liked to camp, hike and explore the desert. He later moved to the Plattsburgh area with his family and worked at the former Plattsburgh AFB until he retired on disability, remaining in the North Country until his death. Even after he was disabled he continued to work on mechanical items. He was always rebuilding his son Andy's motorcycle; he even built one motorcycle from parts.

He is survived by four sons, Frank Barella, Thomas Barella, Andrew Barella and Timothy Barella.

Calling hours will be held Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the R.W. Walker Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. A funeral service will follow in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be at a later date in Saratoga National Cemetery.

The R.W. Walker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.