Appreciation: Elks Past Exalted Ruler Fran Minichello at 73

There have been many who have served and enjoyed membership in the Winthrop Lodge of Elks, the town’s largest organization that has contributed so much to the betterment of Winthrop.

Frances “Fran” Minichello, Past Winthrop Lodge of Elks Exalted Ruler and Past District Deputy, honorary life member, and state fundraising committee chairperson, was one of the unsung leaders at the club. She was admired by all for her boundless energy, her warm personality, and willingness to put in the time it took to make each event a success.

Mrs. Frances (Hickey) Minichello died unexpectedly on June 15. She was 73 years old. Mrs. Minichello shared 41 years of marriage with Bill Minichello, the current Winthrop Lodge of Elks Secretary.

“She was an outstanding person who did everything for the Elks,” said Elks Exalted Ruler Bettie Dalton. “She was friendly – you really felt connected with her and she would always take the time to listen to you and to help you.”

Mrs. Dalton said the Elks are deeply saddened by the loss of Frances Minichello. “She was an incredibly active Elk for 20 years,” said Dalton. “Fran was devoted to her family and helping others. She always made herself available to assist officers and committee chairs.”

Mrs. Dalton said that Fran always reached out to serve the community and help those in need of a helping hand.

“Fran had a passion for helping others in need,” said Dalton. “She showed her dedication, pride, and passion for Elkdom. As a friend and mentor, she will be sorely missed by many.”

Mrs. Minichello made sure that the Elks maintained their generous support of such groups as the Winthrop High football program as the host site of the team’s annual awards banquet and WINARC as the host site of its annual holiday party. Remarkably the Winthrop Lodge of Elks has donated more than $13 million to the community, helping students, veterans, and residents. Elks member Roberta DiPierro, who chairs the WINARC holiday party and was “Elk of the Year” during Mrs. Minichello’s reign as Exalted Ruler, said, “Fran was an awesome lady. I was very fond of Fran because she mentored me. She was always willing to help everyone. She had a real interest in community service. It was an honor to be chosen as her Elk of the Year. Winthrop has lost a great person and a great friend

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