Francisco Vieira Meneses passed away Thursday April 2nd at Lowell General Hospital’s main campus, with his son, Joe by his side, following a brief illness.
He was born February 8, 1934 to the late Manuel and the late Rosa Borba Meneses at Lajes, on the Island of Terceira in the Portuguese Azores. As a young man, he worked with his father on the family farm, tending the fields and milking cows. He attended school in Lajes, and served the mandatory period with the Portuguese military from 1955-1957.
He was a great lover of the uniquely Terceirian carnival dance skits full of satire and social commentary, dancing and playing the violin, and eating the seasonal fried dough treats, filhós.
While working on a house near The Valadao home, he first noticed the young Maria Natal. They traded glances at church and public festivals until one day, being jealous of another boy, he approached her, dressed in his army uniform, asking for a kiss. She replied, “You go home and kiss your mother”. He married Maria Natal Valadao December 30, 1959, and they would spend the next 60 years together. They made their home in Lajes, and he worked as a fuel attendant at Mobil Gas on the American air base, Lajes Field.
In 1972 he emigrated with his family to Lowell, Massachusetts, at the invitation of his brothers-in-law, Laurence and Jose Valadao. Like many immigrant men of his time, Frank was enchanted by big American cars. His first major purchase was a green 1971 Buick Skylark.
He worked as a vinyl printer at Pandel, which later became Bradford Industries in Lowell, and retired in 1996 after he was injured in a rear-end auto accident.
He was a humble man whose passions were his violin, carnival dances, street bull fights, beer, camel cigarettes, sweet rice pudding, and giving freely to his sons and grandson. He loved keeping his yard pristine, and surveying it on summer afternoons from his bench. Passers-by would comment on his commitment to keeping active in his declining years, as they watched him pace back and forth on the sidewalk with his walker.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Manuel, his sister, Juvenalia, his infant twin sisters, Ilda and Alace, and an infant brother, Francisco. He leaves his wife, Maria Natal (Valadao) of Lowell; his son, Frank and his wife, Grace Costa of N. Ft. Meyers, FL; his son, Joe and his partner, Fred Skinner of Lowell; and his grandson, Keith and his wife, Jenny of Andover, and two great-grandchildren, Celina and Kai Meneses. Also surviving are his sister-in-law, Natal Valadao, his nephew, Delio Valadao, and his nieces, Eulalia Rapposo of Lowell, and Filomena Avila of Ontario, CA; his niece, Juvenalia Sousa and nephew, Fernando Meneses of Lajes, Terceira, Azores; his nephew, Dino Valadao of Praia, and niece, Elizabeth Alves of Ribeirinha, Terceira, Azores.
Due to MA state regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic, private graveside services will take place at Lowell Cemetery. A memorial mass will be planned for a later date and announced on the Mahoney Funeral Home Facebook page and website.