To The Editor:
The obituary of Leo Francini of New Britain gives our community an opportunity to reflect on a wonderful life of service to our nation and our military veterans. Leo was a child when the Great Depression descended upon our nation and a young man when we entered WWII.
He graduated from New Britain High in the midst of the Depression and served in the U.S. Army during WWII. After the war he joined in the family homebuilding business and in the late 1950s joined the Veterans Administration where he served for the remainder of his career.
I met Leo in the 1970s when I joined the mortgage company my father had started in the late 1940s. We made thousands of mortgage loans to Vietnam War veterans. Were it not for Leo’s understanding of the construction business, the valuation process, and the laws and regulations that made up the VA loan guaranty program we would never have been able to help so many veterans and active-duty military personnel own their own homes.
I couldn’t begin to count how many times I asked for and got help from Leo.
He was an encyclopedia of legislative intent and loan guaranty regulation. So much so that he could overcome most obstacles that the rest of us struggled with and those at the VA Central Office in Washington, D.C. knew who to call when they needed an answer or a solution.
A recent memoir written by journalist Charles Peters entitled “We Do Our Part“ describes the differences between Americans who entered public service in the 1950s and 1960s versus those who have entered public service from the 1980s forward.
Peters describes the earlier cohort (Leo was one of this group) as having joined public service “to do good.” He describes the latter cohort as having joined “to do well.”
Leo Francini was an unselfish man who knew his craft and “Did His Part.” The only time I remember Leo hesitating to respond was when I said “Thank you.” “Aw, that’s nothin” was always his reply.
Thanks Leo. Godspeed!
William J. McCue
The McCue Mortgage Company