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Frances (Barbieri) Sergi

Frances (Barbieri) Sergi
  • July 31, 1919 - June 26, 2016
  • West Hartford, Connecticut

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Memories & Candles

“Rest in pease to such a wonderful soul who taught many of us at the Kew-Forest School mainly about life's greatest values which has given me an...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Raphael Alfau - Floral Park, NY

“Barbara and Ted, I am sorry for your loss and send to you and yours deepest sympathy. Julie Lindquist ”
2 of 10 | Posted by: Julie Lindquist - Chaplin, CT

“I was part of Mrs Sergi's first 4th grade class. When the school year ended I cried. She instilled a love of Reading which I carry to this day.I am...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Robert Siegel - Waterbury, VT

“I was lucky enough to be in Mrs. Sergi's 4th grade class (1995). She was one of my favorites and I have the fondest memories! From dioramas to...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Allison Bernstein - Forest Hills, NY

“Frances, you were always more than a colleague, more like a compatriot and sister/mother to me and many others. Your ideas, creativity, and can-do...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Joan Ficht Ficht - Floral Park, NY

“Mrs. Sergi was the first teacher I had that made me look forward to school and sparked my interest in learning. She expected great work from me, and...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Eric Sobotka - New York, NY

“Thank you Frances for always being there for me,in the best and the worst of times . Thank you for being my mentor when I started at Kew - Forest in...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Michele Manos - Tarpon Springs, FL

“Dear Dr. Sergi,Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss; our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time....Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: - Berlin, CT

“What a beautiful tribute! Please accept our sincere sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God Bless.Fran and Carmine Marotta ”
9 of 10 | Posted by: A friend

“Barbara, please accept my condolences to you and your family on the passing of your mother-in-law. What a remarkable woman! Gene and I are sorry for...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Karen Renzulli Lynch - CT


After a long, joyful and distinguished life, Frances Barbieri Sergi passed away on June 26th, 2016. She was born July 31, 1919 in New York City to Theresa LaGumina Barbieri and Frank Barbieri, both of whom were born in Italy. Frances was raised in Queens, New York and was an honors graduate of Richmond Hill High School, Hunter College and New York University. She played a piano recital at Carnegie Hall in 1933, worked at the 1939 World's Fair and helped ship tanks from New York to Europe during WW II.

Frances was predeceased by her parents, her beloved sister Eleanor, and her loving husband of 55 years, Rocco J. Sergi. She leaves her two devoted sons and their spouses, Vincent A.F. Sergi and Debbie (Chicago), Theodore S. Sergi and Barbara (West Hartford, CT), four treasured grandsons: Nicholas and spouse Jennifer Mabary (San Antonio), Gregory (Los Angeles), Justin (NYC) and Julian (Hollywood) and one very wonderful great-granddaughter, Carolyn Marcella Sergi (San Antonio).

Frances was one of the greatest school teachers of modern history; elected as the first recipient of the Kew Forest School Hall of Fame in 2004 after 40+ years of teaching fourth grade. Her teaching of reading, writing, math, the multiplication tables, nature (bird projects), the arts, and thesis-like projects for 10-year-olds is legendary. She has been described by her former students as "stern but loving, tough but fair, demanding but praising" with a "no-nonsense classroom atmosphere that demanded that one must respect all others." Her philosophy was always one of "You can do it." The Sergi family would like all her former students to know that she was as great a mom and grandma as she was a teacher. At age 81 she retired from teaching and joined the K-F School Development Office, working until age 88 cajoling her former pupils into making contributions.

Frances loved music of all kinds: classical, opera, Frank Sinatra and The Mills Brothers. She was passionate about musical theater and made costumes for school play productions for decades. She loved history and her visits with Rocco to America's great historical sites. And she was proud of her hometown of New York City, its excitement and its international sounds and flavors. She also believed in the curative powers of witch hazel. Frances made a lasting impression on everyone she met, making everyone around her feel included and happy.

Frances was devoted to the Church of the Resurrection, Richmond Hill and St. Luke's Church, Forest Hills, and served both in many capacities. Frances was very thankful to the devoted staff of The McAuley and St. Mary Home, West Hartford, CT. where she spent the last eight good years of her 97. Her last 5 years were especially joyful thanks to her faithful assistants Carmen Baig, Raenette Bowens and Ruth Daley.

Mom, we are doing our best in your absence. We will remember to throw cold water on our faces and get back to working hard and helping others, just like you did. Ci vediamo, Nonna.

A celebration of Frances' life will be held in Forest Hills and Richmond Hill, NY in October. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kew Forest School, 119-17 Union Turnpike, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Condolences may be sent to The Sergi family at 11 Castlewood Rd., West Hartford, CT 06107. Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home, West Hartford has care of arrangements.