It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Dolce Panepinto founding partner Frank Dolce on Wednesday June 1, 2016. Frank J. Dolce was 62 years old and lived all of them fully, including the last three years, despite his illness.
Frank was and remains an inspiration to us all. He was more than one of the city’s best workers’ advocates, he was engaging, warm, charming, intelligent, and a joy to be around. Frank was best known for his ability to make every person he interacted with feel that they were the most important person in the world. Whether you were a construction worker, doctor, defense attorney, or legal assistant, the passion Frank showed in every conversation was genuine. It was that passion that Frank transferred into every person and group he touched in his life.
Frank was passionate about the fight for workers’ rights. He saw it as his duty to stand up for those who do not have the means to stand up or themselves. He was a founding member the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH) in 1979 and remained active in the group throughout the rest of his life.
Frank was very proud of WNYCOSH’s many accomplishments over the years including working to ensure the passage of New York State’s Right to Know Law in 1980, which affords workers the right to request information from their employers about hazards and health effects of workplace chemicals; founding the WNY Worker Center, an occupational and environmental safety and health training center that WNYCOSH has operated since 1980; and the recently established Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) of Western New York, where Frank was also a member of the center’s Advisory Board.
Frank was passionate about practicing law. It was an extension of his fight for workers’ rights. Frank found true joy in the daily fight on behalf of injured people and their loved ones. During thirty-six years of law practice, his expert knowledge of the law, charming personality, and his inexhaustible energy resulted in numerous multi-million dollar recoveries for injured workers.
Frank was passionate about those he worked with. He was warm and authentic, never changing his approach to people regardless of who they were or how long he knew them. He loved his firm and the people who helped his vision become a reality.
He had a special passion for his family. Sue, his “bride” of thirty years, and three sons were his true pride and joy. Every moment of his free time was spent with them. He loved his wife deeply and freely credited her with nearly every positive aspect of himself. His adoration for her colored every one of their interactions. He loved life alongside his sons. He especially loved taking them to concerts, sporting events, and traveling with them. Frank and Sue had an open house to match Frank’s open soul which was always ready to embrace life, family, and friends known and new.
Frank’s love for life, his family, his friends, and his partners and colleagues will be missed by us all.
While our firm will never be the same without Frank, his vision and our firm name Dolce Panepinto will continue on, proudly advocating for Frank’s passions.