Frank D’Alessandro, 96, 0f Bessemer, AL, passed away November 15, 2019. Mr. Frank was born in 1923. He was a resident of Bessemer, AL, for a significant part of his life. Mr. Frank opened Forth Avenue Supermarket in 1951, where he worked until his retirement. The original store was small, about the size of a one-story single-family home. Over the years and as the business grew, Frank D’Alessandro expanded his product line and soon became one of the largest employers in Bessemer. Mr. Frank believed in people, he believed everyone deserved a chance. In March 1991, the original store burned to the ground. In just six months, a larger, more modern store was constructed on the opposite side of the property from the original building. The new store, which is the current 4th Avenue Supermarket, opened in October 1991. Mr. Frank could often be seen standing at the door of 4th Avenue Supermarket greeting customers, welcoming them to the store, helping them locate items in the store, and even carrying their bags to the car. Mr. Frank was known citywide as being a kind, generous, and good-hearted man. Gerry D’Alessandro, Mr. Frank’s grandson, is the current owner of the family-owned customer-centered grocery store. Mr. Frank was a Member of Saint Aloysius Catholic Church. He served on the Board of Associated Grocers of the South and was a member of Woodward Golf and Country Club.
Mr. Frank was a one of a kind legend in the city of Bessemer, a hard-working, self-made businessman, that believed honesty, integrity, and hard work. He built his grocery business from the ground up by offering customers the best products at the best price. Still, better yet, he offered them a friendly hometown atmosphere to shop in, where you were greeted with a smile often by Mr. Frank himself. He would greet you by name while beaming that memorable smile of his and taking the time to ask how things were going, he cared about all of his employees and customers as if they were his own. Mr. Frank made shopping at 4th Avenue Supermarket a pleasure, it was like shopping with an old friend. I can only imagine he is in heaven now standing right beside St. Peter greeting people by name, taking the time to show them around and helping them in any way he can. Mr. Frank D’Alessandro, thank you so much for what you did for the people and city of Bessemer you will be missed.
Mr. Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Gaetano and Carmela S. D’Alessandro; his sister, Josephine D. Vacarella, and his grandson, John D’Alessandro. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Prue D’Alessandro; his sons, Frank G. (Kathy) D’Alessandro and Jerry (Michaelene) D’Alessandro; his daughter, Judy (John) Holt; his grandchildren, Nick (Katie) D’Alessandro, AJ D’Alessandro (fiancee Alice Weaver), Katie D’Alessandro, Gerry (Mikayla) D’Alessandro and Virginia D’Alessandro and his great-grandchildren, Ruth and Eileen D’Alessandro and Gus D’Alessandro; his sister, Sarah D. Modica. Funeral Mass will be Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at 12:00 Noon at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church with burial following at Elmwood Cemetery. Rev. Gerald Holloway will be officiating the service. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until service time at the church. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity.