Frank Battaglia, an early member of the SOBs, died of heart disease on November 29. Frank has not been able to ride with SOBs for about 3 years due to his condition. He and Susy had their primary home in Corpus Christi, Texas, though they enjoyed their frequent stays in their Santa Fe home very much. Frank’s last visit to Santa Fe was in late Auguest, 2019. A complete obituary can be viewed at
Frank was fun to be around! He was a friend to all and enjoyed riding with the SOBs for many years. Frank rode most of the extended rides each September, the last one being the ride from Trinidad, CO via Cimarron, Angel Fire, Las Vegas and home. I had the pleasure of riding with Frank on these trips and often sharing hotel rooms. The hills were often steep and long, and Frank and I would talk to each other, wondering what the fronts of the jerseys of the other riders looked like. But we made it. Probably the most difficult was Slumgulion Pass. By the time we arrived, the wine and crackers and cheese were already spread out and we could dig in quickly.
Frank was very generous and often surprised the group with sandwiches and drinks at the Santa Fe house where Susy welcomed us all. Frank also paid for the motel rooms of all the Texas 4000 riders for several years, and he donated the same amount to the group this past year when COVID forced them to cancel. Frank never attended the University of Texas and I asked him why he was so eager to support the Texas 4000. One of his sons graduated from UT, Frank said, and he wanted to show his appreciation for the university.
Frank served on a re-fueling tanker in the Navy. He said he was glad to serve on that ship because it would never “run out of gas in the middle of the ocean.” His service took him to most of the major ports in Europe and South America.
Frank was very tight with his family. Susy and three sons and one daughter and four grandchildren survive him. Frank’s father was an immigrant from Italy who lived to a little over 100 years old. On a trip a few years ago, Frank and Susy spent time on Sicily where his father had lived. “No,” Frank told me, “my father was not in the Mafia. But Susy kept a gun under the mattress just in case.” Frank and Susy were devoted to the Roman Catholic Church and on another trip actually had a brief visit with the Pope– a highlight in their dedication to that faith.
Frank is one of those one meets in life whose friendship one savors for a lifetime.
Frank, if you are listening, your friends in Seniors on Bikes salute you!
Submitted by Bill Pollock