Jean Grace, Port Jefferson nurse, dead at 65

Jean Grace in her Coram apartment. She was Jean Grace in her Coram apartment. She was seperated from her brother at an early age and put up for adoption. Jean reunited with him recently and hopes to find her other three siblings. (July 28, 2006) Photo Credit: Newsday/Michael E. Ach

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Jean Grace, a retired licensed practical nurse from Coram, died last Thursday from complications of multiple sclerosis at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. She was 65.

Grace, who graduated from Herricks High School in New Hyde Park in 1965, began studying for her nursing career at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn. It was there that she met her first husband, Henry Franzone, a phlebotomist. They were married in 1966 and together for eight years.

"I heard that it was a great wedding -- the first in the Blue Room at the Garden City Hotel right after its major renovation," said their son, Albert, of East Moriches. "New York City Republican Mayor John Lindsay, led by a motorcade, attended."

Grace was the adopted daughter of Anthony and Rose Russo. Anthony Russo was a top aide to Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr., serving in both the Eisenhower and the Nixon administrations.

Grace spent her career in Port Jefferson, first at Mather Memorial Hospital, then St. Charles Hospice, before ending at One to One Nursing Care.

After her marriage to Franzone, who is still alive, she married Gary Hoffman, who, after 15 years, she divorced. She then married Korean War veteran Robert Grace, who died in 2007.

Albert Franzone said his mother was active in her local church, the Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Port Jefferson, and that she "loved to spend time with her three grandchildren, Nicholas, Olivia and Jessica."

In a July 2006 Newsday story, Grace said she learned in 1998 that she had been adopted at age six.

In 2006, she made contact with a heretofore unknown brother Michael Pompilli, in Brooklyn and found out that she had another brother and two younger sisters.

Her son Albert said she soon found one of the sisters.

Her survivors also include a son, Anthony Franzone of Great Neck.

A funeral service was held Monday at the Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Port Jefferson, with burial at Long Island National Cemetery, Pinelawn.

The family asks that any donations be made in her name to St. Catherine Medical Center, Palliative Care, in Smithtown.

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