Former Nassau Third District Court judge Frank Doddato was fond of describing himself as “just a boy from Brooklyn.”
“But he was so much more than that,” said his daughter, Lauren Doddato of Long Beach. “He came so far. He accomplished his life goal and became a judge.”
Frank Doddato, 67, who lived in Roslyn Heights, died Aug. 24 of prostate cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.
In January 2015, Doddato was appointed to the bench by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. In November that year, he ran for election and lost.
Before being appointed, he was in private practice in Garden City with his daughter, a law clerk. After his defeat he returned to his firm, working with his son Stephen, also an attorney. He was also appointed head counsel to the board of directors at Nassau University Medical Center.
The Brooklyn-born Doddato began his legal career in 1974 in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, where he became a deputy chief assigned to the Rackets Bureau. He worked at several law firms before launching his own practice in 2003. He worked as a criminal defense attorney, representing clients on the state and federal levels.
Doddato graduated from Fordham University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1973.
His wife of 46 years, Gerri, remembered him as someone who kept her laughing and was an “honorable and respected attorney and judge” who was “fair and honest and loyal.”
But his greatest joy was his family.
“We were his No. 1 priority,” Lauren Doddato said. “It was always family first.”
Speaking on behalf of the Nassau County Courts, Administrative Judge Thomas Adams offered “heartfelt condolences” to the Doddato family.
“We have lost an outstanding attorney, distinguished former judge and a tireless advocate for justice, integrity and equality,” Adams said in a statement.
In addition to his wife, daughter and son, he is survived by a sister, Theresa Zabaldano of Jackson, Mississippi.
Visitation at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home in Garden City will be held 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Heights. Burial will be private.