The president of the Raleigh Aquarium Society, Frank Montillo, passed away on Monday, June 6, 2016. As his grandson, I spent time working with him on his many fishtanks. After his family, Frank’s fishtanks were his pride and joy. About 50 years ago, my grandfather’s wife, Charlotte, suggested that he purchase a fishtank for their apartment. Little did she know that this suggestion would turn into a lifelong hobby and that he would eventually end up with 58 tanks. Whenever I went to my grandparent’s house, I could always expect to find my grandfather (or Nonno and my brother and I would call him) in his fishroom in the basement. He was constantly doing water changes and checking his fishtanks for new fry or eggs in the breeding mops. In the last few years, I have come to realize hat he didn’t view this as work; he loved to work on his fishtanks and saw it as a fun activity rather than a chore. My best memories of my grandfather are the nights when i would go over to his house or my grandparents would come over for dinner and we would have long conversations about what was going on in my life with academics or sports and what he had going on in his life with his many hobbies. The Raleigh Aquarium Society meant a lot to my grandfather and every time I visited, he always had a new story to tell me. He even managed to get my brother and I involved n the hobby by giving us each our first fishtanks and instructing us on how to breed livebearers. Because he was a man who touched and inspired so many of our lives he will b greatly missed, but it is easier to find consolation In my great memories of him than to grieve sorrowfully over the loss of a great friend.
Joey Taffe, RAS member