Longtime Hicksville resident and Democratic committeeman Francis T. Goban passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005 at his home. He was 78 years old.
A resident of Hicksville for almost 50 years, Mr. Goban served for 13 years as chief of staff for former Democratic Assemblyman David Sidikman and was an active member of the Nassau County Democratic Committee. In 1989, Mr. Goban ran for Oyster Bay Town Supervisor and in 1995, was the Democratic candidate for Nassau County's 17th Legislative District. He also ran for United States Congress in 1988 and 1990 and for Oyster Bay Town Board in 1999. Mr. Goban was a member of the Nassau County Family Law Task Force and the Oyster Bay Town Anti-Bias Task Force.
Mr. Goban earned a bachelor's of science degree in chemistry from Fordham University. He was a captain in the United States Air Force, serving in the Korean War and also held a commercial pilot's license. Professionally, Mr. Goban worked for several major pharmaceutical companies, including Global Waste Management, and started up two plastic companies, Total Plastic Consulting and Island Extrusion Corp.
On a local front, Mr. Goban was involved in community affairs in Hicksville, including the Hicksville Community Council, Our Lady of Mercy Parish and was an active member of the Hicksville Gardens Civic Association. At civic meetings, Mr. Goban would often be spotted taking pictures for the Hicksville Illustrated News.
Henry Goessmann, president of the Hicksville Gardens Civic Association, said Mr. Goban was a good friend and father figure who was extremely knowledgeable. In reflecting on the first time he met Mr. Goban, Goessmann said, "I first met Frank nearly a decade ago when I joined the civic association. I was impressed immediately by his knowledge of Long Island politics. Frank became a close and dear friend."
State Senator Carl Marcellino said, "Frank had a passion for public service that filled him with boundless energy, curiosity and a love for new ideas. Frank and I may have had our political and philosophical disagreements over the years, but we always maintained our friendship. I respected his views but most importantly I respected the man. He will be sorely missed and my sympathy and prayers go out to his family."
Fellow Hicksville native Rosemary Barrow described Mr. Goban as some who had a "wonderful sense of humor" and who was "always cheerful and outgoing."
Goessmann, who spoke to Mr. Goban on many occasions about local issues affecting the Hicksville community, said, "We spoke of the need to increase electorate involvement, political accountability and so many other things that I would never have given much thought to had it not been for Frank." He added that Mr. Goban helped run the civic association's February 2005 meeting in which John Paider of the Town of Oyster Bay's Illegal Housing Division was on hand to discuss illegal housing issues.
Often, Goessmann said, he and Mr. Goban would discuss politics for hours, despite their different party affiliations. "When Frank and his wife Mildred returned from their trip to China last year I recall sitting in their living room for over two hours discussing globalization, global politics and international policies," he said. "Frank had become my political mentor even though we belonged to opposite parties."
Of Mr. Goban, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said, "First and foremost, Frank was a gentleman of the first order. I always felt that he had the best interest of the Town of Oyster Bay at heart and that he stood for something that is very sorely lacking in today's governmental/ political environment." Venditto continued, "Frank and I had different party affiliations, [but we] worked together many times to solve a variety of community issues. We disagreed at times, but he was someone that you could disagree with, have dialogue with and come to a mutually acceptable solution. He was really good guy."
Mr. Goban is survived by his wife, Mildred; daughters Christine (Andrew) Black, Judith (John) Lambert and Jean (John) Pedagna; sons, Robert and Matthew (Denise); and 11 grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were handled by the Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes, Hicksville Chapel and a Mass was held on Monday, Feb. 28 at Our Lady of Mercy R.C. Church followed by Interment at Holy Rood Cemetery.
"Thank you, Frank and God bless you for all the time you gave and the knowledge you shared," stated Goessmann. "I thank his wife Mildred for sharing Frank with us."