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Obituary of Franco M. Nichini
Franco M. Nichini, M.D., Obituary Dr. Franco Maria Giuditta Attilio Nichini, 88, of Glen Mills, passed away on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Shore Memorial Hospital. Born April 17, 1932 in London England, he was the son of the late Giulio and Angela Rosa (nee Bazzano) Nichini. His family moved to England from the Northern Italian Lake town of Orta San Giulio. Franco’s father was an executive chef and worked at some of London’s finest hotels. When the Second World War broke out all military aged German and Italian males living in England were interned by the British government and send to prison camps. While being shipped to a prison camp in Canada Franco’s father’s ship, the Arandora Star, was torpedoed off of the coast of Ireland by the infamous German submarine U-47, and sank taking over 1000 interred Italian and German men, along with the ship’s crew, to the bottom of the sea. Franco and his older brother Antonio were both young boys when they lost their father. Additionally, the brothers were left with their Italian mother who spoke very little English in a country at war with Italy. Despite the difficulties of growing up in this environment, both brothers successfully completed medical school. Franco was awarded a full scholarship to medical school when he was given the coveted Buckley award by the British Government. Upon Franco’s graduation from medical school, he entered into National Service, a requirement then for all British men. While in the British Army, his medical service ranged from serving as the Queen’s physician one evening while she attended a concert, to serving in Kenya for two years. Franco’s experiences as a young army doctor are captured in a book that he wrote entitled “The Transient Leach”. The term “leach” was used in the British Army to refer to medical doctors. On May 12, 1962 Franco married his true love, Jean Kathleen (nee Jarram) ”Kay” from Loughboro, England. In 1962, they moved to Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada where he served as the town’s physician until he left to attend a residency in radiation oncology in Toronto Canada at Princess Margaret Hospital. While in Toronto his son Paul was born in 1964. In 1966, Franco accepted a position at Temple University Hospital as a radiation oncologist and the family moved to Philadelphia. In 1968 his daughter Giulia was born, the first natural born American citizen in the family. Around 1975 Franco opened the first US free standing radiation oncology treatment facility in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Radiation Oncology Inc., was initially affiliated with Paoli Memorial Hospital and later served as the radiation oncology provider to half a dozen hospitals in and around Philadelphia. Franco was honored for 50 years of service as a physician by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. At the time of this award he was one of the few recipients still actively practicing medicine. Formally retiring in 2009, Franco enjoyed spending time with his wife, and family and in writing his book. In 2018, Franco was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jean Kathleen “Kay” (nee Jarram) of 56 years. A loss that he never truly recovered from. He is survived by his brother, Antonio “Tony” Nichini, his children, Paul Nichini (Heidi), and Giulia Fetterman. He was also dearly loved by his grandchildren, Jamie (Mallory), Melisa (Jon), Katie and Nicholas and great-grandchildren Gianna, James and Emmett.