``She had all his records, which she would play on an old RCA wind-up Victrola,'' he said.
Joseph Yannone said his mother appeared to be in a coma when he told her: ``Hey, Mom, your boyfriend finally died. He's waiting for you up there. She opened her eyes as if to smile'' at hearing that Sinatra was waiting for her in heaven, he said, adding, ``I never figured that the next day she was going to die.''
Joseph Yannone also recalled how his mother had gone to Palumbo's nightclub in 1959 when Sinatra was to have been given the first Man of the Year Award by the Custodes Pacis Lodge No. 2085 of the Philadelphia Police and Firemen of the Sons of Italy.
As it turned out, Sinatra was busy preparing for a movie and could not make it, but Mrs. Yannone did meet his parents, Martin and Dolly Sinatra. Sinatra later sent a picture to Mrs. Yannone inscribed: ``To Frances, Sorry I couldn't meet you. Love, Frank Sinatra.''
Joseph Yannone said his mother took the picture through the neighborhood, showing it to everyone. The picture is hanging on the wall over the bed where she died. One of Mrs. Yannone's grandsons, Joseph Yannone Jr., called his father after his grandmother's death and said, ``Grandmom is up there with her buddy. He's probably singing to her.''
Known as the ticket lady, she would still walk around the neighborhood until last summer collecting for Epiphany Church's 50/50 Club, whose proceeds would be split between someone whose name was drawn out of a hat and the church. When a neighbor died, Mrs. Yannone sought neighbors' contributions for flowers and contributions for the family.
She was born May 9, 1903, in Catanzaro, Italy, and came to America in 1906. Her family settled near Valley Forge.
She married Theodore Yannone, a sugar worker and shop steward at the old Jack Frost refinery in South Philadelphia, in 1921, and they moved to Fitzgerald Street.
During the Depression, Mrs. Yannone took in sewing to help support her family. She and her husband had a small farm near where Veterans Stadium is now where they grew fruits and vegetables. Mrs. Yannone jarred the fruits and vegetables and gave leftovers to her neighbors. Mr. Yannone died in 1969.
In addition to her son Joseph, Mrs. Yannone, the last of 13 siblings, is survived by son Frank, a retired captain with the Philadelphia Fire Department; daughters Rose Passo, a retired IRS employee, and Mary Panzera, a retired employee of Western Union; 12 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Monti Funeral Home, 2533 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. There will be a viewing from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Epiphany Church, at 11th and Jackson Streets in South Philadelphia. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the church at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made either to the Epiphany Church, 11th and Jackson Streets, Philadelphia 19148, or to the Compassionate Care Hospice, 525 Fayette St., Conshohocken, Pa. 19428.