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Frank Bettasso Sr. dies at 86

PRINCETON — Longtime Princeton businessman Frank Bettasso Sr. died Sunday at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Princeton at the age of 86.

Bettasso was known throughout the area for his 50-plus career in the insurance and real estate businesses in Princeton.

Princeton businessman Ernie Parr described Bettasso as “a pioneer in the insurance business in Bureau County.” Bettasso had gotten his start in the insurance business in the early 1950s and was “a significant factor” in the insurance business, Parr said.

Looking back on Bettasso’s business life, Parr said what he remembers most about Bettasso was that, in his heyday, was a hard man to keep up with when it came to the insurance business.

“He always had a deal cooking. He was a hustler and a go-getter,” Parr said. “He was charismatic and colorful, an interesting guy.”

Parr, who bought Bettasso’s insurance agency in 1993, said he thinks Bettasso would like to be remembered as a courteous and kind and gracious man who became successful in his business operations.

Princeton Mayor Keith Cain said it’s always difficult to lose someone who had been in business so long in a community. He added that Bettasso, no doubt, worked with many people through his insurance business in the area.

“Anytime you lose a person who had been in business for so long in your town, it ultimately impacts the town and the business community,” said Princeton Mayor Keith Cain. “Frank was known in this town for several years, and my sympathy is extended to his family.”

Jud Scott, owner/manager of Dimond Brothers Insurance of Princeton, said he grew up with Frank Sr.’s children, but he remembers the elder Bettasso being a man who was well-respected in the community. “He was the type of guy who could walk in a room and just light the place up. He always had a smile on his face,” The (Bettassos) were competitors of ours, but they were good and friendly competitors. He always seemed like he had a good, happy attitude.”

Scott said Bettasso’s insurance and real estate businesses were strong in the community.

“They had a really good thing going back in the day,” Scott added. “Back in the day when they had their insurance and real estate agency going, they were a really strong business. They wrote a lot of business in Bureau County.”

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