Galton (Pettinelli) Frances

Galton (Pettinelli), Frances, age 89, of Hingham MA, passed away on September 19, 2023. Loving wife for 23 years of Dr. Robert Galton until his death in 2017.

Born in Boston’s North End, Frances was the daughter of Anthony and Antoinette (Mangano) Pettinelli of Somerville, MA, formerly of the North End. Frances is survived by her brother Anthony Pettinelli and his wife Patricia of Braintree, MA and The Villages, FL. Frances was predeceased by her brother Robert Pettinelli of Somerville, MA.

Frances is also survived by her niece Linda Pettinelli Moquin (husband: Craig) of Hooksett, NH, and her nephew Steven Pettinelli (wife: Amy) of Marblehead, MA, as well as her great nephews and nieces (Christopher and Angela Moquin, Kyle and Kirsten Pettinelli) and several dear cousins and friends.

Frances attended the North End’s Cushman (now defunct) and Eliot Schools and graduated from Girls’ Latin School in 1952. As a teenager, she studied piano at The New England Conservatory of Music and was the piano accompanist for several GLS Glee Club concerts, as well as for The Boston Public Schools/High School Glee Club Annual Concert at Jordan Hall in March 1952. She also sang the role of The Pirate King in the GLS production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Frances attended Boston University’s College of Liberal Arts for two years before relocating to New York City, where she lived for 48 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and a Master’s in French from Columbia University as well as completing a Master’s in Theatre at Hunter College/CUNY (The City University of New York) and M.Phil. and Ph.D degrees in Dramatic History and Criticism from the CUNY Graduate School.

Frances taught English and Theatre as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College while simultaneously establishing a Theatre workshop on 42nd Street, which, after her 1966 retirement, she turned into a professional 501(c)(3) theatre company, American Playwrights Theatre, where she produced and directed new American plays.

Frances herself was a published playwright whose plays were performed in NYC and across the country. In 1980, she was elected nationally to the new Steering Group of The Dramatists’ Guild Women’s Committee, which succeeded in persuading The New York Times to hire a woman theatre critic to review Broadway plays.

Frances and her husband were “pioneers” who moved into Linden Ponds, a retirement community in Hingham, when it opened in 2005. She started a theatre company of resident retirees, the Linden Ponds Players, where she produced 21 shows, 18 on Linden Ponds’ full stage as well as at the Hingham and Weymouth Senior Centers. She especially wanted to thank those at Linden Ponds who helped her get through the hard times.

A funeral service will take place on Friday September 29 at 11am at the Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel 21 Pond St Hingham, followed by a graveside service at Fort Hill Cemetery 60-76 Ft Hill St Hingham. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Frances’s name to either The Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave, Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or to Linden Ponds Resident Care Fund, c/o Philanthropy Department, 203 Linden Ponds Way, Hingham. For more information and online guestbook go to

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.