Mummer Francis McIntyre Sr. liked nothing better than a parade, and he will get one this weekend when a brass band marches up Two Street in South Philly in his honor.
“It was his most favorite thing, New Year’s Day,” said his son Scott. “His first parade was in 1949,” and he only missed the Mummers Parade while serving in Vietnam.
The Whoa Phat Brass Band will step off Saturday from Third and Wolf Streets and end up at the Mummers Museum at Second and Washington Streets, his family said. The event is billed as a New Orleans-style parade.
Mr. McIntyre, 73, a retired airline company employee and former captain of Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars NYB, won’t see it; he died Saturday, March 2, of cancer at his home in Sewell, N.J., where he had lived for the last six years.
Before that, “Franny Mac," as he was called, lived in Wissinoming.
“Franny was a legend in the world of mummery,” his son said. “He enjoyed every aspect of the Mummers Parade and what the Mummers stand for.
“From the wench dress, to the Egyptian suit, to the feathers, to the jewels in the fancy brigade division: To him it wasn’t about the prize money,” his son said. Instead, he enjoyed ushering in the new year with his family, who are four-generation Mummers. Scott McIntyre is a Mummer, and so are a son and daughter.
In 1978, Mr. McIntyre and members of other fancy brigades broke away from the fancy mother clubs and formed their own division. The move was not without controversy.
“It was a huge piece of history,” his son said. “That same year, he became captain of the Shooting Stars. The club blossomed into what it is today.”
Born and raised in South Philly, Mr. McIntyre graduated from St. John Neumann High School.
He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, serving from 1965 to 1967 as a rifle sharpshooter with the 30th Artillery. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal with a bronze star, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and two Overseas Service Bars, meaning he served in a combat zone.
For 37 years ending with his retirement in 2005, he worked for fleet service and baggage operations at the Philadelphia International Airport. He loved the work, his son said.
Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars NYB was formed by his father, William McIntyre. The club is a member of the Philadelphia Fancy Brigade Association. Before his death in 1990, William McIntyre contributed ideas for the creation of the Mummers Museum.
In 1981, the elder man was alive to see Mr. McIntyre inducted into the Fancy Brigade Association Hall of Fame and the Shooting Stars Hall of Fame. “He was ecstatic,” Scott McIntyre said of his father. “It’s a huge honor.”
In addition to son Scott, he is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marie Mooney McIntyre; children Franny Jr., Lori, and Danny; eight grandchildren; a great-grandson; and nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Third and Reed Streets, Philadelphia, followed by a Funeral Mass at 8 p.m.
A second viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Murphy Ruffenach Brian W. Donnelly Funeral Home, Third and Wolf Streets. There will be a ceremony with military honors at 11 a.m., followed by the parade to the Mummers Museum, with a special salute at the Shooting Stars clubhouse, 1931 S. Third St. Burial is private.