S. Frank (Sparty) Donato, 68, a musician and artist here for many years, died of cancer Jan. 3 at Fort Myers Community Hospital in Florida. He had moved from Falls Church of Sanibel two years ago.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Donato started his career as a pianist in theater orchestras there. He later traveled around the country with dance and show bands and came to this area in the early 1930s.

He performed for a number of years with the orchestra at the old Capitol Theater in Washington.

After serving overseas with the U.S. Army in World War II, Mr. Donato entered federal government service, working for several departments.

He retired in 1973 as an artist and display expert with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Mr. Donato also continued his musical activities. He was a musical director for attractions at the Carter Barron Amphitheater and was a bandleader, pianist and arranger with Tiny Meeker Music.

He was a life member of the Musicians Unions in Philadephia and Washington.

He is survived by his wife, June Donato, of the home in Sanibel; three daughters, Delores Walker, of Upper Darby, Pa., Theresa Gerber, of Germantown, Md., and Joanna Steffes, of Tequesta, Fla., and seven grandchildren.