At 5:01 pm on Monday, July 20,2020, I, at age 80, went home to be with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to be reunited with my wife, Jan.
I was born at 5:30 pm on Sunday, February 18, 1940 in City Hospital in Springfield, Ohio to the late Richard L. and Alice M. (Fitzgivens) Frank.
I am survived by my son, Richard Scott (Jeanine) Frank of Covington, OH; “adopted” daughters, Tina (Richard) Taylor of Jackson, TN, and Sinda (Steve) Melugin of Humboldt, TN; sister-in-law, Charlotte (Michael) Kemp of Osprey, FL; brother-in-law, Dale Widener of Lima, OH; my grandson, Rodney Frank of Troy, OH; former daughter-in-law, Beverley (Anthony) Kelley of Troy, OH; nieces, Amy Donaldson of Green Bay, WI and Kathy Franck of Centerville, OH; nephews, Christopher Widener of Xenia, OH and Brian Gheen of Soldotna, AK and my beloved Westie, Duffy.
I was preceded in death by my beloved wife of over 57 years, Jan. Also our best friends, Kenneth and Louise Branch, Tina and Sinda’s parents.
I graduated from Tecumseh High School in May of 1958. I attempted to enlist in the United States Marine Corps that same month. I reported to Fort Thomas, KY for my pre-induction physical. I was examined by a Navy Doctor who told me, that I was too fat. I returned home and went on a diet. I tried again in September with my weight down to 213 pounds I passed the physical examination and was enlisted into the Marine Corps on 19 September, 1958. I was sent to San Diego, CA for “boot camp”. My platoon, 2006, graduated in January of 1959. I was then sent to the 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendelton, CA. After completing infantry training, I was assigned to Lima Co., 3rd Bn., 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division on 6 March 1959. My regiment was based at Camp Santa Margarita, Camp Pendelton, CA. Later on, I learned that our battalion would be sent to Okinawa in early 1960.
Since we would be overseas for a year, I decided to take leave for the month of November. I came home but confessed to my Aunt Pauline after two weeks I was bored and going to go back early because all of my friends were either working or away at college. She said to me that she was going to call Marjorie Widener because she had a daughter about my age. My aunt arranged a blind date for me with Janice (Jan) Widener on Sunday, November 15, 1959. On that day, my life changed forever because I met my future wife! Jan called it love at first sight in our Wedding Book and I agree. We were together every day for the next two weeks. Poor Jan, she was working and didn’t get much sleep. During that time Marty Robbins released his hit single, El Paso, and we adopted it as our song. The two weeks flew by and suddenly I found myself on an airliner headed back to Camp Pendelton with a broken heart. Every time I heard El Paso on the radio, I would get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Then in mid-December, we were told that since we were going to be overseas for a year we could have leave over Christmas. One of my buddies had a car that he wanted to take home to Jackson, MI so four of us joined him in his journey east. We left LA on Friday evening and headed east on Route 66. Early on Saturday morning we rolled the car in Weatherford, OK and came home the rest of the way on a bus. I finally got home on Monday evening. I proposed to Jan and offered her the engagement ring I purchased in the PX. She said yes and made me the happiest Marine in the Corps. On January 1st, 1960 I boarded a TWA Constellation and headed back to Camp Pendelton for what would be an estrangement of over 13 months. My battalion returned to the United States on 5 March 1961. I got home on the 6th and on March 26, 1961 Jan and I were married in Cove Spring Church. We reported to the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, VA in April. I spent six weeks in Infantry Weapons Armorer’s School and was assigned to Ordinance Service Support Group. On 18 September, 1961 I was released from active duty and we returned home. I loved the United States Marine Corps, but I loved Jan more and, on a Corporal’s, pay we were living at or below the poverty level.
As a civilian I worked a number of short-term, forgettable jobs from being an Omar Bread Man to building surface grinders and all the while missing my beloved Marine Corps. In April of 1962 I joined the Marine Corps Reserve unit in Dayton, OH. I served in that unit for over four years but going to summer camp put a strain on our marriage, so I transferred to the inactive reserves and finished out my military obligation.
In October of 1962 my father got me on at the Antioch Bookplate Co. in Yellow Springs, OH where he ran a letterpress. I apprenticed under him and learned to run a letterpress. I worked there a year and then moved next door to the Antioch Press (the College’s print shop) where I ran both offset and letter presses. I worked there five years. On May 31, 1967 we adopted our son, Richard Scott Frank through the Lutheran Social Services. Jan’s sister, Charlotte, was dating Jack Gheen who was a Troy Police Officer. He invited me to take the Civil Service test for patrolman. I did and joined the force on April 1, 1968 and was issued badge #13 on April Fool’s Day. I served a total of thirty years on the Troy Police Department retiring on April 6, 1998. I was assigned as the Juvenile-School Safety Officer for three years until I was promoted to Sergeant on May 5, 1975 serving on a patrol shift under Lt. Dean B. Matthews. On April 25, 1977 I was promoted to Lieutenant. I was in charge of a patrol shift and found that to be the most rewarding time that I served. Chief Marvin L. Avey reorganized the department and I served as the Administrative Lieutenant and also as Patrol Section Commander. On May 28, 1981 I was promoted to Chief of Police and served in that capacity until retirement on April 6, 1998. During my tenure as Chief I was very active with the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police serving as a District Representative for a number of years. Earlier in my career I matriculated at both Sinclair Community College and Edison State Community College graduating from Edison State on June 15th, 1980 with a degree of Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement. As Chief of Police I was also afforded the opportunity to attend the Northwestern University’s Traffic Institute’s ten-week School of Police Staff and Command and I am proud of the fact that I graduated with a GPA of 4.0. Being Chief also provided Jan and I the opportunity to attend not only the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police annual conferences but the International Associations of Chiefs of Police annual conferences as well.
After retiring, I worked as a part-time Park Ranger for the Miami County Park District. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Park Ranger proudly wearing badge #13! In October of 2005, I received a telephone call from Mr. John Fulker, Esq., the senior partner of the law firm of Faust, Harrelson, Fulker, McCarthy and Schlemmer. He asked me if I would be interested in filling in for their messenger who was gravely ill. I agreed and worked for 7 months until the messenger’s return to work in May of 2006. He retired in January of 2007 and I began as his replacement in February 2007 and I was still working there.
Jan and I felt that we needed a home Church and we both knew that God led us back to Cove Spring Church. Jan had been a member there since 1953 and I joined on October 11, 2015. Shortly after I joined, we were asked to serve on the Board of Deacons and found this to be a very rewarding experience. We continued to serve on the Board of Deacons until Jan’s illness caused us to resign from the Board of Deacons in October of 2018.
My obituary covers what I think are the significant events of my life. All that is left would be my epitaph: My choice for that would be: “He had a wicked sense of humor”.
Due to COVID concerns, private services will be held and handled by Baird Funeral Home. Burial will follow on the Frank family plot next to his beloved wife Jan in the Donnelsville Cemetery, Clark County, Ohio. His dad always said that the only reason they made it a cemetery was because it was too steep for planting corn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cove Spring Church, 5705 E. Walnut Grove Road, Troy, OH 45373. Friends may express condolences to the family through www.bairdfuneralhome.com.
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Cove Spring Church
5705 Walnut Grove-Clark Co. Rd., Troy OH 45373