I’ve known Frank for a long time and so I knew lots of things about him already. But I learned that I didn’t know everything about Frank. The first things I learned about Frank were that he was a Franklin not a Frances as some people still insist on calling him. One year, his grandfather, his wife and his six young kids lived in a box car while he worked on the Moffat Tunnel. The other side of Frank’s family tree resided in Morse Bluff, Nebraska which had a bank that was very civic minded. The bank bought all the locals instruments so they could have a Town Band. Maybe that’s the side of the family where Frank’s appreciation for community came from.
Frank grew up in South Denver about two blocks from a lake where he spent practically every minute during the summers. And then his family had to move because I-25 came along and ate up his home. A pretty young girl who parted her hair down the middle with little pink bows was also moving away from I-25 at that time. And that young girl? That was Donna, his future wife.
When I asked Frank what was his happiest time, he said, he’d always been happy. But a while later, he said, “I think I was truly happiest when I became director of a non-profit counseling program.” He was the first paid person in this brand new agency that housed one of the first battered women’s shelters and one of the first veteran’s shelters in the country. Because it was a brand new agency, anything was possible and Frank knew he could really make a difference in the lives of people. Someone had an idea. Frank said, “If we can get the money, let’s do it!” The veteran’s shelter was started because someone came in and said, “Hey, you know there are vets living in the woods?” So Frank sent a counselor into the woods who sat and waited for a guy to come out. And eventually he did. Then ex-service men volunteered to put the veteran’s program together. And because Frank said, “if we can get the money, let’s do it!” they did it. The attitude of “Someone has an idea…. Let’s do it!” grew the place and Frank was the master gardener.
Excerpt of Frank’s Life Story