Fero Funeral Home with Crematory & Fero Memorial Gardens
5955 North Lecanto Highway, Beverly Hills, FL
John Francis Frank
April 4, 1925 – June 26, 2020
John Frank Sr., 95, passed away on Friday, June 26 at Baptist Medical Center South in Jacksonville, surrounded by family members. He was predeceased by his wife, Helen, in 2016. They were married for 68 years, moved from New York in 1987 and lived in retirement in Beverly Hills, Florida. Since Helen’s passing, he has lived with family in St. John’s, Florida, outside Jacksonville.
John was the patriarch of a large extended family and was a survivor of D-Day in World War II, the last of his generation in a family that so loved him and will miss him dearly. He is survived by six children: John (Patricia), Arlene (Bill Geiler), Karen (Jeff Fugelsang), Lorraine (Joe Burwick), Christopher (Kenny Kietzman), and Marianne (Joe Lamagese); 14 grandchildren: David (Jennifer), Elizabeth, Eric (Katie), Timothy (Ashley), Kerry (Darius Samerotte), Bill, Laura (James Catrone), Sarah, Edward (Eileen), Jeffrey, Matthew, Cassandra, Lauren, and Emily; and 9 great-grandchildren: Quenton, Dylan, Laura, Madison, Dante, Addison, Helen, baby John and soon-to-arrive baby Charlie Mae, and nephews and nieces in New York, California, Delaware, Virginia and Florida.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 4, 1925, the second child of Catherine (Behrman) and Franz Frank. He was predeceased by his sister Anna (Balzer). He married Helen on May 1, 1948 and moved to Long Island, first to Levittown, and then Farmingdale where he was a faithful husband and devoted father raising the six Frank children. He was a meatcutter by trade and active in union leadership as a shop steward. He was a fan of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, and played baseball for many years as a first baseman in local leagues on Long Island. He was also an avid fisherman and hunter, and loved to play the harmonica.
After moving to Beverly Hills, Florida, John and Helen lived an active retirement among many friends and couples associated with Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, the VFW, the Fishing Club, Knights of Columbus, and other community organizations. For many years he volunteered for Citrus Hospice and was a “galloneer” blood donor many times over.
In his latter years, especially after moving to Jacksonville, he attained notoriety as one of a handful of World War II D-Day survivors, having served in the Navy’s amphibious landing force on that fateful day, June 6, 1944. He was honored in a number of veterans recognition events hosted by the University of North Florida, the City of Jacksonville, and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Over his last year, he was featured on several TV broadcasts commemorating the 75th anniversary of DDay and was a guest speaker at area High School history programs.
He loved the camaraderie of other veterans, especially while sharing a beer at the local VFW canteen. He loved his Paisanno wine and the joy of a daily 2 o’clock bourbon. In his final months he was a resident of Clyde Lassen State Veterans Nursing Home in St. Augustine. Every day he called out for the love of his life, Helen, till the day he died. He is with her now, finally at peace with her in God’s loving embrace.
A wake will occur on Thursday evening, July 2, from 5:30-7:30pm at Fero’s funeral home, 5955 N. Lecanto Hwy., Beverly Hills, FL. A mass of Christian burial will take place the next morning at 9:45am, on Friday, July 3rd, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 6 Roosevelt Blvd, Beverly Hills, followed by interment in the Garden of Honor at Fero Memorial Gardens, 5891 N. Lecanto Hwy, Beverly Hills, FL. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, services are limited to immediate family and face masks will be required. Flowers can be arranged through Flower Time in Beverly Hills, FL at 352-527-1111.
Memorial donations may be sent to Friends of Citrus at https://friendsofcitrus.org, which is the successor to Hospice of Citrus County, or other charity of choice.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020