Frank DeRose Jr.

September 28, 1928June 18, 2013

Frank DeRose, Jr. East Lansing, Michigan

Commitment to family, faith and service distinguished the life of Frank DeRose, Jr. – a life well lived! Born September 28, 1928 to first generation Italian immigrants, Frank Sr. and Teresa (Spadafore) DeRose, died June 18, 2013.

Frank is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 57 years, Cathy. Their marriage was an inspiration to their children and grandchildren. Frank is also survived by his four children, of whom he was so very proud. Chris (Barb) DeRose, Beth (Jeff) Docking, Mary (Kent) Jacob and Martha (Bob) Palmer. Frank was the loving and supportive grandpa to his 15 grandchildren: Christopher (Jennifer), Mike (Keri), Betsy and Danny DeRose; Jacob, Carter, Taylor and Julianna Docking; Nathan and Emma Salmon; Tyler and Connor Jacob and Alexandra, Sam and Max Palmer. His great grandchildren, Reece and Roman DeRose, and his third great grandchild, to be born in November, were a special addition to the family that he loved so much.

Frank is survived by his brother John (Norma) DeRose and three sisters, Marion (Teri) Massaron, Margaret DeRose, Josephine (Jack) Henderson, his brother in law, Ron Herring and many nieces and nephews. His brother, Father Paul DeRose and sisters, Mary Ann Bobko, Pauline Herring and Virginia DeRose predeceased Frank.

Frank held engineering and business degrees from the University of Detroit and Michigan State University. He worked at the Department of Transportation for the State of Michigan for over 36 years, setting the groundwork for a model public transit system throughout Michigan. Retiring in 1994, he was honored by the Department with the naming of a state roadside park just south of Jackson.

Frank’s faith in God was evidenced in his service to St. Thomas Aquinas/St John’s Church and School. As a parishioner for 57 years, he served as the first President of the Men’s Club, member and Chair of the Parish Council, member of the Board of Education and member of the Senior Ministry Committee. He was a constant supporter of the staff, teachers, priests and nuns. His devotion to his faith was most often seen in his attendance and fellowship with friends at the 6:30 AM daily mass. He was an example to his family, friends and fellow parishioners.

Frank’s commitment to service extended to his country and community. Frank was a Korean War veteran. He served on the City of East Lansing’s Human Relations Commission and as Chair of the Prime Time Seniors Program. In addition he was an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and member of the Caesar Chavez Commission, Lansing Literacy Coalition, R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, and Ingham County Public Health Board.

Frank was a life-long golfer and enjoyed playing in leagues and with Cathy and friends.

Those desiring may make contributions to the Cathy DeRose Math Endowment Program, c/o Greater Lansing Catholic Education Foundation, 1500 E. Saginaw, Suite 3, Lansing, MI 48906-5565.

The DeRose family would like to thank the many friends and neighbors who were all part of Frank’s life. Special thanks to our neighbors on King Court who were like family to Frank, the Friday morning breakfast guys who meant so much to him and our St. Thomas/St. Johns friends for their constant care, support and concern. The family would also like to thank the staff of Hospice House of Mid-Michigan and the Sparrow Specialty Hospital for the wonderful care they provided. Frank was loved deeply and will be missed by so many.

A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing on Friday, June 21, at 2:00 p.m. with the Rev. Mark Inglot officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday from 4-8 pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E. Grand River Ave, East Lansing and one hour prior to the service at the church. The scripture service will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. On line condolences may be made at:


  • Visitation Thursday, June 20, 2013
  • Scripture Service Thursday, June 20, 2013
  • Visitation Friday, June 21, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Friday, June 21, 2013

Frank DeRose Jr.

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November 23, 2013

Dear Cathy, Margaret just told me about your loss. It was privilege to know Frank. He will be greatly missed. God Bless, Lisa, Jessica & Carolyn Harron

Michael Green

July 1, 2013

It was a sincere pleasure and privilege to know Frank.

June 23, 2013

Dear Cathy and family,
I was so sorry to learn of Frank's passing. He was a wonderful man! As you know, your faith and the love of your family will provide the support you will need over the months to come. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Sincerely, Lori Briegel

June 23, 2013

Dear Cathy,
Ed and I are saddened to learn of Frank's demise. Frank was a very kind and gentle man who was devoted to you and his church. I hope the good times you had with Frank will sustain at this very difficult time. Blessings and Love, Ed and Millie Roach, Green Valley. AZ

Don Moorer

June 22, 2013

Dear DeRose Family,
I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to your family from our family. Frank was truly a joy and inspiration to everyone he touched. He and I shared many conversations when we saw each other at either the Parkwood “Y” or at various times at church. He always had a positive attitude and was a motivation for everyone, especially for me.
Cathy, we've met but you probably remember more of your students and my son and daughter, Donnie and Mariel, were students of yours at St. Thomas.
In closing, I heard a unique definition for “Lifestyle”, which exemplifies Frank and how he lived his life. It says: “Life is what God gave us; Style is what we make of it.” Frank truly made the very most of his life because he gave so very much to others.

May God bless and keep you all and we will keep you all in our prayers.

Most Sincerely,

Don Moorer & Family (Glynda, Donnie, & Mariel)

June 21, 2013

Dear Chris, Barb and Family,
Our deepest condolences to you and the family, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
George Orban & Rae Ramsdell

Roger Phillips

June 21, 2013

Cathy and family- Sorry to hear the sad news. I worked with Frank for many years at MDOT and since have seen him at numerous charity events. Most recently I saw him at the Sparrow Cancer Center where he was volunteering. He will be missed.

Joe & Gloria Sanger

June 21, 2013

May God forever bless and cherish his good and faithful servant.

Al Cipparone, ELHS '79

June 21, 2013

My deepest condolences to you and your wonderful family. God bless you now and always.

Laura Mann

June 21, 2013

Frank DeRose was such a wonderful, loving man and gave me great comfort during a very stressful time in my life. His prayer cards that he was always sending to me were answers to my prayers for God to send me angels to lift me up. I am SURE Frank is now feeling God's warm embrace, just like the warm and happy embraces Frank gave to us friends when he met us at church or elsewhere. I pray for God's Holy Spirit to miraculously and lovingly comfort the whole DeRose family in their time of need now.