OBITUARY

Frank Harrison Spurlock

January 16, 1924May 15, 2018

Frank Harrison Spurlock , 94, of Kansas City, Mo., died May 15, 2018, at Bishop Spencer Place in Kansas City. Frank was a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area and had a 42-year career at The Kansas City Star. He also distinguished himself in World War II as a crew member of a B-24 Liberator, flying 35 missions over Germany. Frank began his career at The Star working on Saturdays during his student days at the University of Kansas City, now UMKC. On graduation, he was hired by The Star as a reporter. He went on to hold several editor positions there, including copy chief, features editor and Sunday opinion editor. Frank also helped launch the Sunday Forum section, which later became the Sunday Opinion section. Frank also wrote dozens of feature articles for The Star, many of them travel-related. One described his search for his old war-time air base in England. After hours of scouring the English countryside in a rental car he finally came upon the site — it had been turned into an enormous turkey farm. Before the B-24 missions even began, Frank’s crew was tasked to deliver gas to the American forces that had been halted close to Germany after moving swiftly across France — General George S. Patton’s tanks had run out of fuel. Large gas-filled tanks were installed in the plane’s bomb bay, and the crew took off for an airfield on the French-German border. A cloud cover interfered with navigation, and soon the crew was lost. Frank then recalled that at the day’s pre-flight briefing, the crew had been told that if the weather was bad, special radio signals would be turned on at the airfield. Frank turned the radio compass to the designated signal and determined that the plane was heading in the opposite direction of the airfield. The plane was turned around and finally landed at the right spot, delivering the fuel for Patton. Frank was active in civil rights causes in Kansas City. He participated in jobs programs for youths and fair-housing campaigns. He also worked to get voter approval of a local public accommodations ordinance, which was narrowly approved in an election. He recalled that at rallies he joined hands with others and sang “We Shall Overcome.” Frank was born in Kansas City on Jan. 16, 1924. He was a past elder at Village Presbyterian Church. He was a member of Mission Hills Country Club and a former member of the Kansas City Press Club. His first wife, Nancy, died in 1976. He is survived by his wife, Gloria, whom he married in 1978. Besides his wife, he leaves two daughters, Barbara Moffet and Mary Giordano, both of Alexandria, Va.; two stepdaughters, Debby Wilkinson of Erie, Colo., and Catherine Smith of Lee’s Summit, Mo.;, a stepson, Grant Pace, of Jamaica Plain, Mass.; , two grandchildren, 11 step-grandchildren and 10 step-great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service for Frank will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kan. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Village Presbyterian Church are welcome.

Services

  • Celebration of Frank's Life Saturday, June 23, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 23, 2018
REMEMBERING

Frank Harrison Spurlock

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Joe Henderson

May 22, 2018

Shirley and I were so sorry to read of Frank's death. He was a good friend and co-worker for many years. He was one of the first friends I made at the Star when I arrived in 1951. We enjoyed many social gatherings, together, over the years and especially enjoyed the stories shared with the weekly lunch bunch!

Shirley and Joe Henderson

martha nottberg lieser

May 21, 2018

Dear Mary Lu, I saw your Dad's obiturary and wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and your family at this time. It's been a long time since I've seen you , but I have some fun memories of our school days and times together. The obituary is really nice and he certainly had a great life and full of exciting things with his pilot missions and all the things he did with that. I guess I never realized that he worked for the K.C Star for so long. I am one of the few people that still take the paper. My Mom got me in the habit of reading obituaries, so there you are. Please know that you are in my prayers and that I'm thinking about you. Take care, Martha (Nottberg)

FROM THE FAMILY