OBITUARY

Howard L Frank

January 10, 1933August 7, 2018
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Howard Lee Frank, 85, of Byron passed away peacefully after a hard fought battle with Alzheimer’s. He was born January 10, 1933 in Kearney, Nebraska. The son of George and Evelyn (Murrish) Frank. “Lee” married Norma Hiatt on August 18, 1951. He served in the Army in Germany from 1953-1955. After the Army he worked as a mechanic at North Main Gulf, Mechanics Universal in the R & D division, Barber Colman and the Meridian school district, Stillman Valley. Lee retired in 1996 after servicing the school buses for 20 years. Fishing was his favorite pastime.

Lee is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Norma; children, Deborah (Gary) George of Rockford, Charles (Cindy) Frank of Byron, Mary (Todd) Swanson of Rockford; brothers, Lloyd (Leah) Frank of South Beloit, Rodney Frank of Trout Creek, MT; sister, Ruth Comstock of Rockford; grandchildren, Gary (Cindy) George Jr. of Louisville, KY, Brenda Frank of Oklahoma, Joseph Garrett of Davis Junction, Mathew Frank of Byron; several great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; beloved dog, Ollie.

Special thanks to Paula and the great staff at Rockford Mercy Health. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Celebration of Life Funeral Service at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 11 at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Rd, Machesney Park. Visitation at 9 a.m. until time of service. Burial in Sunset Memorial Gardens. To share a condolence www.sunsetfhmemgardens.com

Services

  • Celebration of Life Visitation Saturday, August 11, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Funeral Service Saturday, August 11, 2018
REMEMBERING

Howard L Frank

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Biography

When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Howard L Frank who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Howard was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with Howard knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

       His parents were George and Evelyn (Murrish) Frank. Howard "Lee" was raised in Kearney, Nebraska. Even as a youngster, Lee learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, Lee was able to put his natural abilities to work. He was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, he liked to organize and direct. Lee was raised with three siblings. He had two brothers, Lloyd, Rodney and sister, Ruth. Lee had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For Lee, this was a natural order of life, one he gladly embraced.

      An objective and conscientious individual, Lee reveled in the security of his family. One of Lee’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends. Lee married Norma Hiatt on August 18, 1951.

      Howard was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Lee would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. Lee was blessed with three children, two daughters, Deborah and Mary and one son, Charles. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Gary, Brenda, Joseph and Mathew.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Lee was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, Lee was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, Lee upheld his standards. His primary occupation was mechanic. He was employed as a mechanic at North Main Gulf, Mechanics Universal in the R & D division, Barber Colman and the Meridian school district, Stillman Valley. Lee retired in 1996 after servicing the school buses for 20 years. Lee was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      Lee was an Army Veteran. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. He was in the the Army in Germany from 1953-1955.

      Lee approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were fishing. Lee was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Lee was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Lee’s favorites was Ollie. His family was rounded out by his beloved dog, Ollie.

      When Lee’s retirement finally arrived in 1996, he was well prepared. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. In retirement, he found new pleasure in fishing and spending time with his family. In many ways, Lee loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

       Lee fought a hard battle with Alzheimer’s. He is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Norma; children, Deborah (Gary) George of Rockford, Charles (Cindy) Frank of Byron, Mary (Todd) Swanson of Rockford; brothers, Lloyd (Leah) Frank of South Beloit, Rodney Frank of Trout Creek, MT; sister, Ruth Comstock of Rockford; grandchildren, Gary (Cindy) George Jr. of Louisville, KY, Brenda Frank of Oklahoma, Joseph Garrett of Davis Junction, Mathew Frank of Byron; several great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; beloved dog, Ollie. Services were held at Sunset Funeral Home. Howard was laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Machesney Park, Illinois.

      All who knew him would agree that Lee was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Howard Lee Frank did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.