portrait picture for John Paul Frank Sr.

Wake: The family will receive visitors at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave, Norwalk on Sunday, June 5th from 4-8 pm. Services: A Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 10:00 am on Monday, June 6th, at St. Philip Church at 1 Fr. Conlon Place in Norwalk. Burial: Interment to follow at St. John’s Cemetery in West Norwalk. Donations in John’s memory to St. Philip Church or Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County would be appreciated.

John Paul Frank Sr.

December 31, 1934 - May 30, 2016

John Paul Frank Sr., 81, (Retired Norwalk Police Department Captain), left this world peacefully on Monday, May 30th surrounded by family and friends, after fighting a courageous year-long battle with cancer.          

John was born December 31, 1934 in Brooklyn, NY. He spent four years in foster care before being adopted in 1939 by Elizabeth and Leo Frank of  Norwalk. Their summer home in Saugatuck Shores became their year-round home in 1948. There he developed a passion for boating and Long Island Sound, owning his first boat at age ten. He graduated from Staples High School in 1952. John became a Norwalk Police Officer in January 1961 and was a founding member of the Norwalk Police Union, and served as Union President for a time. He rose quickly through the ranks of the department and retired as Captain in January 1985.

He and Louise Buckley were married in 1953 and they raised their large family on East Meadow Lane in Norwalk. They resided there for 47 years before moving to Palmetto, FL, in 2012.

John was an accomplished mechanic and spent his time away from his police duties working on cars and boats. There was nothing he couldn’t fix. He was a witty individual and a wonderful storyteller who loved to tell jokes. His family will always remember him as a kind, generous, and fair man who would lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and always encouraged them to pursue their goals.

His love of the Sound continued throughout his life. He served on the Norwalk Shellfish Commission from 1987 until 2010. He often traveled to Hartford to testify on issues concerning “Saving the Sound.” He kept boats at Cove Marina from 1985 until 1992, when he became the manager of the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club; a position he referred to as his “dream job.” After his retirement from the club in 2001, he and Louise traveled by RV for many years, collecting many friends, memories, and funky hats along the way. The summer of 2013 was spent travelling through Alaska, a long-dreamed-of vacation.

He was an active and dedicated member of St. Philip Church. He was a friend of Bill’s for thirty seven years and served on the board of the Alcoholism Council of Fairfield County for many years.

John is survived by the love of his life and wife of 63 years, “the kid”  Louise (née Buckley); his children: Patty Davis and her husband Bob of Georgetown; Peggy Frank of Norwalk; Eileen Anderson and her husband Mark of Omaha, NE; Andy Frank and his wife Joan of Westport; Liz Norris and her husband Harry of Norwalk; Gini Fischer and her husband Mark of Wilton; Sharon Ten of Richmond, VA; and John Frank, Jr. and his wife Dawn, of Westport; along with his sister, Maggie Teed of Norwalk. He leaves twenty-two grandchildren: Kevin Frank, Cheryl (née Frank) O’Byrne, Erin Frank, Barbara (née Davis) Tennant, Rob Davis, Edward Gormbley, Michelle (née Gormbley) Velez, David Welchman, Chuck Anderson, Ellie (née Anderson) Koeppe, Jack Anderson, Maggie Anderson, Patrick Frank, Caitlin Frank, Lauren Frank, Melissa (née Norris) Heffern, Michael Norris, Gregory Norris, Doug Fischer, Sharon Fischer, Ryan Ten and Ryan Chariott. He also leaves his ten great-grandchildren: Grace, Eleanor, and Madeline O’Byrne; Imani Velez; Conner and Dylan Gormbley; Jacob, Sawyer and Sloane Heffern; and Mason Norris. Hewas predeceased by his adoptive parents; biological mother, Mary Cunningham; son Leo Frank; and grandchildren Kimberly Norris, and Victoria and Daniel Welchman.

The family will receive visitors at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave, Norwalk on Sunday, June 5th from 4-8 pm. A Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 10:00 am on Monday, June 6th, at St. Philip Church at 1 Fr. Conlon Place in Norwalk. Interment to follow at St. John’s Cemetery in West Norwalk. Donations in John’s memory to St. Philip Church or Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County would be appreciated.

  1. A life well lived!

    June 1, 2016
    Joe Schnierlein and Lisa Palladino -
  • May beautiful memories sustain you, my prayers and sympathy are with the Frank family.

    Barbara Dewar – June 1, 2016

    June 1, 2016
    Barbara Dewar -
  • I had the pleasure of working with John at Saugatuck Harbor YC as well as on the Norwalk Shellfish commission. As such, I learned quickly of his leadership, commitment to Louise, his family, and to doing what was right – knowing straight up it would upset some people in power. He did not yield to those trying to circumvent the laws, or to jeopardize our natural resources out of spite – but – to do what was right – and it was really that simple.

    With John’s passing, Norwalk has lost a treasure, a passionate guardian of Norwalk’s valuable resources, a protector of an industry and its people, and a tough character when he needed to be, yet soft, understanding and compassionate when required. His family should know he always spoke of his dream to get in the RV and travel to see his family all over the US, and how happy he was to be able to do so and how practical it was. His enthusiasm at seeing what the US had to offer as he traveled would show in the emails I received from many different locations always excited about what he had seen and often asking questions about a point of natural history.

    I lost someone I could respect and count on and challenged me to not give up the fight. My deepest sympathy for you all.

    June 1, 2016
    Joe Schnierlein -
  • I know there is sorrow in John’s passing , and only you can realize what he went through the past few months. God is a compassionate Father, and now Capt. Frank will enjoy eternity in “God’s House”. My prayers are with Louise, your children, grands and all the family and please accept my deepest condolences. Rest easy Capt. John , and one day we will see each other again ….

    June 1, 2016
    Wayne Henion -
  • My sincerest sympathy to you and your family. He was a very special man. I remember always seeing him with a camera in his hands, capturing moments. I have one memory of him.

    I was accompanying my mother on one of her radiation appointments last year. I was sitting in the waiting room. You both came in and I looked over and recognizing you both I said hello. He looked at me for a little bit and then he says, “I know you from somewhere”. I smiled and, said, “yes, sir you do.” He asked, “where?” I said, “St. Poo hilip”. He closed his eyes smiled, and “that’s it.”

    Rest In Peace Mr. Frank.

    June 2, 2016
    Rosemary Bartlett -
  • Deepest sympathy from Connie to Louise and all the children. We are particularly grateful for the day at St. Philip’s when John shared the story of his adoption. It was very meaningful to our grandchildren, going through their teen years now and questioning everything. John was a great photographer too, and Jim was always happy to get pictures of parish events from him for the website. I know Jim is among the crowd welcoming John to eternal joy.

    June 2, 2016
    Connie Keavney -
  • Your husband and Dad will be greatly missed. He was one of a kind and one of my husband’s and my favorite people. I’m so glad you both stopped by last summer. It was fun to reminisce about the good old days when he and Jack were on the police department. God bless you all . Cathy Toothill-June 2, 2016

    June 2, 2016
    Cathy Toothill -
  • We found John to be a super helpful, nice guy and he helped us many times at SHYC. We enjoyed hearing stories of his travels and the enjoyment he and his wife were finding in retirement. John was truly a class act. May he rest in peace. God bless your family.

    June 2, 2016
    Bob and Darlene Ference -
  • I really didnt know John until you guys took me on the boat to see the dolphins. He was a very informative person. I really enjoyed his company very much. God bless your family.

    June 2, 2016
    Virginia DeMarco -
  • Andy, Joanie and all of the Frank family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember his kindness, and sense of humor. I enjoyed spending time with him at the picnics and parties – he always had a new story to share. My prayers are with all of you and I wish I was able to be there with you.

    June 3, 2016
    Heidi Mangels -
  • Gini:

    Our sincere sympathy on the passing of your Dad. We hope that the memories of the good times with your Dad will sustain you through this difficult time.

    George and Carol Fischer

    June 5, 2016
    George and Carol Fischer -
  • My sincere sympathy in the passing of John I worked with John for twenty two years on the NPD and found him to be the type of a Police Officer that other Police Officers held up as an example of what a professional Police Officer was. He will be greatly missed and remembered as a true friend by many.
    Joseph and Marilyn Mastrianna

    June 6, 2016
    Joseph Mastrianna -
  • Louise and Family,

    Our deepest sympathy on the passing of John. He was a long-time friend of our family

    George & Claire Skidd, David & Sue Skidd, Kevin Skidd

    June 6, 2016
    George Skidd -
  • I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I send all of my most heartfelt expressions of sympathy to Louise and the whole family. I knew John as a young child, as well as his sister Maggie, as our parents were good friends. We visited Leo and Elizabeth often at Saugatuck Shores, and I have good memories of those times. On behalf of the Grumbly family, please accept our condolences, and may the good Lord hold John forever in the palm of His hand. Love to all.

    June 6, 2016
    Ellen Grumbly de Gail -
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