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.