George Leland Frank

George Frank, 94, was born Aug. 2, 1929 in Tonasket, Washington to Leland and Maidee Frank. He died Feb. 4, 2024 at home in Tonasket.

George Frank

George Frank

George Leland Frank was born August 2, 1929 in Tonasket, Washington to Leland and Maidee Frank. George passed away in his home in Tonasket on February 4, 2024 at the age of 94.

George was preceded in death by his parents, Leland and Maidee Frank; wife, Burna Frank; sisters, Sharon Frank, Betty (Ken) Hegman, Leota (Donald) Connolly and Anna Lee (Robert) Harvey; son, Robert (Ren) Fettig and grandson, Blaine Fettig.

He is survived by sisters, Arlene (Leroy) Fankhanel, Rita (John) Dawe; daughters, Trudy (Gary) Hoffman, Tori Sassone and Renee (Alvin) Balcom and bonus daughters, Dyann (Mike) Pershingand Leslie (Mark) Warder; grandchildren, Danielle (Devin) Hansen, Justin (Jaimie) Sassone, Rob (Deb) Fettig, Jeremy (Deb) Hoffman, Mike (Nicole) Balcom, Jodi (Morgan) White, Brad Balcom, Joey (Dana) Balcom, Jaymie Balcom and great-grandchildren, Tayla, Jess, Blaise, Tyson, Adreyana, Hayden, Ben, Holten, Taylor, Carter, George, Emmett, Clark, Roslyn, Zeek, Damien, Julius, Wyatt, Vanessa, Owen, Taylor, Liam, Brooke and Victoria.

George went to school in Riverside, Washington and graduated in 1948. From a young age, George learned the value of community from his mother and father. He was involved in multiple sports at Riverside High School and worked in his father’s general mercantile store, the Riverside Commercial Company. He also worked in his father’s orchards and helped out with the family’s farm animals.

His friendships from Riverside High School were strong and continued all of his life. He had so many great memories of his school days. After graduation, George attended one semester of college before enlisting in the United States Air Force. He was a St Sgt in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command during the Korean War – 1950 to 1954. He had many stories about his time in the Air Force and loved to share them with friends and family.

After service to his country, George returned to Tonasket, where he worked for his father at Lee Frank’s Mercantile. His father retired in 1982 and George stepped in as the manager of Lee Frank’s until 1996.

On March 8, 1970, George married Burna Fettig and inherited an immediate family. George and Burna were the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year in 1988. In 1995, they were both the Grand Marshals of the Tonasket Founders Day Parade.

George served as Commander and Chaplain for the American Legion Post 82 in Tonasket and was so honored to perform his duties for many ceremonies. George was a constant supporter of all activities for the Tonasket School. He enjoyed supporting academics, sports and community involvement for the students. George often said his favorite years were when he and Burna were training and racing their horses. He enjoyed traveling to different racetracks with Joe and Luella Schneider. His daughter, Renee, was their jockey. Daughters Tori, Trudy and son-in-law Gary, along with many friends, would follow them to various race meets. It was a very fun and exciting time for George.

George and his longtime friend, Bob Sutton, took their grandsons on epic camping trips to Fourteen Mile campground area every summer. Their grandsons learned many lessons from their grandpas and as grown men, reminisce about their adventures with laughter and an abundance of admiration.

George put family first in his heart and in his actions. He would dress up as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for the grandchildren. At Christmas, he would bring home large, empty refrigerator boxes from the store to throw the wrapping paper into so the grandchildren could play in the box, laughing and throwing paper everywhere. He loved decorating his large front lawn at Christmas. He started preparing months in advance and had great displays. He and Burna loved watching cars slowly driving by their home as everyone enjoyed the lights and characters they had created. Their Christmas display was looked forward to by many. In the spring, summer and fall, family and friends had many celebrations in his beautiful yard. He was always planning projects to surprise his family.

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force

After Burna’s passing, he and other community members started plans for the U.S. Armed Forces Legacy. Soon there was a Board of Directors, which George was a member of. Tonasket citizens joined together with volunteered time, talent, supplies, equipment and ideas. Today, the Legacy site is a testament to George’s dedication to the United States military for both active duty and veterans. The site hosts many events and has become a very impressive focal point for the community. There soon was a building at the site for veteran services. He volunteered and drove veterans from the Okanogan Valley to the Veteran’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington regularly. George was so proud of the Legacy and all that it meant to the military men and women in his community. George was a true patriot. He loved and was so proud of the United States of America, the state of Washington, Okanogan Valley and his hometowns of Riverside and Tonasket. He will always be remembered for his fair and generous dealings with people both in his personal and professional life. He believed in supporting people with visions and dreams. A good friend referred to him as a true humanitarian.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at his beloved US Armed Forces Legacy site on May 11, 2024 at 1 p.m. George’s family would like to extend their gratitude for all of the love and support from the community and would like to share this day with everyone to honor an extraordinary and generous man. As many are missing him and paying their respects, he would tell you all – Keep the Faith and Let the Chips Fall Where They May.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the following charities in honor of George L Frank: Disabled American Veterans, St Jude Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital in Spokane WA, American Legion Post 82 or the US Armed Forces Legacy.

Final arrangements are being provided by Bergh Funeral Services and Crematory. George will be laid to rest in the Riverside Cemetery.