Frank Benjamin Meaker
August 19, 1922 - February 4, 2012
Frank Benjamin Meaker, 89, passed away on Feb. 4, 2012, due to natural causes. He was under the comforting and loving care of Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado and Sunrise Creek Assisted Living.
Frank B. Meaker was born on Aug. 19, 1922, in Montrose, Colo., to parents Frank and Lois (Naftel) Meaker. As a boy, he grew up on the family farm on North Mesa. After graduating from Montrose High School in 1940, Frank spent two years at Colorado A&M in Fort Collins, Colo., before joining the Air Corps. His service record states he attained a rank of 2nd lieutenant and was a flight engineer aboard a B29 bomber. Between the time his orders came to be shipped overseas and the date of his expected departure, World War II came to an end, and his orders were cancelled. He received an honorable discharge from the service and returned to school at Denver University, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.
During spring break of his senior year, Frank married the love of his life, Irish Eads, on March 21, 1948, in the Trinity Methodist Church in Denver, Colo. After graduation, Frank and Irish moved back to Montrose, where Frank joined his father, raising sheep and farming the home place. The sheep business took Frank from the alpine meadows near Uncompaghre Peak to the desert regions of Utah. Cattle replaced the sheep in 1968, and then in 1986, the efforts focused on farming and the operation of a small commercial feedlot which extended services to outlying ranches in the Western Colorado region.
Frank and Irish had three sons who were all raised on the family ranch. Today, Bruce is a principal engineer for the Snohomish County Public Utility District in Everett, Wash. Randy has been a partner with Frank since 1976 and continues to operate the family farm and ranch, and Barry is an electrical engineer with Boeing in Seattle.
Frank has always been active in civic affairs. He has served as president of the local Wool Growers Association, the Menoken School Board and the Knife and Fork Club. He was a member of the Montrose Fire Board at the time the decision was made to build Fire Station No. 1 on South 5th Street in Montrose. He served as a director of Menoken Water Company for multiple terms. Frank and Irish were active members at Hillcrest United Church of Christ.
Over the years, Frank and Irish loved to travel. There were multiple trips to Hawaii, two cruises to the Caribbean and one cruise to Alaska. They covered most of the western United States together. In the earlier years, there were boys in tow. In the latter years, their travels were often with good friends and family members. Frank's vocation and recreation were one in the same. He loved working with the livestock and being outdoors, building things from scratch and making things work with nothing more than a few bent nails, some baling wire and some black tape. His gentle and sincere nature drew children and adults to him. He invested himself in others and sought nothing in return.
Frank is survived by Irish, his loving wife of 63 years; his sons, Bruce of Everett, Wash., Randy and wife Deb of Montrose, and Barry and wife Mary Pat of Bonney Lake, Wash.; grandchildren, Patrick, Erin, Cory, Annie, Caity, Alan, Owen and Max; and one great-grandchild, Ben.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents and his two sisters, Virginia Gray of Montrose and Geraldine Cairns of Chico, Calif.
A memorial service to celebrate and honor Frank will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, at Grace Community Church, 16731 Woodgate Road in Montrose. A private graveside service for the family is pending.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 1804, Montrose, CO 81402.
Arrangements are being handled by the Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose, (970) 249-2121.