Jack Alan Frank, age 67, passed away at home on Thursday, October 28, 2021, after facing pancreatic cancer with steady resolve for over two years. May Jack’s memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
Born December 4, 1953, Jack was a son of the late Leonard and Erica (Moore) Frank. He grew up in Hackettstown, NJ, and earned a BS in Forest Management from Cook College of Rutgers University, NJ.
Jack met his best friend and wife, Katherine, in 1974 while living in the same dorm at Cook College. Since their first date, their abiding happiness was sharing each day together. Jack was a devoted husband who loved his wife deeply. He described their life together as “wonderful”, and Kathe knew Jack as her north star and heart’s desire. One of their favorite activities was a daily walk and some in town knew them as “the walkers”.
Jack’s first forestry job was with the NJ Bureau of Forestry. In 1979 he began his career with the US Forest Service on the Mendocino National Forest in northern California. In 1989 he transferred to the Allegheny National Forest. Jack loved being in the woods and took pride in his work. In his early career he did sale planning and prep forestry in the field. In later years he worked with forestry databases and tree growth modelling. His favorite trees were White Pine, Doug Fir, stately tulip poplar and oak.
A gentle soul, Jack was a good man, kind-hearted and true. He had an innate curiosity about the natural world, astronomy, and science in general. He liked thinking about “big concepts”. He enjoyed being in the mountains, walking in any woods, looking at the night sky, listening to birdsong, and examining plants along the trail. Jack was a graceful downhill skier. He and Kathe had great fun skiing, camping, and exploring the landscapes of National Forests and National Parks in the USA and Canada. Among Jack’s favorites were Arches NP (UT) and Bighorn NF (WY).
Jack cherished his extended family and was especially close with his three siblings. He was proud of his nieces and nephews and enjoyed watching them grow up to become remarkable people. Jack treasured his friends and was blessed with lasting friendships from all phases of his life. Jack was happy sharing walks, talks, meals, campfires, music, car outings, outdoor adventures, city weekends, holidays and ordinary days alike with those he loved.
A car enthusiast, Jack owned three hobby cars over the years. With the help of car buddies, he completed frame-off restorations on two (roadster and hot rod) and thoughtfully modified a 1988 “track car”. Jack learned to be a good mechanic and an excellent fabricator. He paid attention to details, did research, and devised “elegant solutions” to auto issues.
Jack enjoyed “car cruising” country roads, and he and Kathe took multi-day road trips around western NY and PA in the hot rod. He embraced “performance driving” with passion, going to nearby road tracks to drive his track car during car club driving schools. Attentive to the physical layout and dynamics of each track, Jack became a skillful driver and earned praise from fellow drivers.
From childhood Jack rhythmically “drummed” on nearly any surface, and when he retired, he got a used drum kit and took lessons. He enjoyed listening to blues music. Jack had a sweet smile and was known for his subtle wit and spontaneous puns.
Jack and Kathe were strengthened by the steadfast love and support offered by family and friends during his illness. The Frank family Christmas at Chautauqua in 2019 was a special joy.
Left to remember countless happy days and cherish Jack’s memory are his wife Kathe, siblings Liz (Marc), Adrienne (Gary), and Gareth (Roxanne), niece Julia (Kevin), nephews Joseph and Matt (Jaime), 4 great-nieces and -nephews, cousins Nancy and Joel (and families), the Pullets family, godsons Dennis and DeWitt, dear friends near and far, his Forest Service family and car buddies.
Family memorial services will be private. Burial of cremains will be in Branchville, NJ at a later date.
Friends are invited to gather on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 1:00 PM at Chapman State Park (pavilion 4), where a Prayer Service will begin at 1:30 PM officiated by the Rev Dr. Matthew R. Scott, vicar of Trinity Memorial and St. Francis Episcopal Churches. Please observe appropriate covid precautions and mask wearing. In the coming weeks friends are welcome to invite Kathe for a quiet walk.
Jack was beloved and he will be missed in ways big and small. In lieu of memorials, please “pay forward” an act of kindness you’ve received or take a walk with someone you love. E-mail condolences may be sent by visiting www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com <www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com/> The Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc. has been entrusted with Jack’s arrangements.