Devoted husband, loving father, and ever-smiling rascal, Frank Rodney Malin, passed away in the comfort of his Medford, Ore., home on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, surrounded by his beloved pets and family. Always at peace with his own finitude, he left behind much love and no regrets.
Born on January 16, 1927, in Wichita, Kan., the humble cicustances of a prairie childhood during the Great Depression never left him, as he invested most of his life's energy in building relationships rather than a career or material fortune. The most important of those relationships, his marriage to JoAnne Nielsen, spanned 60 years and brought them both inestimable joy.
A man of significant talent, but even greater humility, Frank's musical acumen fittingly went to greatest use on his country's behalf during World War II. While serving his country, he played 1st trumpet in the U.S. Marine Corps Radio Band and recorded the morning bugle call used to rouse sailors from their slumber in the Pacific Fleet.
With personal exploits that included a solo trumpet performance at the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge during the 1937 World's Fair at age ten, and an appearance as a member of the boys' band in the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Frank's character and values shone through in the fact that the memories he spoke of most frequently and fondly were those of taking his granddchildren for tractor rides and bouncing them on his knee while watching episodes of Sesame Street. To quote him, "Family is the most important thing in life. The rest is just fluff."
Although Frank's body could no longer sustain him in this world, his spirit lives on in his wife of 60 years, JoAnne; his daughters, Kim Henderson, and Susan Bartels; his son-in-law, Greg Bartels; all of Medford, Ore.; along with four grandchildren, Paul Bartels, Andrea Gilbert, Wesley K. Towne III, and Andrew Bartels; and five great-grandchildren. His most recent troupe of second-chance pets, Harry, Lonesome, Molly, and Lucky, all miss him dearly.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks, as per Frank's wishes, that any memorial contributions be made anonymously to the Southern Oregon Humane Society.