Frank J. Gleich Jr.
Frank J. Gleich, Jr.
Frank J. Gleich, Jr., 76, passed away Wednesday, April 26, 2006 from a fall into the raging Rogue River while taking pictures for the second edition of his autobiography. Search and Rescue spent three and a half days searching for Frank until the river gave up his body on Saturday, April 29th.
Frank was born in Chicago, Illinois to Frank Sr. and Mildred Gleich on February 20, 1930. Frank served in the U.S. Army - November 6, 1946 through May 1948, attending Basic Training at Ft. Bragg, N. Carolina, then went immediately to San Francisco where he was shipped out to Kanung, Korea at the 38th Parallel, Company C, 7th Division, 32nd Battalion. After he was honorably discharged, he went home to Chicago and married his childhood sweetheart, Marie Drobitsch on August 20, 1949.
Frank worked as a purchasing agent and director of purchasing at various companies in the mid-West until 1974 when the family moved to San Diego. They also lived in Wisconsin and Texas, until finally he retired and moved here to beautiful Prospect in 1988. He was a frequent visitor to Reno and Las Vegas. He and his wife, Marie, toured the lower 49 states of the U.S. in their motor home.
Frank was lovingly known as "Frank the Crank" by all who new him. Frank enjoyed entertaining and staying active. He enjoyed tennis, fishing, motorcycling, rafting, all water sports, billiards, poker, cribbage, hunting, snowmobiling, and of course, his number one love, GOLF.
Frank was active in the Prospect community. He and Marie, with help of family and friends, would decorate their 21-acre homesite for Halloween - turning it into a scary delight for the community and a lit winter wonderland of millions of lights for Christmas. The Trib and local news stations reported these events every year. Young and old alike came by carloads and even school bus loads to view for free the outdoor museum they created, which included a Mash Unit, teepee, tug boat, fire engine, medicine wagon, milk wagon, John Dilinger's truck, D.B. Cooper hanging by a parachute with a satchel of money stuck in a tree. They also had a mock alien landing, a simulated electric chair with Bin Laden sitting in it, a Mausoleum with a mummy that reached for you when you opened the door, Gleich's Boot Hill Cemetery complete with prospector bones and fools gold and even a casket with Dracula inside.
Every Christmas morning, Frank would don his Santa suit and load up a few hundred gifts that he and Marie had purchased with their own money, and take them to the struggling families in their community. Year after year this event grew until Sheriffs Bob Kennedy and Mike Winters assigned deputies to drive and assist Frank.
Frank wasn't perfect; he admittedly made a few poor choices, which he truly regretted. But it is the family's prayer that the wonderful things Frank did for the community, his joy of living life to it's fullest and making people smile, will long be remembered.
In Oregon, Frank is survived by daughter, Cindy Hashin; granddaughter, Frostiana Hashin and Kurtis (pregnant with their first child); in California, granddaughter, Crescent Clover (husband, USMC, Sgt. Carson Clover); in Illinois, daughter, Linda Watson (husband, Ric); grandson, Derek Watson, Jennifer and their infant son, Collin (Franks first great-grandchild); and granddaughter, Alexis Watson; in Seoul Korea, granddaughter, Army Captain Erica Borggren (she and husband, Eric, are also pregnant with their first child). Frank is survived by one younger brother, Richard Gleich (wife, Shirley) in Florida.
A memorial service for Frank will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th, 2006 at
Simple Faith Fellowship, 1033 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland.