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On January 12, 1926, Clarence Edward Eckenrode Jr. came into this world in York, PA. His parents were Dorothy Helen and Clarence Edward Sr. He was the first born of 4 boys: Clarence, Donald, Clifford, and Stanley. He was an active boy and liked to play marbles, baseball with a stick, racing caterpillars and skate ... Boy did he love to skate!
The saddest and biggest change in his young life was losing his mother to cancer. He was one month shy of his 11th birthday. His "widowed father of 4 motherless children" was drafted to the military 2 years later. The 4 brothers were separated to stay in different homes. Aunt Oneida raised Clarence. In high school, he ran track. The football coach noticed how fast he ran and recruited him to the football team. There he got his nickname "Eck" and became very popular. His senior year he tested out of high school and enlisted into the Marines. Clarence served in WWII in the South Pacific from 1943-1946. From this point on, he was known as Frank, due to his beautiful singing voice and his love for Frank Sinatra songs.
He returned to York for one last cold winter and decided to head for California with two friends, where he had met Vada. Her family gave the three marines a place to stay and her sisterly love lasted 68 years!
Once settled in Whittier, Frank met Rosie at the Montebello Ballroom and she became the love of his life! They married September 23, 1950 and moved into their brand new home on Aldrich St. in Pico Rivera. This is where they raised their children Tom, Mike, Patty, and Jane with lots of love and just enough discipline. It would be an understatement to say their marriage was happy ... it was perfect. Rosie and Frank traveled, had many friends, and enjoyed their life together with zest! They were "guided" to each other, as Frank would say, giving all credit to God. Due to Rosie's faith, Frank found his own love for God and they were parishioners at St. Hilary Church together for 62 years. Frank's work ethic was admirable. From 10 Years old through adulthood he always had a job. Most of his life he was best known as the "Candy Man." The Aldrich St. kids and cousins fondly remember the garage full of Cornuts, Whoppers, and other goodies!
In 2012, Frank lost Rosie to a battle with cancer. She was his other half and he was devastated, but stood strong like a true soldier.... For 6 1/2 years he busied himself with projects. He was quite artistic! He wrote his autobiography, poems, songs, paintings, and drawings. He even interviewed each grandchild with his specific questions recorded to CDs and hand typed into a book. That was some special one-on-one time spent with his grandkids! Each year these are the types of precious gifts he gave to his family for Christmas. He had 11 grandchildren and 7 great - grand babies that lit up his life! He found joy in each and every one of them and was so very proud of all of their accomplishments.
Frank conquered many obstacles in his life. Losing his mother and wife were the biggest aside from fighting the war. He was a survivor for 92 years and 9 months. He had a quiet way about him. Frank was proud, yet humble. He led a simple life appreciating all that he had, never wanting more. Frank was a very good man, a fantastic husband, the best father ever, and a great grandfather! He was loyal, dependable and sometimes stubborn. He knew what he wanted and that was that! All he ever really wanted was to be with his Rosie until eternity. On October 12, 2018, his Heavenly Father called him home and now his dream has come true! He will surely be missed by us all.
Monday, November 5, 2018
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