Fence Post obituary: Esther Alfrieda Frank
ESTHER ALFRIEDA FRANK, 100
FEB. 25, 1917 – JULY 6, 2017
Esther was the youngest child of Conrad and Analiss Wagner who immigrated to this country from Russia in 1908 — die Volga Deutsch. Esther was the only one of her family born in the United States.
She was born in Windsor, Colo. Esther had four brothers and two sisters. She grew up on a farm near Windsor in the Oklahoma District where she attended grade school and later attended high school in Berthoud, Colo. Her fondest memory of high school was the year the Berthoud High School girls basketball team won the state championship.
After high school, she met Philip C. Frank of Windsor and they were married on Mother’s Day in 1939. They settled in Windsor and Phil resumed attending college in Greeley, Colo. A couple of years after they were married, World War II broke out and Phil, being in the National Guard, was called to active duty. Esther followed Phil to his various assignments until he was sent overseas, at which time she returned to Loveland and lived with her parents until the end of World War II. One of Esther’s memories from World War II was, after renting an apartment near the Army Base in Texas to which Phil had been stationed, the landlord said she had to move. She asked why and he told her it was because she was German. Esther asked why he rented to her in the first place, and he said he thought, being tall and blond, that she was Swiss.
Roy (Philip Conroy) was born in Loveland while Phil was serving. After Phil’s return from the Army, they lived on a farm southwest of Windsor and ultimately moved to Loveland. Their marriage produced a total of four sons, Roy, John, Rick and Dave. Esther reveled in talking about the exploits, especially the athletic exploits, of her sons. Esther spent 12 years cooking in, as she would call it, “The R2J school cafeterias,” including the Washington, Lincoln and Garfield grade schools.
Later she was the cook and then the baker at the Good Samaritan Retirement Village in Loveland for 20 years. Cooking was a big part of Esther’s life and she worked at numerous restaurants in Loveland and Greeley. All through her life, the First Congregational Church in Loveland was very important to her.
She supported her church in many ways, not the least of which were — on many, many occasions — helping make noodles, cabbage burgers and helping with the harvest dinners. Her father had helped build the church bringing in his horse team from the farm to help in construction. Phil was also very involved in the church, serving as the Sunday school superintendent and teaching the Confirmation classes for many, many years.
All four of Esther’s sons married and started their own families. One of the things Esther said she enjoyed most was family get-togethers, especially the ones around Christmas. Esther turned 100 on Feb. 25, 2017, which, in retrospect, seems to have been one of her life’s goals. Esther is the last member of her family — all her brothers and sisters having preceded her in death. Philip C. Frank, her husband, and Fredrick William Frank her third son have preceded her in death. She is survived by three sons, three daughters-in-law, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be at 11:30 a.m. on July 30, 2017, in the basement of the First Congregational Church, Loveland.