"Tribute to Frank Christopher"

This eulogy was delivered by Frank's son Ken at
the funeral services on Jul 9, 2005 in Orange, CA.

I asked Mom who she wanted to speak for the family today and of course she said I would be the one to do it. I think she was influenced by my brother's referring to me as the mouth. On behalf of the entire family I want to thank you for being here today. Frank, or Chris as you may have known him had 5 sons, who then had 21 children, so far, who have had 13 children of their own. As I did not want to spend the entire time listing names, with no offense to the greatgrand children, the grandchildren, many of whom are here, are Steve, Cory, Tony, Gina, Lauren, Francesca, Peter, Amy, Mark and Eric, Jashua, Gabriella, Dominic, Frankie, Tammy and Nathan, and Justin, David, Jamison, Cody and Elondra..

I am sure each and every one of them would say the same thing about Dad as my children have told me on many occasions. He was the best Grandfather that ever could be.. I was able to be with him on his last day and was able to tell him exactly that.

What kind of a man was Frank . A number of attributes come to mind. Loyalty, fidelity, patience, kindness, ingenuity , integrity, He was hardworking, honest, loving and always looking for the best in people and situations. Family was important to him as was his faith. He was a person you would have wanted to work with or for.

He was a very loving man and a real gentleman, with all the attributes that word should bring to mind. He never had a bad word for anyone, even Dave, when we (translate- me) tried to goad him into doing so.

I know from contact with some of his Navy cohorts, both while he was still in the service and since, that he was respected by them. In fact the historian for the USS Cecil, Ed Crowley has asked for the obituary and John Graham also of the Cecil and I have exchanged enough emails for me to know the depth of the affection his comrades had for him. They all knew him as Chris. And he was just as proud of them. I still recall that Dad was asked to attend the Armed Forces Staff College back East as a Lt-Commander and at the time was the youngest and most junior officer, an honor which speaks for itself. My brothers and I want to thank him one more time for his service to his country.

I read through this a number of times and always felt there was something missing, that I was not capturing the essence of Dad, That's when the Good Lord stepped in and had John Graham send me an email that read in part:

Frank was a good and honest man--a lover of God, family and truth--and an inspiration for comrades and others across the eighty-some years God granted him, and he gave life and hope to all us who knew and loved him.

After the Service he went to work for North-American Aviation, Later Rockwell International where he worked until retirement and I can still recall the genuine outpouring of affection at his retirement party. After which he joined Mom in Australia for an extended visit, including New Zealand, and then home, where Rockwell asked him to come back as a consultant. His work ethic was obvious to anyone who knew him and truly amazing to me as I can recall numerous nights when I was in High school and College and he was working at the dining room table well after I had finished my homework.

David reminded me however, that he could be a bit intense. So intense that he was the classic type A when we were younger and when he was working all those years. He had a habit of finishing your sentences for you. And if he didn't actually say the words he was mouthing them as We all knew he could fix anything, especially things we broke,. He was an excellent carpenter and electrician and jack of all trades. If you needed something fixed all you had to do was ask. I don't think there was a visit he made where he didn't find something he could fix. I truly regret the fact I did not get my garage remodeling done in time for him to fix Grandpa Dominic's Train set.

For myself and Mom and my brothers, Dad's passing is hard to believe and will be harder to get over I remember him telling me when Grandma Reita died at age 94, (he was 72) that it does not matter how old you are when your parent dies, it is still hard emotionally. Even though we know intellectually that he has gone home to his heavenly father and we should be joyous, and we are for him, the grief we feel is for ourselves because we will miss him dearly. .

In fact Phil. told me a story worth repeating to illustrate the man. It seems Eric was in a baseball tournament and had a game in which an umpire, who had 4 previous complaints from other teams, told Eric's female manager, after throwing out the other manager of the team. Brad, that she had to leave the field as women had no business on a baseball field. Phil was attempting to come to her defense when another rather tall and large umpire blocked his path, as Phil was debating with him whether or not he was going to get by him there stood Dad, who simply said, You need help with him son, to which Phil replied no I think I have it and step passed the umpire, who was looking slacked jaw at 67 year old Frank.

Through his last illness he maintained his sense of integrity and dignity and humor. In fact, if he is not in heaven at this moment, we have no hope of ever reaching there.

Finally I want to say for all of his other relatives, especially his sister Ann, that a better relative would be hard to imagine. We, his sons, have all seen how he interacted with his sister and how much affection they had for each other. and I know how much he mourned the death of our sister Susan. In preparing this on his computer I discovered it was more than I had realizes as he used her name along with a different set of numbers as his pass word on almost every internet program he had. I rejoice in the knowledge that e has at last been re-united with her. Say hello for me Dad.