Frank A. YorkJanuary 16, 1935 ~ November 3, 2017 (age 82)
January 16, 1935 – November 3, 2017
Frank A. York was born in St. Luke’s Hospital Boise, ID on January 16, 1935, to Richard A. York and Avis N. McConnell York. He joined his older brother Richard Andrew (Andy) on their rented farm in Meridian, ID. Soon after Frank’s birth the family moved to Montour, ID where his dad raised dairy cattle and worked at the lumber mill in Horseshoe Bend. Two more sons George William (Bill) and James Walter (Jim) were born to Richard and Avis in Montour completing the family of four boys.
Frank loved the hills around Montour. When not working on the farm, Frank and his best friend Don Newell spent hours roaming around the area surrounding Montour. Even in later life, Frank could remember where he hid tobacco cans filled with coins in notches in and around boulders near the farm. Frank called these “SPs” or special places and made sure his sons knew how to find them. Frank also passed a love of wild flowers to his sons. Early spring days he would load up the family for trips to his parents’ farm in search of the season’s first buttercups. Frank’s parents kept a close eye on him while he was on the farm; but, he found a lot of joy and freedom on his Uncle Kenneth Pratt’s ranch near Sweet. He always had a special place in his heart for his Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Dorothy because on their property he truly felt at peace.
Frank attended school in Montour and graduated from Emmett High School in 1953. He attended Oregon State and worked summers for the US Forest Service fighting fires and clearing mountain trails. After two years at Oregon State he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his honorable discharge in 1959 Frank returned to Oregon State where he met LaDene Irene Swanson while the two worked together washing dishes in the “chow hall.” Frank returned to Montour and picked fruit in Emmett to earn the money to buy LaDene an engagement ring. Frank and LaDene married on September 17, 1960 in LaDene’s Congregational Church in Beaverton, Oregon. After a honeymoon on the Oregon Coast they moved to Emmett where Frank became a police officer. Frank was hired by the Idaho State Police in 1961, and he and LaDene moved to Coeur d’ Alene where their first son Richard McConnel was born in 1965. Frank moved with ISP to Glenns Ferry and then Twin Falls where the family grew with the birth of Kirk Evan in 1968. In 1970 Frank and LaDene moved to Boise and Frank went to work for the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1978 the family was blessed with a third son Joel David.
Frank enjoyed a long and distinguished carrier with the Federal Government. He received national recognition on several occasions for his innovative approach to encouraging large truck and bus safety. Frank maintained the rare ability to develop excellent working relationships with the industry he regulated and state safety partners. Frank was always proud of his service with the Idaho State Police and maintained close contact with officers he had known and with whom he worked. Frank retired from the Federal Government in 1997.
Frank loved Idaho. While employed with the U.S. Department of Transportation he traveled the U.S. telling all he met about the wonders of his home state. Many of his colleagues from around the country came to visit and understand Idaho’s beauty for themselves. Frank took most of them to his Uncle Kenneth’s to ride horses and experience a real working ranch. Many have reflected these trips created life long memories for those he entertained. Frank made sure his boys experienced all parts of the state traveling from the deserts in the south to the lake region up north. Along the way, he would point out the trees, flowers and shrubs he had learned to identify in the Forest Service and at Oregon State. He was an avid hunter and gun collector. He was most happy sitting on the side of some cold mountain early in the Fall with a pocket full of candy waiting for the game to pass. He harvested many deer and elk and drew a coveted moose permit in the 1980s. Frank loved the Boise State Broncos and held season football tickets as long as his health allowed. Special thanks to Frank’s loving friends who offered court side season basketball tickets to he and LaDene for many years. In his last years, he and LaDene became involved at the Meridian Senior Center. Frank enjoyed meeting many new friends and developing a network of support as he struggled with Parkinson’s Disease.
Frank grew up in a religious family but dedicated himself to Christ after he and LaDene moved to Boise. Jesus Christ changed Frank’s life. Although he struggled with his own worthiness ultimately, he began to understand the joy of God’s grace. Even into the last stages of his life he kept working on growing closer to God and expressing his love for his boys and LaDene. Frank greatly appreciated the friends he met through his church affiliation. He especially enjoyed swapping stories with the Glorysiders at Ten Mile Christian Church.
Frank was incredibly strong based on his years of hard physical work. His strength proved to be invaluable as he faced his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. As his body failed to respond to the wishes of his brain, he willed himself to overcome many obstacles in order to stay at home. Although he finally succumbed to the disease, he was able to pass with dignity in his own room. His last word was,“LaDene.”
Frank was proceeded in death by his parents and three brothers. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, LaDene, sons Richard (Volyn), Kirk (Judy) and Joel (Kristin); Four grandchildren Shelby, Georgia, Sydney and Clint.
A memorial service will be conducted for Frank on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Ten Mile Christian Church 3500 W. Franklin Road Meridian, ID, The family would like to thank St. Luke’s Hospice and Bowman Funeral Parlor for their kind support during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Meridian Idaho Senior Center P.O. Box 563 Meridian, ID 83680.