One of my first memories of Frankie was when I was dating Keenie and I came over to their house on Arroyo Chico in Tucson. Frankie was sitting in a big chair in the living room, and Polly was snuggled on his lap. They were both smiling, obviously in love and comfortable with each other. I love that memory because it illustrates not only Frankie's constant love and support for Polly and all of his large family, but also his playful nature, which wasn't always right up front but which you knew was in there, ready to sparkle out at the right moment.
My father in law has always abided in a special part of my mind and heart. He was there when he was living, and is still there now that he is gone. This is a place of constancy, love, wisdom, and support. He welcomed me into the family even though I was not of his faith, held my babies when they were little and nudged them gently when they needed it as they grew. He was as near as a phone call when Keenie needed help with something he was trying to fix, and when we all got together, he managed to be completely present without hardly opening his mouth. Until, that is, something riled him up or captured his passion. We all know how he could wax poetic at those times, and when Frankie got on a roll like that, we all listened because we knew it was worth hearing.
He is the model of a Christian man to me, steadily faithful, forgiving, loving, a man who lived his faith every day all day.
Of course one of the best things he and Polly did, in my opinion, was produce their son Paul Keiner, who became my husband 30 years ago. While Keenie and his father are different in many ways, they are alike in the essentials of crisp intelligence, deep and constant love for their families, strongly held values, and that precious dash of playfulness.
Farewell, Frankie. Thank you for all you have given to all of us. We will miss you, and we will continue to learn from the example you so wonderfully set.