James W. Frank
December 13, 1919 - April 8, 2013
Resident of Castro Valley
James W. Frank, "Jim," died at the age of 93 on April 8, 2013, in Castro Valley, CA. Jim was born Dec. 19, 1919, in Oakland to Edwin and Marion Frank. They moved to Montclair where Jim attended Montclair schools and graduated from Oakland Tech High School. Both his parents and older sister, Elizabeth Frank Starke, predeceased him.
Jim married Betty Jane Murray July 1, 1942, in Reno, Nevada, after becoming engaged on Dec. 7, 1941. He served in the US Army
Air Corps, repairing planes in Taft, CA, and in the Pacific theater. After his service and subsequent college work at San Jose State (BA, MA), Jim earned the first Vocational Education certificate in the State of California (#001). The family then moved to the Hayward area with their first child, Susan Jane, so Jim could begin his teaching career at Hayward High School. When a new school opened west of Hayward, Jim became a member of the first faculty at San Lorenzo High School, teaching drafting and woodworking for over 40 years there. He became the Industrial Arts Dept. Chair and taught Night School. He cared deeply for his students and colleagues, promoting working with one's hands as a lifetime skill.
Jim moved the family to Castro Valley in 1948, building the house on Seven Hills Rd.-a dirt road-where he and Jane lived for over 60 years. Son, Jonathan James, and daughter, Nanci Louise, were born during the early years here.
Jim built most of the contents of the family home as well as endless gifts and projects for others. In addition, he built and sewed a collapsible camping trailer which served the family every summer. He also designed and published plans for foldable kayaks which appeared in Sunset magazine. "Measure twice, cut once," was his motto.
Jim spent many years very active in Hayward First Presbyterian Church in many capacities from youth programs to senior citizens and in-between. His faith was very important to him. He was active as well with the Boy Scouts for many years, and with camping, hiking, fishing, and backpacking. He especially loved to take the church youth on backpack trips. He could not boil an egg in the kitchen, but he prepared unbelievable meals in the wild! He shared his values with everyone he encountered: faith in God, love for family, education, reading (especially westerns), using tools, being honest, and being oneself.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jane of Castro Valley, children: Susan Frank Ballentine (Richard) of Portland, OR; Jon Frank (Kathy) of Seattle, WA and Nanci Frank Scheevel (Roger) of Castro Valley. Grandchildren include: Jennifer Ballentine (Scott Kelsey) of Decatur, GA; Joshua Frank (Emily Howe) of Seattle; Lara Ballentine Anderson (Bill) of Decatur, GA, and Nicholas Scheevel of Castro Valley. His great-grandchildren include Jack and Lila Kelsey (GA), Torin Frank (WA), and Luke and Drew Anderson (GA).
The family invites everyone to join in remembering Jim on April 25, 2013, at 10 am at Hayward First Presbyterian Church, 2490 Grove Way, Hayward, with a brief coffee time immediately after the service at the church and a luncheon at Nanci, Roger, and Nicholas Scheevel's home directly following. Directions available at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim's name to Hayward First Presbyterian Church, the Sierra Club or San Lorenzo High School. Many thanks to Kaiser Hospice and the staff at Eden Villa of Castro Valley for graciously supporting Jim's last days.