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NOVEMBER 14, 2012

On 11/14/12, After a lengthy battle with heart and lung problems, Frank E. Sensabaugh went home to rest with Jesus and is singing his favorite song, "How Great Thou Art", with the angels. He was born 10/24/1929 in Taylorville, Illinois; and is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Elyse; his sister, Alyce Ford; daughter, Lana; son, Frank W.; step-son Aaron Miller; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Gladys (Carr) Sensabaugh; sister, Ola Mae Thomas; two premature sons; step-son, Garret Miller; and granddaughter, Joslyn.

Frank was an excellent basketball player, golfer, and bowler. His desire to bowl began when he was a teen in Illinois, but during the segregation era he wasn't allowed to participate, but that only fueled his determination to bowl one day. So he focused on baseball, and when he moved to Milwaukee, he made the old Borchert Field a second home where he often watched Satchel Paige, the pitching sensation of the Negro League. Eventually he started bowling with black friends in Milwaukee's inner city, and finally persuaded enough of them to form two teams to bowl in local tournaments. In 1962 one of those teams placed third in the Milwaukee City Tournament and went on to win the state championship. After that, he was always able to put together several teams for every tournament. In 1965 the executive secretary of the Greater Milwaukee Bowling Association (GMBA) asked Frank to become the first black director on their board. After 17 years as a director, Frank became president of the GMBA in 1982, an organization of 150,000 bowlers.

Frank worked as a machinist at Allis-Chalmers in Milwaukee, WI, for 31 years except for three years playing basketball for the U.S. Marine Corp. He retired from Allis-Chalmers in 1978 at age 49 and had more time to indulge in his passion for bowling and golf. He also started driving school bus routes in Milwaukee which he did for 14 years.

Every year Frank bowled in three to six leagues a week and had an average near 200 most of that time. During the summer, he played golf as often as possible. After moving to Fort Myers in 1992, he was able to golf more but still bowled in an evening league. When he felt the late hours at the bowling lanes interfered with his morning golf games, he stopped bowling. Frank got a part-time job two days a week as a ranger/starter at Eastwood Golf Course, and he golfed every day when he wasn't at work or church. He had three holes-in-one; all on Eastwood's 6th hole.

Memorial Luncheon will be Friday, 12/07/12, from 3-6 p.m. at Eastwood Golf Course, 4600 Bruce Herd Lane, Fort Myers 33905. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Fort Myers Christian School in care of First Assembly of God, 4701 Summerlin Rd., Fort Myers, FL 33907; phone (239) 936-6277 or 939-4642.

Published in The News-Press on Nov. 22, 2012
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