Frank, after many years of sickness, has finally come to the river of life and crossed over and now is in the Lords "Garden of Souls," where there is only quiet and peace.
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Frank was born in Blassburg, Penn., on Sept. 25, 1943, and lived in Wellsboro, Penn., until enlisting in the United States Air Force, after graduating from Wellsboro Senior High School in 1962.
Frank enlisted in the Air force and was a member of the First Air Commando Wing at Hurlburt Field until leaving for the Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea. While at Hurlburt Field, Frank met and married Vissie Lee Courtney from Milligan, Fla. She worked at Hurlburt Field and Frank was married to Vissie until a terrible disease took her life nearly after 47 years of marriage.
Frank and Vissie worked many years at Eglin Air Force Base, Whiting Field and Hurlburt Field as civil servants. Hurlburt seemed like home to them. Frank and Vissie built and lived in their home in Fort Walton Beach until her passing in 2012. Frank and Vissie had no children but always gave presents to the young of the church on birthdays, Christmas and other special days. They quietly touched the lives of many of the young.
Frank and Vissie loved Rachel Santiago as if she were an adopted daughter. She filled their lives with cheer, hope, laughter and a ton of love. She brought much happiness to their lives, especially in help with Vissie during a difficult illness. He was also survived by his brother, Michael Joseph Wood of Wellsboro, Pa.
Frank was a Gideon and distributing the word of God was his passion. Frank was a Christian in all matters. He was a Kiwanian for over 14 years and President of the club, and a George F. Hixson Fellow. Frank loved projects for the poor and needy and the young children of the community. He volunteered at Saint Mary's Catholic Thrift Shop for several years with his wife Vissie. He loved Meals on Wheels and Ruth Lovejoy and delivered meals for many years. Frank cooked hamburgers and hot dogs at the boy's prison. He asked why they were there and most said no one ever loved them. He remembered those razor wire fences were really high.
Frank was a member of First United Methodist Church of Fort Walton Beach. Frank was a member of First Arts Concert program, leader of the Fruit of the Spirit Bible Class and named the class years before he became the teacher. Frank was a member of the Sends Loving Ministry, an outreach program for the elderly. He was an Emmaus community member and he could cheer up anyone with a smile and a good cup of coffee.
Frank was very ill most of his life and Vissie was always by his side and played a big role in his recovery from a 20 year illness and kidney failure and cancer. She made his life worth living.
Frank loved most of all reading stories to the preschool children each week. Frank said they fill your heart with their love. Frank liked his Kiwanis Club, his church and Elder Services. He loved the preschool teachers and all the children. Frank put all his energy into loving others even though doing dialysis for renal failure and keeping cancer in check.
Many have humbled him by their very kind words but they really inspired him to be a good Christian and follow their examples. He was a better person because of all who walked with him in life. God bless all of you.
Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m., Friday, April 5, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach. The funeral service will be 11 a.m., Friday, at the church with interment to follow at Rose Lawn Cemetery in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News from Apr. 2 to Apr. 4, 2013