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Our father, Frank J. McCollough, also known to us as Dad, and to others as simply Joe, passed away quietly on the morning of August 25th at 12:48 a.m. at the Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau, WI. Dad was 87 - which everyone reminded him of. He didn't like that too much because he knew perfectly well how old he was. Dad suffered from a number of health issues - so we really don't know the final cause of his death. He just simply gave out. But 87 years is still really amazing!
If golf was a metaphor for life, we could say that our Dad finished his last round, has come off the 18th, signed his scorecard and is on his way home. I am sure he is with his mother Pearl, his father Frank, best dog Blackie and brothers Richard (Helen) and Horace (Nalda) back in his hometown of Beardstown, Illinois. Right now I am sure they are all around the table enjoying his mom's fried chicken that he always loved.
Erica, Dad's caddy in life, and beloved spouse for 60 years is still on the course and misses her husband dearly. Dad's children - Edward, Frank, William (Pam) and Laura (Terry) - are still are on the back nine. His daughter Kimberly left the course early due to rain. The grandkids are on the front nine and include: Todd, Kate, Eric, Sarah, Mary, Laura Ann, Jordan Stokes, and Ian Cranfield. Also on the course are his nieces Peggy and Christine and nephews John, Scott, and Andy. His nephew Mark also had to leave early due to bad weather.
Our Dad had an amazing life that covered a number of wars as well as huge social and technological changes. When we look back at his life it is staggering to think of all the things that he did and had seen. One of the main highlights of Dad's life was his military career. He is somewhat unique because he served in the Navy during WWII and also as an officer in the Army during the Korean conflict. It was during his time in the Army, while on duty in Amberg, Germany, that this dashing 2nd Lieutenant met a beautiful young Fraulein named Erica Greul. A budding romance lead to their marriage. And of course this lead to another highlight of their life - us!
He was a great Dad. He had the singular ability to relate to all his children on topics unique to each of us and was able to develop a special relationship with all of us. These topics coincidently covered a number of his interests: Golf, tennis, classical music, speech, science, sports, games, theater, community - oh and did we mention Golf?
We would like to believe that Dad's children were the highlight of his life. But we have our suspicions that this was overshadowed by the long and deep friendships he established as a result of his 35 years in Wausau and as an employee of Wausau Insurance. Dad could meet anyone on the streets of Wausau and if he did not know you directly, he knew someone who did. He has many great friends here, one special gnome, and two special giants.
Please join us at the Wausau Country Club on Sunday, September 1, 2013. A visitation will be held from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. followed by a Remembrance and Celebration of our Dad's life at 5:00 p.m. Dad's amazing story is too expansive to cover here. We are going to have a good time, so bring your photos, stories and memories on Sunday. Dad loved to laugh - we are going to continue with that tradition. (Your favorite golfing attire would be appropriate!) A private family burial will be at Beardstown, IL at a later date.
Brainard Funeral Home-Everest Chapel, Weston, is assisting the family with arrangements.
If you wish to make any remembrances and/or in lieu of flowers, please consider these two organizations. First, the Marshfield Ministry Hospice Home Care, 2600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 160, Wausau, WI 54501, is a superb organization and was a great help to our family (thank you Bonnie). And in honor of our service members, the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675is a wonderful program for our Vets.
Condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com
Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center
5712 Memorial Court Weston, WI 54476
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30, 2013