Frank Hall

  • "My sincere heart felt wishes to am-fm Halls'family. I..."
    - Jim Tipple
  • "Frank we are going to miss you from our ACS-WAMCATS roster...."
    - Jim Hensley
  • "I first met Frank in 1962 at the Duncan Canal White Alice..."
    - Harvey Gilliland
  • "Judy -- We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. You..."
  • "Hugs to you, Susan. He sounds like a wonderful father. I..."
    - Rita McLawhorn

Alaska Pioneer, Frank Monroe (Boe) Hall, 93, died November 15, 2013, at Alaska Regional Hospital.

Frank, was born November 12, 1920, in South Bend, Washington, the son of Margaret (Toner) and Clinton Hall. He studied radio in high school and continued his studies in Seattle, which led to his meeting Professor Ernest Patty, Dean of Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (now UAF), and his first trip to Alaska. Dr. Patty was looking for a summer radio operator for his mining claim in Alaska's Coal Creek Valley and hired Frank who worked there for one summer. Frank went on to work as a radio operator for Alaska Steam, until World War II intervened.

During the war, Frank joined the Marines, studied military communications, and served through three Pacific Island campaigns as a Master Sergeant. After the war, Frank returned to Tacoma. While working as a police dispatcher, he met Vona Damron. They were married on June 23, 1946, in Mossyrock, Washington.

By the end of 1946, Frank accepted a Civil Aviation Administration job for the petroleum reserve base near Pt. Barrow. Since the CAA did not accommodate wives at that time, Vona reluctantly left Alaska to wait in Mossyrock until moving with Frank to Unalakleet, his next assignment. Frank was soon transferred to Gamble on St. Lawrence Island, where he and Vona spent a year. Awaiting the birth of their first child, they left Alaska again, when Frank joined the National Park Service at Mt. Rainier as communications foreman. In 1953, a job with Alaska Communications Systems in Ketchikan presented Frank with an opportunity to move back to Alaska permanently. A year later, he and Vona settled in Juneau to raise their six children and remained for 50 years. After retiring from ACS, Frank went to work for Alyeska during construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, where he supervised the installation of the pipeline's communications network from Delta to Prudhoe Bay. Then he retired for good.

Years after Dr. Patty introduced Frank to mining, he and Vona bought their own mining claim at Boulder Creek. Many summers were spent working the Boulder Creek Mine with their children, and living and working at the mine were among the greatest pleasures of his life. In 2004, Frank and Vona moved to Chugiak, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Frank Hall was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Margaret, Dorothy, George, Wayne and Vern; his son, Matthew Wayne Hall, and wife, Vona Damron Hall. He is survived by his daughters, Susan (Pt. Townsend) and Judith (Juneau), his sons, Glenn (and Deborah of Holmes Beach, Florida), Jeffrey (Chugiak), and Mallie (and Joelle of Chugiak); six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Frank was a strong and attentive parent who, with quiet strength and dignity and a deep love and commitment to his family, taught his children to value independence, hard work, and self-sufficiency. His family greatly loved and will miss this gentle giant, affectionately known as "Boe," and will gather together next summer to scatter his ashes at Boulder Creek, where he will join his beloved wife, Vona, and youngest son Matthew.


Published in Anchorage Daily News from Dec. 5 to Dec. 6, 2013
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