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Alamogordo, NM 88310
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Frank S. Kovacich


1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Frank S. Kovacich Obituary

Long time Alamogordo resident Frank Kovacich passed away on October 26th following a short illness. He was born in Fresno, Calif., on December 23, 1924, the first of two sons of Sam Kovacich and Vinka (Vucetic) Kovacich. He moved to San Francisco at only 16 to work in the shipyards to help support the family. A World War II veteran, Frank enlisted in the Army in 1943 and, following several attempts by the army to find the best place to use his talents, he was trained as a communications technician. During the war he was stationed in North Africa, and was transferred to Tulln Air Base in Austria following the surrender of the German Army. Frank remained in the U.S. Army and transferred to the newly formed U.S. Air Force at its creation in 1947. During his long Air Force career he was stationed at air bases in Illinois, Texas, Mississippi, California, New Mexico, Panama, and multiple assignments overseas in Turkey, Germany and Spain.

Frank met his future bride, Genevieve Belter, while stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois upon returning to the United States from Austria. They were married at St. Laborius Church in Saint Louis, Missouri, on January 6th, 1948. The couple spent most of the following 25 years together at air bases in the United States, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East, separated occasionally by temporary duty assignments. Frank received a number of commendations and medals as a result of his communications skills and efforts while on his Air Force assignments. The couple had five children during this time, and moved to Hollman Air Force Base here in Alamogordo in mid-1972. Shortly after coming to Alamogordo, Frank offered his services as a volunteer at the Otero County Association for Retarded Citizens/Opportunity Center serving citizens with special needs. Frank chose to retire from the Air Force early in the following year, and received an honorable discharge at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant on May 1st, 1973. Frank and Genevieve built the first and only home they ever owned in Sunrise Heights.

Following retirement from the military, Frank worked briefly for Coca-Cola of Alamogordo repairing vending machines. Shortly after hiring on, when Coke decided to consolidate local operations in Roswell, Frank left Coca-Cola and took a position as the Assistant Director at the Opportunity Center. He soon took over the Center as acting Director, and was promoted by the Center Board of Directors to take over the position in 1974. Frank worked tirelessly for the clients at the Center. Macramé and ceramic operations at the Center were expanded, operations to make and bundle survey stakes for contractors were instituted, and additional funding was obtained from the State to build a greenhouse where the clients tended and sold seasonal Easter Lilies, Poinsettias, and landscaping plants to local retail businesses. He also joined and became active in Rotary International, including one year as president of the local White Sands Rotary Club for 1984-1985. In recognition of his many efforts on behalf of the Center and other charitable activities, Frank received the Sertoma Club of Alamogordo Man of the Year Award in 1985, and was voted Man of the Year by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce in 1989.

Following his retirement from the Opportunity Center in 1990, Frank devoted himself to his hobbies of gardening and stamp collecting. He and Genevieve were members of the local Garden Club, and Frank was a member and long-serving president of the Rocket City Stamp Club. He continued to actively and avidly collect U. S. and, most recently, German postage stamps until his passing. He also joined the Catholic Knights of Columbus, selecting to become a Fourth Degree member of the Knights. Frank and Genevieve were also active in Meals on Wheels, the Holloman NCO club and were volunteers in the base pharmacy.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Vinka Kovacich, his younger brother, Steve Kovacich, his son, Gregory Kovacich, and by his beloved wife Genevieve Kovacich in 2013.

He is survived by his daughter Jerry Wussler and husband Al, and sons Michael Kovacich and wife Aut, Richard Kovacich and wife Carol and Anthony Kovacich. He is also survived by his six grandchildren Catherine Brand, Genevieve Weleck, Moni Love, Spencer Kovacich, April Kovacich and Austin Kovacich, and three great-grandchildren Steven Weleck, Vivienne Weleck and Kai Kovacich.

Visitation will be held at Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home, 1334 N. Scenic Drive on Monday, November 7th, beginning at 5:00 p.m. with recitation of the holy rosary at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, November 8th at 10:00 a.m., at St. Jude Catholic Church, 1404 College Avenue, Alamogordo, NM, with interment immediately following at Monte Vista Cemetery.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in Frank's honor to the Zia Therapy Center in Alamogordo, or to the Saint Jude Children's research hospital.

The Kovacich family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home. To sign the online register book, please visit www.hamiltonodell.com
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Nov. 3 to Dec. 2, 2016
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