Francis R. "Frank" Gilskey

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  • "Great grandpa I miss you so much right now. I wish I could..."
    - Claire Loffarelli
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Francis Raymond "Frank" Gilskey passed away Friday, August 24 just one day after his 88th birthday. He insisted he would "be in Heaven at 87" but instead was "at the Gate at 88"!

Frank was born in Idaho August 23, 1924 to parents John and Agnes (Callahan) Gilskey. He was the third of five children. He lived his early life on a farm near Hilger, Montana until the farm was lost during the depression. The family moved to Lewistown, Montana where his dad sold real estate and his mom rented rooms in their house to boarders.

His closest friends were his sisters Marie and Dolores and brothers Donald and Dennis. He joined the Boy Scouts and was one of the first in Montana to achieve Eagle Scout status.

He wanted so badly to join the Army so he could help win the war but his mom insisted he finish school. Just about the minute after he graduated, he enlisted in the Army. He trained in Yuma, Arizona and was sent from there to North Africa. Later, he was in England for a while and, after D-Day, was in Europe as an MP for prisoner of war camps.

He first met Elsie Kopchook because she was friends with his sister Dolores and brother Dennis. It was love at first sight! They married June 2, 1947 and had four children: Susanne, Michael, Stephen and Irene. They celebrated their 65th anniversary this year!

For almost 20 years, Frank was first an assistant manager and then a manager for F.W. Woolworth stores in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Kansas and New Mexico. He got tired of all the moving from place to place so he decided to do his own thing and bought an office equipment and supply business in Bozeman, Montana. He operated Gilskey's Office Supply until 1993. After he sold the business, he worked part-time as a bank courier for several years before moving with his wife to Conroe, Texas to be closer to his daughter Susanne and son-in-law John Robison.

He was passionate about several things. He loved his wife and family, his country and the Chicago White Sox! He was tickled that they won the World Series in 2005. He preferred the old movies, 30s and 40s music and was an avid reader. He loved every car he ever owned and named them all!

One of the most exciting things that happened after his move to Conroe was his trip to Washington DC with the Honor Flight. He visited the World War II memorial and still got choked up about the friends he lost.

After his wife had to move into a rest home, he lived alone. He cooked for himself and drove his bright yellow Chevy "Scooter" to get groceries, check out more books from the library and visit his wife. He made lots of lemon pies to bring as dessert, when he went to dinner at his daughter's house!

In 2011, he had a five-generation photograph made with his wife Elsie, daughter Susanne and son-in-law John, granddaughter Barbara, great-granddaughter Christine Ward and identical, twin great-great-grandsons Robert and Jeffrey. He was thrilled to have so many family members visit.

In April this year, his health started to fail and so he could no longer live alone. He moved into Park Manor and lived in the room right next door to his wife, Elsie. He had lots of visitors this summer including his "#1 grandson" Johnny Robison; son Stephen and his wife Assi; sister Dolores two of her daughters Cathy and Vicki; granddaughter Barbara Moss, her husband Jeff, and three of her children Paul, Michelle, and Claire; granddaughters Kathy Peach and Mary and Margaret Williams.

During his last days, he had lots of phone calls including a special one from his sister Dolores who sang Happy Birthday to him.

He is survived by his wife Elsie, daughter Susanne Robison, sons Michael and Stephen, eight grandchildren: Kathy (Robison) Peach, Barbara (Robison) Moss, Johnny Robison, Zachary, Nicholas and Molly Gilskey, Mary and Margaret Williams, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, his sister Dolores Hruska, his nieces Cathy, Vicki, Janice and Shelly, nephews John, Gary and Paul Grensten as well as all of their children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Donald and Dennis, his sister Marie Grensten and daughter Irene Williams. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him for his big heart and quirky sense of humor.

The family wishes to thank the Park Manor personnel as well as Aldus Hospice services for their kind, compassionate and friendly care.

A celebration of his life will be held in the chapel at Cashner Funeral Home, 801 Teas Road, Conroe, Texas on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM.


Published on from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10, 2012
Arrangements under the direction of:
Cashner Funeral Home
801 Teas Road | Conroe, TX 77303 | (936) 756-2126
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