Dr. Frank Cvetkovich

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  • "So sorry for your loss, Dr Frank was doctor to three..."
    - Dixie Jones, Ward, King
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    - Betty Jo Wheat
  • "Dr. Frank was an amazing man. He was a historian of Kansas..."
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Cvetkovich, Dr. Frank Known to most as "Dr. Frank" passed away peacefully on January 15, 2017, at the age of 102. There will be a Rosary at 10:15 a.m. and the Funeral Mass will follow at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, both at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2801 S. Seneca, Wichita. He is preceded in death by his mother, Franciska Drmota; father, Francis Cvetkovich; brother, John Bozich; wife, Phyllis; and grandson, Simon. He is survived and deeply missed by his four children, Dr. Lorna Cvetkovich, Dr. Therese Cvetkovich, Rosemary Brooks (Dan), and Chris Cvetkovich; and by his eleven grandchildren, Olivia Cvetkovich, Samuel Palmer, and Louisa, Theodore, Georgia, Marcella, Charles, Emma, Sophia, William, and Martin Brooks. Frank was born August 23, 1914 in Mulberry, KS. His parents emigrated from Yugoslavia and found work in the coal mines in southeast Kansas where he was raised and educated. His mother was a midwife. In 1937, he was graduated from Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg with a bachelor's degree in biology. He was the principal of a grade school in Franklin, KS and then taught high school biology in Neodesha, KS. While attending graduate school at the University of Michigan, he was accepted into the University of Kansas School of Medicine. His medical school attendance was delayed by military service during World War II. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1942 - 1946 attaining the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade. He received radio technician training followed by Officer Training School. His service took him from the Philippines to Greenland. While at sea, he was made commanding officer of the submarine chaser SC 527. Following his military service, Frank attended medical school at University of Kansas School of Medicine. He married Phyllis Gramly in 1951. They moved to Spokane, WA where Frank interned at Sacred Heart Hospital. Returning to KS in 1952, Frank opened a private general practice of medicine in Augusta, KS. Over the almost two decades of practice in Augusta, he was known for his round the clock availability. He made house calls every evening; his arrival at a patient's home was heralded by his tuneful whistling as he walked to the door. After closing his private practice in Augusta, Frank took a position at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wichita until his retirement in 1984. To the end, Frank had a rich life that he loved. At 102, he maintained his reading of non-fiction books and of magazines, looking forward each week to the arrival of the New Yorker, which he read in it's entirety. Gardening kept him occupied outdoors as did his daily walk through the neighborhood he'd lived in for more than 50 years. He avidly followed current events, sports, and politics. He especially loved music and singing. There were many phone calls to family members to rehash the Notre Dame game or discuss how his tomato plants were growing. Writing and receiving letters from friends and family was a particular joy, but above all, he loved storytelling. Frank relished any opportunity to share his memories of growing up during the Depression, and his many adventures as a schoolboy, teacher, Coast Guardsman, doctor, teacher, father and husband, employing his vibrant voice, emphatic gestures, and, at times, a laugh like no other. It's difficult to know the degree to which some tales were embellished but it didn't matter because the message was the same: Life is not easy but hard work and education pay off.
Published in The Wichita Eagle from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
DeVorss Flanagan-Hunt Mortuary
201 South Hydraulic | Wichita, KS 67211 | (316) 263-0244
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