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Frank Stech, age 91, formally of rural Waubun, MN, passed away on Tuesday, July 24 at Essentia Health-Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes, MN surrounded by family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM on Monday, July 30 at St. Benedicts Catholic Church in White Earth, MN. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00PM on Sunday, July 29 at the David Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, MN with a 7:00PM Prayer Service to follow. There will also be a visitation one hour prior to Mass on Monday.
Frank was born to John and Christina (Toupal) Stech in the Township of White Earth, Minnesota on June 14, 1927. He attended school through the 8th grade and worked on the family farm until leaving home to serve his country. Frank proudly protected the freedom of our country during World War II by serving in the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps until December 1947. He had a strong affinity to honor and protect the American Flag as he celebrated his birthday on Flag Day. Frank often told his children and grandchildren the story of the day he met the love of his life. One day he rode to White Earth with his dad, John, to talk with Bill “Pa” Heisler, and the most beautiful girl he had ever seen walked out of the house carrying a basket of clothes to hang on the line…and the rest was history. The two quickly became friends, dated for 3 years, and on October 10, 1951 Frank married Harriet “Sis” (Heisler) at St. Benedicts Catholic Church in White Earth, Minnesota. Frank and Sis purchased the Old Trading Post from his parents and their love was shared with others as they opened their home for family and friends to gather for strong coffee, stories old and new, and play cards. Frank loved music, especially old-time polka music, and could often be heard whistling and tapping his feet. He was a self-taught accordion player and played at many barn dances and family gatherings throughout the years. Frank also loved tinkering on machinery and was quick to help a neighbor in need. Annual trips to Rollag, MN for the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion were cherished traditions for Frank and his family. Aside from his hard work and compassion, Frank was known for his sense of humor, and enjoyed playing jokes on his children and grandchildren.
Along with farming, Frank worked at Johnson’s Motors in Zion, Il, Fargo Glass and Paint in Fargo, ND, and St. Benedicts Mission in White Earth, MN, before buying his first road grader. He owned and operated Stech Road Service and maintained roads in Becker County for 28 years before retiring. Throughout his life, Frank served his community with involvement in various community programs. He was a member of American Legion Post #31 in Mahnomen, MN when he gave a wonderful speech about the Burning Heart of America in White Earth, MN at the Rally Around the Flag. He was also a pillar of faith for the congregation at St. Benedicts Catholic Church in White Earth, MN where he was a caretaker and member of the Kateri Circle participating in several Tekakwitha conferences. Frank joined the Oak Crossing family in Detroit Lakes, MN in October of 2016 where he continued to tell stories and laugh, listen to music and sing, and remain faithful in worship and fellowship.
Frank will be remembered and deeply missed by his surviving children, Theresa of Waubun, MN, Mary of Phoenix, AZ, Harriet of Frazee, MN, Robert (Karen) of Mahnomen, MN, Charlie (Sheila) of Waubun, MN, Stella (Larry) of Fertile, MN, and Bill of Waubun, MN; 28 grandchildren, 30+ great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his wife Harriet “Sis”, son Frankie Mike, parents John and Christina, and siblings: Christine (Blattenbauer), Betty (Rothschadl), Ann (Rothschadl), Mary (Mislivec), John, Bill (Clara), and Ted (Virginia).
The family would like to offer a special thank you to the staff at Essential Health-Oak Crossing for providing wonderful care and for loving their dad and grandpa as much as they do.
Blessed be the memory of Frank Stech