Frank Park

Frank Park

7/6/1930 — 5/22/2024

Frank Eugene Park, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and patriarch, peacefully returned to heaven on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Lewiston, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by family, who felt his 93 years on this earth hadn’t been quite enough, and greeted by loved ones eagerly awaiting his return on the other side.

Frank was born in Nampa on July 6, 1930 — or, as he would tell people as a child, “two days after firecracker day.”

He grew up during the Great Depression and enjoyed reminiscing about his childhood and growing-up days. His parents were Albert Park and Mary Elizabeth Ehrler Park. Frank was the fourth child. His eight siblings were Lillian Irene, Grace Louise, William LeRoy, Anna May, Mildred Rose, Margaret Elizabeth, Marvin Albert and John Harold.

Frank, born during the era of nicknames, was called “Buster” during his childhood. When he entered high school, it was shortened to “Bus” and most of his family still call him Bus. It wasn’t until he entered college that he decided to start going by Frank.

Frank always enjoyed school and graduated as student body vice-president and member of the tennis and football teams from Nampa Senior High in 1948. He enrolled at what is now called Lewis-Clark State College, in Lewiston. He majored in education.

While he was a senior in high school, he met a cute young sophomore named Barbara Jean Shurtliff. They soon began going steady and married on March 24, 1951, in Nampa, right before Frank graduated from college. They spent one month shy of 65 happy and amazing years together, before Barb’s death from Alzheimer’s disease on Feb. 6, 2016. He stayed by her side and loved her until the day she died. During their marriage, three daughters were born to them: Babzanne Rae, Linda Lee and Kristin Jo. Kris’s unexpected death at the age of 26 broke his heart.

Frank devoted his life to his family, attending every event big and small, taking reels of home movies, teaching every member of his family to drive a stick-shift and providing endless hours of encouragement and support. The family enjoyed many summers of educational and fun driving vacations all around the country, visiting both historical sites and cousins. It was a Norman Rockwell life.

As his girls grew up and added new branches to the family tree, each became a treasured family member. In his biography, Frank said, “I have welcomed each grandchild and great-grandchild into my life with happiness and joy.”

Frank will be remembered for his love of popcorn, rootbeer, songs — like Clementine and Zippity-doo-dah, garage sales, grandchildren and golf. At every family reunion, he sponsored a family golf tournament to see who could hit the longest drive in their age group, complete with prizes. Afterwards he gave each of the kids a dollar for every golf ball they could find and bring back. When he died, Frank was the oldest member of the Lewiston Country Club.

Frank served for three years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He spent most of his service in Anchorage, Alaska, as a career counselor, earning the rank of staff sergeant.

Afterwards, he decided to go back to school and earn his master’s degree before he began his teaching career. He taught high school math, physics and psychology, coached the tennis team, and served as assistant principal, principal and counselor.

Frank moved his family back to Lewiston permanently where he served as assistant principal at the high school, followed by assistant superintendent in charge of finance for the school district, which he described as his dream job. He finished his career as principal at both Lewiston junior highs: Jenifer and Sacajawea. He was loved by students, faculty and parents alike and epitomized how being a dedicated teacher can influence and inspire students.

Frank met Marilyn Pond Bengtson at church and they were married on March 25, 2020. Both were 89 years old and both had lost their first spouses to Alzheimer’s. They enjoyed four incredibly happy years of companionship together, including singing around the piano and visiting family, before Frank’s unexpected death. Marilyn brought back to Frank the love and joy that had been missing from his life.

Frank was a high priest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He joined the church in 1991 and was a current temple recommend holder when he died.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; two daughters and their spouses: Babzanne and Bruce Barker of Littleton, Colo., and Linda and Mickal Merrell of Ivins, Utah; son-in-law, Robin and Sandee Stevenson of St. George, Utah; two stepdaughters, Kristin and John Hagg of White Fish, Mont., and Melissa and Kip O’Kelley of Beaverton, Ore.; and stepson, Greg and GayLynn Bengtson of Lewiston. He is also survived by three sisters: Lillian Johannsen of Eugene, Ore., Mildred Blum of Rapid City, S.D., Peggy and Jim Williams of Nampa; and brother, Marvin and Bernice Park of Lewiston. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren (with 21 spouses), 70 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter expected in September.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara Park; his daughter Kristin Santos; a stepdaughter Leslie Bengtson; his parents Mary and Albert Park; two sisters, Grace Chivers and Ann Allison; his brother and best friend Bill Park, and his baby brother Johnny.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., preceded by a viewing at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 28, at the Riverview Ward, 1123 16th Ave., Clarkston. Burial will follow at the Normal Hill Cemetery in Lewiston.


Service Information

Date & Time
Tuesday, May 28, 10:00 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - Clarkston Chapel
1123-16th Avenue
Clarkston, Washington 99403

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Lewiston, Idaho 83501
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