February 13, 1927–May 6, 2013. Frank was a lifelong resident of the Lansing area. He spent summers in Harbor Springs where his love affair with boats and water began, and he shared that love with his family. He was married to Pauline Misteli (deceased) for many happy years. Together they had five children: Misty Smith (deceased), Frank H. Sallows III (deceased), and surviving children Paula Haddad, of East Lansing, Linda VanAcker, of Dearborn, and Stephen Sallows, of Aurora, CO. He also appreciated and loved his eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Frank would be most proud of the fact that most of us listen to NPR religiously.
Frank is best described as a “character.” As a collector of collections, he had great love for knowledge, music, the arts and his home country the USA. Frank always wore a hat of some type and in his remaining years he favored a camel colored beret. Stating it brings him good luck he was able to convince the doctor of this as well, who allowing it to be worn during his surgeries. He collected many things, referring to them as treasures. He passed his admiration for collecting eclectics on to his family, who continue this habit. He loved shabby before it was chic. Frank enjoyed listing to music while singing along to the lyrics and whistling, and he shared his love of music with everyone. He often played songs that he personally recorded to the nursing staff. His doctors would request that Frank whistle them a tune and were amazed at his lung capacity, considering that he enjoyed a good smoke of a pipe for sixty years. He enlisted in the Navy and worked as a paramedic following World War II.
If one lived in Michigan, especially the Lansing area, and listened to National Public Radio you would have known him as “Frank from Okemos.” He spent most of his time in retirement contemplating current events and writing to the State Journal editorial as well as calling into the local radio stations. Frank had a contagious curiosity about life.
In his final days he stated that he could not believe the last vote on gun control legislation did not pass and that he wished he had it in him to take on this last fight, and asked us all to please dedicate ourselves to this fight. As he would have stated: “This Country Has Gone Mad.”
He was a truly beautiful soul with a finely tuned mind. He will be missed. Frank of Okemos, who we all knew and will miss, lived a large life. The theme song for his life would be the recording made famous by that other Frank, with the refrain “I did it my way.”
The family asks in honor of Frank memorial contributions be made to National Public Radio. The family will celebrate his life in private this summer.
Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.