Frank was born on February 22, 1927, in Stambaugh, Michigan to Frank and Anna Penkevich. He was the second of 6 boys. He joined the U.S. Navy in January 1945, and upon graduation from Great Lakes Naval Station was assigned to the European Theater for the last months of World War II and the occupation of Europe. While stationed in England he met the love of his life, Jean Mumford. They married on April 12, 1947, in London, England and following his honorable discharge from the Navy in November of that year, returned to make their home in Stambaugh.
Frank worked as an underground iron miner for M.A. Hanna and Inland Steel for 25 years. After the mines closed, he became an MSHA mine safety inspector where he inspected coal, iron, salt and surface mines and quarries in both Michigan and Kentucky, until his retirement in 1995.
Frank loved nothing more than deer hunting with his dad, brothers and his sons in the U.P. His annual return to Iron County every November was a highlight of his year. During his retirement years, he also became an avid reader.
No one could tell stories like Frank, often telling of his many years working in the mines and the mischief he and his brothers would get in to while growing up in Stambaugh.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife Jean of Lansing, brother Tony Penkevich (Iron River, MI), sons David (Sally) Penkevich (Eaton Rapids, MI), Steve (Barbara) Penkevich (New Hudson, MI), Mike (Laurie) Penkevich (Ada, MI) and daughters Debra (Rick) Wightman (Fremont, MI) and Jean (Dave) Abbott (Bellingham, WA), 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Tom, Jim, Martin, and Ted and an infant sister, Ann Elizabeth.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. this Friday, May 1, 2015, at St. Gerard Catholic Church, 4437 W. Willow Hwy., Lansing, MI. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the church. Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel is handling all arrangements: www.estesleadley.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank’s name can be made to: Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, 1210 West Saginaw Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915.