Kevin Robert Frank passed away on September 15 with his family by his side after a yearlong battle with cancer. The family would like to thank the Cancer Treatment Center of America for providing hope and compassion and Winona Hospice for guidance, support, and comfort on Kevin’s journey to be with his Lord and Savior. Kevin was born on September 14, 1961 in Neenah, WI. He graduated from Oconto High School in 1980. Kevin’s Grandpa Bates encouraged him to follow in his footsteps as a firefighter, and Kevin achieved that by acquiring an associate’s degree in Fire Science in Appleton, WI. Kevin went on to protect and serve the city of Eau Claire for 30 years while working at Eau Claire Fire Department and formed many lifelong friendships there. He had most recently been enjoying retirement for the last seven years. Kevin met Shelly in the summer of 1984 and were united in marriage on April 13, 1991. They kept an active outdoor lifestyle spending hours fishing, hiking, walking, biking, boating, ice fishing, fishing in Canada and spending part of the winters on the shores of Florida’s panhandle. Kevin was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many. He surrounded himself with the beauty of the Mississippi River. His passion for the water started at the age of 9 when they moved to a home on the Oconto River. There was so much of Kevin’s life that took part on or near the water: bike rides as a child along the river, playing on sand bars with childhood friends, annual family trips to the Mississippi, water skiing the Oconto River, and boating his entire life. He was happiest when he was improving the world around him which included Pool 5 river clean up and teaching many about fishing the backwaters of the Mississippi. He enjoyed cooking, cleaning, and loved serving and protecting others. Kevin was known for his famous perch fry (even taking it on the road to Lambeau for Packer gameday tailgating), playing various card games, creating special campfires, and helping however he could when needed. He is preceded in death by his grandparents William and Margaret Bates and Evermond and Dorphia Frank; father-in-law and mother-in-law Alton and Joyce Hageness; great niece Gracelyn Blazel; best fishing buddy Mark Legge; and yellow lab Kesha. He is survived by his wife Shelly Frank; his parents Barbara Frank and Robert Frank; sister Diane (Bill) Galena; sister-in-law Sherry (Rob) Strohbusch; brother-in-laws Michael (Kay) Hageness and Doug (Krissy) Hageness; nephews Brian Madson (Lea Knaus) and Jon (Elizabeth) Strohbusch; and nieces Jen (Grant) Ailie and Angie (Mike) Blazel; and many great nieces and great nephews. He is also survived by the many fellow firefighters that became family at Eau Claire Fire Department along with many friends that are considered family in Buffalo City, WI. Given Kevin’s passion for and love of dogs, donations may be made in memory of Kevin at Bob’s House for Dogs in Eau Claire, Tails of Hope in Alma, or your local humane society. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Talbot Family Funeral Homes in Alma and again, at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 AM until the hour of the service. The Eau Claire Fire Department Honor Guard will be rendering honors by standing guard during the visitations. Funeral services for Kevin will be held on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM at St John Lutheran church in Alma. Burial will follow at the Buffalo City Cemetery. An outdoor BBQ will follow at the Mississippi River Retreat. It is the family’s and Kevin’s desire that these be safe events, so please follow all recommended COVID precautions including masking for unvaccinated individuals and social distancing when possible. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed at visitation and church. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be live streamed on St John Lutheran Church Alma’s Facebook page. Please share your words of comfort for Kevin’s family at www.talbotfuneralhomes.com
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