Advertisement
Advertisement
A photo of Frank Kroetch

Frank Kroetch 1927 - 2001

Frank Edward Kroetch of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington United States was born on March 25, 1927 in Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County to Dorothy Elaine (Ferguson) Kroetch and Hollis Joseph Kroetch. Frank Kroetch had siblings Elaine Marguerite (Kroetch) Bell Gillett, Hollis Frederick Kroetch, and Norma (Kroetch) Erickson. He married Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch on March 26, 1949 in Bellingham, Whatcom County and they later divorced in July 1968 in Sandpoint, Bonner County, Idaho. They had children Kathleen Rae (Kroetch) Pinna and Pam (Kroetch) Marks. He would also marry Carol (Antonsen) Kroetch on December 28, 1968, and they were married until Frank's death on July 12, 2001 in Bellingham, Whatcom County. They had a child John Hugh Kroetch.
Frank Edward Kroetch
Frank Kroetsch, Frankie
Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington United States
March 25, 1927
Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States
July 12, 2001
Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, United States
Male
Looking for someone else
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
This page exists for YOU
and everyone who remembers Frank.
Share what you know,
even ask what you wish you knew.
Invite others to do the same,
but don't worry if you can't...
Someone, somewhere will find this page,
and we'll notify you when they do.

Frank Edward Kroetch's History: 1927 - 2001

Uncover new discoveries and connections today by sharing about people & moments from yesterday.
  • Introduction

    Frank Kroetch was one of four siblings and was born to Dorothy Elaine (Ferguson) Kroetch and Hollis "Joe" Joseph Kroetch. As far as I know (grandson), Frank and his brother & two sisters had a bit of a rough childhood, having been separated into different groups living with various family members. He was one of the youngest to serve on the USS Killen for the U.S Navy in World War II. In fact, he lived his entire life thinking he was the youngest crew mate on the ship (he lied about his age to serve in WW2), but found out in the late 1990's at a Killen shipmates reunion in San Francisco that one lad had him beat by a handful of days. He married Marian "Joyce" Benning and had two children Kathy Pinna and Pamela Marks. He later married Carol (Antonsen) Kroetch and they raised John Kroetch. He was a very smart man (with an IQ that tested between 165 and 185) and good looking - charismatic! He was a life-long entrepreneur starting numerous businesses in various industries after attending the University of Washington and graduating from San Jose State University. He lived in both California (where his daughters were born) and Washington (where he was born and died). Frank was never baptized (as far as his child Kathy knows) and has no burial site. He was cremated and his ashes distributed between his wife and two daughters. He was quite a human being and we all miss him every day.
  • 03/25
    1927

    Birthday

    March 25, 1927
    Birthdate
    Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County, Washington United States
    Birthplace
  • Ethnicity & Family History

    Frank was primarily a mixture of French, German and Scottish heritage. For most of his life Frank believed that he was predominately German, but he sat down one day - in the 1990s - and looked at the genealogy on his father's "Kroetch" side. He noticed that his paternal side included Germans that emigrated from Germany in the early 1840s and that once they settled in Canada, they began marrying women of French descent. These women were the descendants of the "daughters of the King" - the women who were sent by the King of France to marry French soldiers who had settled in Canada. Modern genealogists consider these women the equivalent to our Mayflower ancestors. So Frank discovered that the "Kroetch" line married into a French line that colonized Canada in the 1640s. When he looked at this, he decided that there was more French in his line than German. In actuality, I - his daughter - have very little French or German in my DNA. My DNA mainly reflects the UK part of my heritage. I think this comes from the fact (in terms of the traceable family tree), my father's mother and his father's mother were Scottish. While my father's maternal side emigrated from Scotland in the 1740s, they were in Virginia and mainly married other Scottish and Welsh descendants. His father's mother, while born in Kansas, had parents who were both born and raised in Scotland.
  • Nationality & Locations

    Frank was born and raised in Washington state in the United States. He lived primarily in various locations near Puget Sound in Washington state, although he did live in San Jose, Carmel, and San Diego California and Delta Canada, as well, for a couple of years.
  • Early Life & Education

    Frank had a college degree - he attended the University of Washington for two years and graduated from San Jose State College. He was very interested in the law and had been accepted into law school at the University of San Francisco, but we moved to Seattle Washington before he could attend. Frank never graduated from high school - he signed up for the Navy in World War II and he had a couple of years to complete high school. He told me that when he got out of the Navy, he felt that he was too old to return to high school, so he took a test to "place out" and just began college at the University of Washington.
  • Religious Beliefs

    My father described himself as an "agnostic" (he told me that he would have said atheist but if he didn't have proof one way or another, and he wouldn't take a definitive stand). He only set foot in a church for weddings or when his daughters sang in the choir. He also attended the funeral of his "Big Aunt Norma."
  • Military Service

    Frank was a proud veteran of World War II, having served as a plankholder on the USS Killen, a destroyer that patrolled the Pacific Ocean. Throughout his life, he shared several tales of his experiences during the war. Frank believed that he was the youngest member of the ship, having lied about his age to enlist in the Navy. However, during a reunion in San Francisco in the early 2000s, he discovered that there was another sailor who was just a few days younger than him. Frank also recounted out a haunting memory of the time when a bomb went off near the kitchen on the ship, tragically killing a sailor in the meat locker. As a result of this tragic event, the crew was forced to subsist on a diet devoid of any protein for a prolonged period. Kathy, his daughter who noted these memories, added that she was told by others that multiple sailors had lost their lives in the meat locker and that the crew mainly lived off rice until they could reach drydock for the ship to be repaired. This traumatic event had a lasting impact on Frank, as he avoided eating rice for several years after the war. However, after discovering Chinese food, Frank became a huge fan of rice.
  • Professional Career

    Frank was an entrepreneur and businessman. He had a good start early on in his career working for General Mills. Note from Kathy Pinna - When my father graduated from San Jose State, he was sent a few telegrams offering him a job. I don't have the telegrams but I've seen them. I think my sister may have them. In any case, I was told that he was weighing an offer from San Jose State to be a professor (in the philosophy dept?) and also from General Mills. He went to work for General Mills in their corporate office in San Francisco. My mother, sister, and I used to take him to the train in Sunnyvale every day - we lived in Cupertino at the time and it was the fastest and easiest way for him to commute. As I recall, he worked there for a few years and I was told that he was the fastest rising executive at the time. He rose to the grain manager for the West Coast in that short time and he was told that no one had ever been promoted so quickly. They said that he would be president of General Mills within 20 years. Well, Dad thought that 20 years was too far away so he quit! My memory of those days were the perks - we were sent "food baskets", in those days food boxes of General Mills products and we were able to purchase General Mills products through a employee catalogue. I saved up my allowance - I was about 8 and it was 10 cents a week - to buy a Tiny Tears doll. I loved it when he worked at General Mills. He had a very sharp mind and knew how to see possibilities and opportunities in front of him. As a result, he was involved in numerous industries and owned many businesses over the years. He owned a few restaurants in Washington State and had business dealings in California. Frank was also an author - having written a few short stories, one of which was a science fiction take on The Night Before Christmas. (Note from Kathy: Dad always wanted to be a writer. He would write on yellow legal pads - remember, this was the 1950s and 1960s - and started books on such things as his theory about who the "real" Shakespeare was. My theory is that he just couldn't sit still long enough to write an entire book. But there were lots of starts on books. He also wanted to be a lawyer and even applied to - and was accepted by - San Francisco University Law School. We ended up moving to Seattle, however, and he never went to law school.)
  • Personal Life & Family

    Ever the student, Frank was always thirsty for knowledge. He would look at anything - physical or situational - and figure out how it works, and what could be done better. He saw a future of where things were headed having been involved with the first concepts of credit cards, to using steel instead of wood for home building. He lied about his age to join the Navy in World War 2 (See Frank Kroetch: Military Service for more details.) and lost hearing in one ear because he was a "spotter" for the guns on the USS Killen. (Another note from Kathy: I remember he was a spotter on the big guns - the Killen was a destroyer - because of a story he told. The US had just developed a plane that looked a LOT like the Japanese planes. So when he saw the new US plane above them, he told them to move the gun to hit the plane. He narrowly realized that it was our plane and had them move the gun just in time. He was almost responsible for shooting down one of our own - and he was embarrassed by that.) A few years after the war he married Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch (from 1949 through July 1968) and they had and raised two daughters Kathleen Rae (Kroetch) Pinna and Pam (Kroetch) Marks in San Jose (Willow Glen), Cupertino California (where he was a councilman), Seattle, Washington (the University District) and Saratoga CA. In 1965, Frank met Carol (Antonsen) Kroetch who had a 5 year old child, John Hugh Kroetch. He and Carol married in December of 1968 and they were married until his death in 2001. He had two families for some time - one living in Saratoga CA and the other in Carmel, CA (although the only legal family until 1968 was the Saratoga family) He lived in Washington state for the last three decades of his life and travelled to California frequently to be with his daughters and grandchildren and to pursue business deals. He was the patriarch of his family and passed away suddenly sitting in his chair. (Note from Kathy: I was never told the actual events by Carol. What I 'heard" secondhand: Dad had driven from Bellingham (in the northern end of Washington state) to Olympia (the southern end of Washington state) that day. He had been feeling ill for some time. When he got home, he had eaten dinner and after dinner, he sat in "his" chair. He then asked Carol for a cookie. She went to the kitchen and returned with the cookie - and Dad had already suffered a cardiac event. Carol called emergency services but they were unable to revive him. Several hours later, I received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as the fire captain for Bellingham. He told me that Dad had died but declined to give me any details. I never heard more than that - and it was 3rd hand - from any family who was there or there just after the fact.
  • 07/12
    2001

    Death

    July 12, 2001
    Death date
    Heart Failure
    Cause of death
    Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington United States
    Death location
  • Gravesite & Burial

    mm/dd/yyyy
    Funeral date
    Ashes scattered in Sacred Wind, Kentucky
    Burial location
  • Obituary

    The following appeared in the Bellingham Herald in Washington State on August 19, 2001: Frank Edward Kroetch, age 74, of Bellingham, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, July 12, 2001. Born March 25, 1927 to Hollis Kroetch and Dorothy Ferguson in Aberdeen, Frank was raised in Whatcom County. His grandparents, George Ferguson and Nancy Boggs, settled in Goshen around 1904, after moving from Sacred Wind, Kentucky, making Frank a third generation Whatcom County resident. Frank joined the Navy in 1943, serving as a Fireman 1st Class, aboard the USS Killen, USS Grant, and USS Fletcher, in the Pacific Campaign. He was decorated multiple times for his outstanding service. After the war, he attended the University of Washington in Seattle, later transferring to San Jose State University in California. He received dual degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, with a minor in Business Administration. Frank started his career as an executive with the General Mills Corp. in San Francisco. Possessing a high entrepreneurial spirit, he later pursued a number of other business ventures. He was a very creative and compassionate individual with great foresight. He was an avid reader, reading over 900 words per minute, and was once featured on a television program in California for his incredible speed reading ability. Also a history buff, he spoke fluent German, and treasured his family history and genealogy. Frank also took great pleasure in trading Navy war stories with his old shipmates on the USS Killen. Frank is survived by Carol, his loving wife of 33 years, his two daughters, Kathy Pinna, and Pam Marks, son-in-law Neil Marks, all of San Jose, Ca; a son John Kroetch and daughter-in-law Laura, of West Seattle; his grandchildren Daniel Pinna, Laynie Jacobs and Sophia Kroetch; sisters Elaine Gillette of Lake Stevens and Norma Finochiaro of La Jolla, Ca; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. The family will be holding a private memorial service. Memorials may be made in his name to: World War II Memorial, American Battle Monuments Commission, PO Box 96766, Washington DC 200906766. --- Written by Grandson below--- Frank Edward Kroetch left this world as an accomplished entrepreneur having started numerous businesses (from restaurants to steel framed housing), a proven intellectual with the ability to interact with anyone about any subject, an author of various short novels (one of which I adore is a Star Trek themed "Night Before Christmas"), and a well admired, respected and a well-loved man. Frank was a brother to four siblings, a husband to two wives, and a father to three children: 2 by blood and 1 by parenting, and grandfather to three: 1 child from each of his two daughters, and 1 child from his son. He lived the majority of his life in Washington State with some years in San Jose, San Diego, & Carmel Valley California - as well as a couple of years in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. During the middle of his life he spent time in his home in Washington near the Sound then flew (with the help of a pilot!) to his home in Carmel Valley. I wish I had the opportunity to know him as a man and not simply as my grandfather. As I've matured and continue to find my path through life, I would have very much enjoyed discussions with him about all the very fun nuances of life. You remain well loved grandpa. - djp 11/28/2019
  • share
    Memories
    below
Advertisement
Advertisement

73 Memories, Stories & Photos about Frank

Gale Greenough
Gale Greenough
Gale, on the left, with his cousin Frank Kroetch
Date & Place: in Everson, Whatcom County, Washington 98247, United States
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Hollis Kroetch Family, Aberdeen, WA
Hollis Kroetch Family, Aberdeen, WA
Hollis & Dorothy (Ferguson) Kroetch in Aberdeen,Washington. From left to right: Dorothy holding baby Norma, Fred, Frank, Elaine with father Hollis standing in back.
Date & Place:
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Fred, Elaine, Frank & Norma Kroetch
Fred, Elaine, Frank & Norma Kroetch
The 4 Kroetch brothers & sisters, children of Dorothy Ferguson & Hollis J. Kroetch.
Fred on left, Elaine in middle, Frank on right and little Norma in front.
Date & Place:
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Four Kroetch siblings - Elaine, Fred, Frank, and Norma - in 1932 Washington State - aren't they cute?

I might be a bit biased - Frank is my father and today would have been his 90th birthday. I'll always remember you dad
Facebook Fan
via Facebook
03/25/2022
TODAY Frank's 90th? Says he was born in 1927???
Kroetch Siblings
Kroetch Siblings
from left to right: Fred Kroetch, Elaine Gillett, Norma Finocchiaro, Frank Kroetch....Mukilteo, WA
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Someone knew my grandfather Ferris Thompson.
Reply
Kroetch and Barrett Family, 1957
Kroetch and Barrett Family, 1957
Photo taken Christmas day at the Frank Kroetch home in Cupertino, CA. From left to right: Chuck Barrett, niece Kathy Kroetch (with mouse ears), Anne Calkin Kroetch, Fred Kroetch, Frank Kroetch with his sister Norma Kroetch Erickson on lap, Uncle Bill Erickson with neices and nephews in front: Pam Kroetch (with mouse ears) Brent Kroetch and Wendy Lee 'Brandi' Kroetch.
Date & Place: at Kroetch Home in Cupertino, California USA
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! This is the AncientFaces family in Cupertino CA at Christmas in 1957. Two of the founders were little girls and the Founder and Creator was born decades later. Hope your day is full of love however you gather.
This was a great time for us kids. Uncle Chuck lived with us, Uncle Fred, Aunt Ann, and their children lived nearby in Cupertino, and Aunt Norma and Uncle Bill lived in the adjacent city to us, in Santa Clara. Pam and I couldn't get up Christmas morning until sunrise so when it got light, we'd jump out of bed and get Mom and Dad and Uncle Chuck. Dad would call Aunt Norma and they would come right over. We would be excited and the adults would be bleary eyed. They would begin the day with screwdrivers (!orange juice & vodka) while we opened presents. Then around miday, Uncle Fred and family would come over and we'd eat and party all day ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Chrstmas was a dawn to after dusk affair and the more people, the merrier. Lots of family and a stream of neighbors dropping by. Uncle Bill came from a small family and he and Aunt Norma didn't have kids. I think he loved the chaos!
Reply
Kroetch Siblings
Kroetch Siblings
Siblings gathered at their mothers' grave, Aberdeen, Washington. Left to right: Aileen Ferguson (their aunt) Frank, Norma, Elaine and Fred Kroetch. Their mother, Dorothy Elaine Ferguson Kroetch is buried in Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen...
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
Comments
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Loading...one moment please loading spinner
Be the 1st to share and we'll let you know when others do the same.
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Advertisement

Frank Kroetch's Family Tree & Friends

Marriage

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch

&

Frank Kroetch

March 26, 1949
Marriage date
Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington United States
Marriage location
Divorce
Cause of Separation
July 1968
Divorce date
Sandpoint, Bonner County, Idaho, 83864 United States
Divorce location
Frank married Joyce one day after his 22nd birthday.
Notes
Marriage

Carol (Antonsen) Kroetch

&

Frank Kroetch

December 28, 1968
Marriage date
Frank's Death
Cause of Separation
July 12, 2001
Frank's death date
Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington United States
Separation location
John was Carolโ€™s biological son and Frank adopted John after he and Carol married.
Notes
Advertisement
Advertisement
Friendships

Frank's Friends

Neil W. Marks
Neil W. Marks was married to Pam (Kroetch) Marks in 1999. Family, friend, or fan, this family history biography is for you to remember Neil W. Marks.
Charles Henry Barrett Jr.
Charles Henry Barrett Jr. was born on April 16, 1928 in Missoula, Missoula County, Montana United States, and died at age 81 years old on April 29, 2009 in Campbell, Santa Clara County, CA. Charles Barrett was buried on May 6, 2009 at Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park in San Jose. Family, friend, or fan, this family history biography is for you to remember Charles Henry Barrett Jr..
Friends of Frank Friends can be as close as family. Add Frank's family friends, and his friends from childhood through adulthood.
Advertisement
Advertisement
31 Followers & Sources
Loading records
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Advertisement
Back to Top