In the Lucas home of her parents, A. Basil and Hazel (Wheeler) Swain, Mrs. Frank was born March 27, 1921, the second of their three children. She was married in 1948 to Russell Eugene Frank who had recently returned to Lucas from Europe where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army during World War II. A few years after they were married, Mr. and Mrs. Frank built their home on Clever Lane in Lexington, where they lived until Mr. Frank died in 1985. A year later, Mrs. Frank moved to Mansfield.
A 1939 graduate of Lucas High School, Mrs. Frank graduated from the Warner College of Cosmetology of Mansfield in 1941. She spent many years as a beautician and owned and operated beauty salons in Lucas and Lexington. She advanced her college education in cosmetology in Detroit, Mich., and taught for three years at the Mansfield Beauty College. Later, Mrs. Frank worked in retail sales at Mansfield’s Golden Russell clothing store and the H.L. Reed Co., where she retired as a department manager in 1986.
Mrs. Frank was a former member of the Mansfield Liederkranz and a member of the First Congregational Church of Mansfield, where she had been a deaconess, Colony leader, and involved in the church’s annual rummage sale. While her children were in school at Lexington, she was involved in a number of school organizations and committees. Proud of being a Lucas High School cheerleader and graduate, Mrs. Frank was often involved in planning her high school class reunions as well as organizing lunches and birthday dinners for her Reed’s friends and others.
Mrs. Frank and her husband enjoyed their time living in Lexington, hosted many card parties with tennis friends, and were charter members of Clear Fork Swim Club, which provided summer activities for the family for many years. The Franks spent a few weeks each summer at “the lakes” and many times traveled to Florida, as well as to historic sites and Civil War battlefields in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Mrs. Frank enjoyed reading, music, and fashion and was known for her intellect, sharp wit, and sense of humor.
Mrs. Frank’s children learned a lot about life listening to the gossip, banter, and political commentary between and among their mother’s clientele at the beauty shop, which was connected to the house. Lessons were learned, guidance was given, secrets were shared, and the smell of various hair solutions permeated throughout the Frank home. Mrs. Frank loved to experiment with styles and hair color, and her daughter was often a subject of those experimentations.
Mrs. Frank is survived by her children, Chriss (John) Harris of Lexington and Dr. Stephen (Shelly) Frank of Ashland; two grandchildren, Jay (Sharon Rappaport) Harris of Long Island, NY, and Nickie (Brad) Gibbs of Olathe, KS., and four great-grandchildren, Jackson and Mason Harris and Cole and Jensen Gibbs. She is also survived by nephews Kenneth (Dianne) Swain of Mission Viego, Ca., Douglas (June) Swain of Lucas, John (Martha) Mitchell of St. Louis, Mo., and Roger Davey of Mansfield, as well as nieces Beth (Brad) Graham of Athens, Sharon Frank of Pittsburgh, Pa., Deanna Krieger of Mansfield, Jim Spangler of Gibson City, Il., and MaryAnn (Jim) Stahlheber of Avon. There are many great and great-great nephews and nieces.
Mrs. Frank was the last of her Swain and Frank generation. In addition to her parents, her husband, and his parents, Harmon and Bessie Frank, Mrs. Frank was preceded in death by her brothers and their spouses, Basil (Bud) and Reta Swain and Air Force Lt. Col. Charles A. and Edie Swain. Other relatives who preceded her in death were her husband’s brother and his wife, Clayton and Lena Frank, her husband’s sisters and their husbands, Kathryn and Reed Lebourveau and Leona and Paul Mitchell, and nephews and nieces Ricky Davey, Susan Frank Baron, Deborah Frank Potter, John Frank, Jim Mitchell, and Paula Spangler, who had spent many hours with her Aunt Janet before her own passing.
A memorial service will be held in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church, 640 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, and is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18. Masks must be worn and social distancing observed. Memorial contributions may be made in Mrs. Frank’s memory to her church’s Music/Choral Fund or to the Richland County Foundation for its Lucas Schools Sustaining Fund, 181 S. Main St., Mansfield.
Snyder Funeral Homes is handling arrangements for the family.