Cover photo for William Frank's Obituary
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1996 William 2015

William Frank

February 5, 1996 — April 6, 2015

William Michael Frank, known to all as Billy, died April 6. His family provided the following.

Billy was born Feb. 5, 1996, in Jackson Hole.

Our blond-haired, true-blue, twinkly-eyed son passed away at the age of 19 years, 2 months and 1 day.

Billy was ceaselessly curious and ever fascinated by the glorious world around him. He loved learning most of all and strove relentlessly, expanding his horizons and reaching tirelessly to meet his personal goals.

As a youngster Billy participated in the Upward Basketball Program through the Presbyterian Church, where he was honored with the White Star Award for leadership, generosity and grace.

In first grade he won first place for the Wyoming Young Authors Award for his nonfiction story.

For eight years Billy eagerly attended Lynn Wegner's book club along with his nurturing and loving mother, Maryellen. He engaged his reading fully and flourished in enriching group discussions.

As a Peak Program math student throughout elementary and middle school Billy won several Math Olympics medals. He later elected to take and mastered high school honors math, science, English, history and French.

Billy was helpful, poised, kind and well-mannered in every circumstance. A teacher recently reminded us of a significant lunchtime event in middle school when Billy excused himself from a crowded lunch table to sit alongside an often-overlooked fellow student.

Billy had a pure heart and held closely to clearly defined principles of conduct which guided his ambitions toward a self-determined life. Clever, quick-witted and possessing a dry and ironic sense of humor, Billy was a bright and sunnily disposed child who blossomed into a handsome, thoughtful and charismatic young gentleman.

In April 2014 Billy earned a four-year Wyoming Trustees Scholarship for his academic achievements. Upon entering the University of Wyoming, he successfully earned a place on the College of Business Dean's Honor Roll and was nominated by the University to join the National Society of Collegiate Scholars after his first semester.

Under the leadership of John Pansewicz with the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, Billy became a strong, fast and elegant downhill skier. His fall-line style was subtle, smooth and effortlessly efficient.

Billy played the catcher's position in Cal Ripkin baseball, rarely recording an unforced error and batting with the highest consistency. Billy learned game strategy early, comprehending its plays and patterns precisely. Billy worked as a summer baseball league umpire as a teenager, able to hold firm in situations of disputed calls whether by adult fans or coaches.

He earned a brown belt in karate at the age of 12 through the Wyoming Karate Club under the mentorship of Sue Theise.

At Jackson Hole High School he played for three years on the varsity tennis team, becoming co-captain his senior year, and competed in the state championship final round with his doubles partner, Fuller Ross.

Billy was co-captain of the high school speech and debate team and helped his teammates attain state championship titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He qualified for the 2013 National High School Tournament held in Birmingham, Alabama, and competed there in public forum debate.

Throughout his inspiring and charming life Billy dreamed of innovation, had formed an exciting business plan, traveling in his brilliant mind far beyond the constraints of his short years among us.

Like an original poem that expands all our previous understandings, Billy made the universe a bigger, more colorful and deeply meaningful place.

We mourn the tragedy of his inconceivable and quite sudden loss of balance and will all hold him lovingly in our arms, hearts, minds and prayers during our lives and forever.

Billy is an irreplaceable part of our large and loving family.

He is survived by his deeply devoted and loving mother Maryellen, his proud but heartbroken father Donald William and his steadfast younger brother and ever loyal wingman, Peter John Frank; grandparents John R. Frank, of Hackensack, New Jersey and Len and Angela Carlman, of Hinsdale, Illinois; aunt, uncles and cousins include aunt Susan Carlman, aunt Lee (Ed) Riddell, uncle Len (Anne Ladd) Carlman, cousins Madeline and Reed Carlman, all of Jackson; uncle Dan (Susie) Carlman, cousins Erin (Mike) Weber, Sam (Angela) Carlman, Molly Carlman and Codi Rose Carlman, all of Plainfield, Illinois; aunt Cara (Pete) Mooses and niece Elle Mooses, of Chicago; aunt Christa (Dave) Lund and nephew Trace Lund, of Fort Collins, Colorado; uncle David (Maria) Frank and cousins Rachel Frank and Adam Frank, all of Oakland, New Jersey; uncle John R. (Barb) Frank, of Ankeny, Iowa; cousin Gina (Matt) Van Ginkel and cousins Lucas and Chase Van Ginkel, all of of Richmond Hills, Georgia; cousin Kristen (Austin) Rutherford and cousins Madison, Leah and Morgan Rutherford, all of Burnside, Minnesota.

A remembrance service and celebration of life for our fine young son's life is planned for a date to be determined in late May or early June.

The Frank family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Billy Frank Memorial and Scholarship fund at the Bank of Jackson Hole.

We wish to thank each and every one of our loving family members, friends, colleagues and the community at large for your heartfelt support in this time of tragedy and grief. Our hearts will begin to heal with your continued support.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Frank, please visit our flower store.

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