Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Frank John Stano

RACINE, Wis. - Our Dad and Grandfather - Frank John Stano of Racine and formerly of Ironwood, Michigan - passed away from COVID complications at Ascension Hospital in Racine in the middle of the night with staff by his side on Dec. 17, 2020.

We had one short visit the day before where we could see him but not hug him or kiss him or even touch him. His COVID contact was someone who was asymptomatic and worked at his assisted living facility. This virus is not a hoax. Before you bend the guidelines to spend time with your family over the holidays, being unaware and asymptomatic still means you can spread the virus to others. Herd immunity doesn't work for the ones who die. They don't get to spend another holiday with their family.

Frank was the fourth of six children born to John and Anna Stano, who settled in Ironwood, after immigrating from Czechoslovakia. Frank lived the majority of his life in the same house where he was born. He was a proud man grounded in basic things that mattered the most in his life: family, privacy, reticence. Strong-willed and strong-minded, he lived his life by the principles of following the rules, paying his way, keeping the peace. He never wanted fame, didn't need accolades or fanfare, and was just a down to earth straight shooter.

He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School where he excelled as an athlete lettering in track and field, cross-country, baseball and football. He spent two years at Moorhead State in Minnesota. Sports was a life-long passion, and he was a loyal fan of the Michigan Wolverines, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Braves, and later, Brewers. He found his true love, golf, in 1972, and played until he was 86 years old and once achieved a coveted hole-in-one.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea. He spent a short time living in Milwaukee, working at Allis Chalmers, then returned to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, living the majority of his life in Ironwood. There he claimed to love the challenge of a good snowstorm and saw many of them while living there and enjoyed the peace and quiet a small town provided. He spent the remainder of his life's work at White Pine Copper Mine for 33 years as a heavy equipment operator retiring in 1990. He lived independently until September 2017, when health issues required him to move closer to family.

He leaves two daughters, Dawn D. (Eugene J.) Dunk and Ginger G. Chapman; and six grandchildren, Kimberly (Jon) Hickox, Chad, Keith and Daniel Lambrecht, T.J. (Erika) Chapman, and Anna (Nicholas) Glassen to keep his memory alive. He was also proud to be great-grandfather to four children: Delaney and Lillian Hickox, and Lucy and Jack Chapman. Other extended immediate family include Aaron, Chelsea and Sam Dunk, Robert, Momoko, Kota,and Takuma Dunk, and Sean, Cory, Shelby and Mason Dunk. Frank was proceeded in death by his parents and five siblings.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name are requested for K-9's for Warriors, who train rescue dogs to be service dogs for veterans. Frank loved America, knowing the debt all Americans owe veterans as it is their service that keeps America great.

With great sadness we have come to the end of the life of a decent man who was unable to be with family to celebrate his 92nd birthday, the holidays or just visit because of a national health crisis that our present government let take over our country. Lack of contact with family contributed to the decline of a man who deserved a better ending to his life, as did the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from COVID. Fight this virus, wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home, save a life, and prevent another family from sorrow's embrace.

Services will be for the immediate family only because COVID takes even the right to grieve with friends and family away.

Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory of Racine is in charge of arrangements.

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