Frank Peterson ColemanDecember 27, 1928 ~ November 9, 2017 (age 88)
Frank Peterson Coleman, age 88, of Escalante, passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at home with his family by his side, after a very long battle to breathe. It had been 25 years since he lost one lung and his only son. He was ready to move on.
Dad was born in Salt Gulch, Utah on December 27, 1928, the 8th of 14 children, to Parley Franklin and Esther Peterson Coleman. Grandpa and Grandma were thrilled to have a healthy baby, and even more thrilled to get another son. Dad loved his brothers, sisters and his parents deeply. Being with them was always a highlight of his life.
He married Kathryn Noami Griffin on December 23, 1952, in Richfield, Utah. They had met as kids when Grandpa Loren Griffin would go to Salt Gulch on business and take her along. She passed away January 27, 2014, after 62 years of marriage.
Dad is a veteran of the Korean War, having spent 11 months on the front lines. He was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery in saving his company when they were pinned down under enemy fire. He joined the American Legion in 1952 because Grandpa Griffin was the local Commander and informed him he had to join before he could marry Mom. Dad got his new card for 65 years in the American Legion two weeks ago.
Dad left Boulder school after 8th grade to help Grandpa work the ranch, because the two older boys were away at war. Dad never stopped working after that. He was a wrangler in his teens, working cattle drives from Boulder to Bicknell. He worked with Garkane to bring electricity to Salt Gulch just after their marriage, built fence for the highway department with the Button brothers, worked as an extra and a wrangler on the movie sets in Kanab in the 1950’s.
What Dad really wanted was to ranch. Dad and Mom settled in Escalante, started buying cattle and land. And he continued to work. He spent many happy years as an active member of the Riding Club and helping with the Desert Downs races. He worked with Grandpa Griffin on uranium claims in Circle Cliffs, worked on the oil rigs during the oil boom in Escalante.
In the 1960’s he was asked to buy the American Oil station from his brother-in-law Wilford Griffin, as his health was failing fast. So Dad became a business owner, a full-time mechanic, and a host to a numberless course of young men who made their way through his station over the years talking and getting advice.
When the rigs left town, Dad had to follow them for a few years, as the motor man then driller. He wanted to be home so he took a job for several years at the sawmill. There they quickly learned what we already knew, that Dad could fix almost anything, and always did his job. He gave up his last job, caring for a neighbor’s yard, this past spring, and this is the first summer he was unable to help in some way get in his own firewood.
What we will all remember and miss is his love and the never ending teasing. He was always a tower of strength among his family.
He is survived by his daughters: Sherree (Robert) Rechtsteiner and Deann Coleman, both of Escalante; 3 grandchildren: Shaun Coleman, Boulder; Shalaine (Ronnie) Skeem, Parowan; and Alicia Rechtsteiner-Keller, Escalante; 3 great-grandchildren: Shaylee Coleman, Shelby Coleman, both of Cedar City; and Jeffrey Rechtsteiner, Escalante; sisters, Barbara (Leo) Gardner, Boulder; Gay Renck, Santa Clara; Clo (Jim) Walker, Halfway, OR; brothers, Don D. (Lillian) Coleman and Dan V. Coleman, both of Escalante, Utah; sisters-in-law, Janet Coleman, Orderville; Vickey C. Hansen, Hurricane; Rosalie Coleman, Kanab
He is preceded in death by his son, Lance Vee Coleman; his parents, his 8 siblings: Bessie Thatcher (Clifford) Palmer, Hyrum P. (Mary Ellen) Coleman, Edna (Kelvert) Button, Ada (John R) Purkey, Fern (Fred) Johnson, LaFay W. Coleman, Leah (Arnold) Button, Jerry S. Coleman; in-laws: Zenif McInelly, Ralph Thatcher, Tommy Renck.
Memorial services will be held Friday, November 17, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the Escalante Stake Center, where friends may call from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial with military honors accorded by the Escalante American Legion Post #114 will be in the Escalante Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com