Frank (Francis) Winslow
Frank (Francis) Winslow was born in Bangor, Maine to Walter Winslow and Anastasia Kane. Frank was the oldest of three children. He spent some of his early summers visiting his aunt’s family (they had eight children) in St. John, New Brunswick. He spoke of swimming with his cousins in the Bay of Fundy; helping his Uncle Billy deliver groceries in a horse-drawn wagon; and visiting an aunt in her office where she previewed movies as part of her job as a government censor. He also went with her to stage shows, including a memorable fan-dance, about which he delighted in telling his friends back home. In his teens he had a newspaper route and worked for a portrait photographer.
During high school Frank joined the Army Air Corp Reserve. He was assigned to Bangor’s Air Field where he would greet bomber airmen who would land in Bangor to refuel on their way to the war in Europe. The work was challenging in the frigid Maine winters but was exciting for a young man and inspired him as a pilot-to-be.
Frank entered the Army the day President Truman was sworn into office. His knowledge of photography got him assigned to a map-making unit at Lowry Field in Denver. He processed large-format aerial photos to create maps of previously uncharted areas. Frank attended Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley, Kansas. Frank’s earlier experience with horses and map-making helped him score high in his class. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Army Signal Corp. In 1948 he was stationed in Korea. When most of the troops were withdrawn he remained to become a member of the Army’s Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG). He ran the Army Photography Center so he had both still- and moving-picture cameras, a rarity in Korea at that time. When north Korea invaded the south on 25 June 1950, Frank took photos which were published internationally. His wartime experience made it possible for him to receive a regular Army commission. In his 32 years in the Army Frank flew both fixed wing (single- and twin-engine) and rotary (helicopter) aircraft. He served as airfield commander in Viet Nam at Hue Phu Bai (“Phu Bai is alright”), in Germany, and at numerous posts in the US. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Following his nomadic Army career the family moved to Bellingham where Frank launched a second, meaningful career. He was one of the founding members and the incorporator of the Alzheimer Society of Washington. For twenty years he acted as their unpaid lobbyist in Olympia and advocated on behalf of people affected by dementia. He was able to work with legislators to get a law that provides a hierarchy of family members to speak for someone who is not able to speak for himself/herself. He also was able to ensure that the Washington State long-term care ombudsman remained independent in a neutral government agency. And Washington’s Bureau of Statistics agreed to his request to list the different dementias as a cause-of-death.
Frank, pre-deceased by his brother Al, his sister Anne, his son, Timothy, is survived by Josselyn, his Friday night square dancing partner and then life partner for nearly 64 years. He is also survived by children, Belinda Hawkins (Bill), Mark, Steve (Cindy), Nic (Theresa) and Jeff (Carolyn) and grandchildren, Jessie (Daniel, children Layla and Auden), Spencer, Amanda, Dillon (Victoria), Calli (Cory), Nolan (fiancé Leanna), Blair and Henry, plus nieces and nephews in Maine, Massachusetts, Texas, and California.
Thanks to Dr. Hruby, Frank’s caregivers, Hospice and Father Scott Connolly for helping him die at home with his family by his side. Thanks, too, to his friends at the Alzheimer Society. Frank commented, “When I incorporated the Alzheimer Society some thirty-four years ago I never thought I would need their help.”
Memorials: Alzheimer Society of Washington, 1301 Fraser St A-1, Bellingham WA 98229.