HANCOCK - Frank P. Taucher, 94, a former well-known local businessman of Hancock, passed away on Wednesday evening, November 20, 2013, at PortagePointe of Portage Health surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Baltic on September 28, 1919, to Peter and Mary (Skok) Taucher, the eighth of nine children. He attended the Baltic grade school, graduating in 1934, the last class of that school. He then attended the Painesdale High School, the first class of freshmen in that new school with its new swimming pool, gymnasium and library. Students came from the surrounding areas by riding on the Copper Range Railroad School train. Following graduation from Jeffers High School, he was hired by Locatelli Construction company to help in building the Stella Cheese Company and the old No. 2 dry house in Baltic. In 1941 he began work at Montgomery Ward in Houghton. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the service and was assigned to Air Force training in Georgia and North Carolina.
He married Rose Marie Zorich on November 7, 1942, in St. Joseph Church in Waycross, Ga. He then joined the mighty 8th Air Force in England with the 96th Heavy B17 Bomb Group. He served there until the war ended, then briefly in Belgium and Germany until August of 1945 when he was mustered out on his 26th birthday. He returned to work at Montgomery Ward for over 20 years in the plumbing and heating department and became assistant manager for seven years. Frank then purchased the Coast-to-Coast store in Hancock, being a state licensed heating contractor for 15 years. He and his wife owned and operated the store for many years until their retirement, passing their business to their son.
In 1955 he built a new home for his family, the first new home built in Hancock for many years. He built four more homes which were sold before they were completed.
Frank loved the outdoors; his daily walks became a ritual. He loved dancing, playing the accordion, boating and gardening. He taught his children and grandchildren how to water ski and operate his boat. Married for 69 years, he and Rose Marie enjoyed a special life together. A very generous and kind man who loved his family, he created many pieces of furniture made of oak in his retirement years.
From 1945 to 1950 he was the lead bugler for the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp in Hancock; for 10 years he was with that Legions' Color Guard. He was a past president of the Jeffers High School Alumni Association, he was the past Commander of the Alfred Erickson Post 186 American Legion of Hancock and the VFW Rangers Post 6165 of South Range and a past director of Superior National Bank in Hancock. He was active in the Knights of Columbus where he served as faithful navigator, scribe, marshall and commander of the Color Guard. A member of the Church of the Resurrection, he served as an usher and altar server.
He and his wife traveled to Europe, Africa and Hawaii. They traveled to Slovenia, the birthplace of his parents and visited with relatives on several occasions. Frank was proud of his Slovenian heritage and spoke, read and wrote the language fluently.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, Rose Marie; a grandson, Tristan; two sisters; and five brothers.
He is survived by a son, Frank Jr. (Sue) Taucher of Hancock; four daughters, Judi (Bill) Sleeman of Houghton; Marilyn (Paul) Heinonen of Hancock, Rosalie Taucher of Crystal Falls and Sandi (Arnold Goossen) Taucher of Plover, Wis.; a sister, Josephine Marshall of Hancock; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Church of the Resurrection in Hancock with Rev. Fr. William Ssozi to officiate. Spring burial will be in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton.
Friends may call at the church from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Saturday before the mass.
The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is in charge of the arrangements.
To leave online condolences, please go to oneilldennisfh.com.