June 6, 1932 – Sunday, December 28, 2014
Connect Church, St. Michael, MN
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The Peterson Chapel, St. Michael, MN
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Francis (Frank) Elroy Vennes went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at 6:10 am on December 28, 2014.
Frank was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Williston, ND, June 6, 1932, to Albert Christian and Gina Vennes. He had five brothers: Robert, Albert Jr. (Tony), Charles Lindberg (Lindy), John, and Duane (Abou). He attended schools in Williston and Dunseith. He graduated from Dunseith in 1950.
On January 11, 1951, Frank joined the Army National Guard. He was activated five days later and sent to Camp Rucker, Alabama. There he served as Staff Sergeant. He trained incoming troops for field combat in the Korean War. Frank’s best advice to the new troops was, “Do your best to fight for your Country,” and “Nothing in life is perfect.”
On February 14, 1957, Frank married Norma Jean Gunderson–the “apple of his eye.” Later in life, after Norma nursed him back to health following a stroke, he called her “My Angel.” Frank and Norma were blessed with four children: Frank Jr. (Kim), Merritt Island, Fl, Gregory (Stephanie), Buffalo, MN, Melanie Eller (Dean), Lowell, IN, and Joel, Surprise, AZ. They also had the joy of eleven grandchildren: Denley, Colby, Sarah, Jordan, Benjamin, Maria, Kayla, Kyle, Joshua, Joley, and Nicole.
Frank spent most of his life in Williston. He loved the people and enjoyed being a part of the community. He worked several places such as Cutting’s Williston Drug Store, the local bowling alley–as a pin setter, the Great Northern Railroad, the local hospitals–with a his own Television rental service, and the Post Office–from delivering mail to finally serving as Williston’s Postmaster. In his spare time, Frank enjoyed being a part of different organizations. He belonged to the American Legion–Commander at the Post and District level. He was also active in service organizations such as the Elks, Kiwanis, and the Parent Teacher Association. Furthermore, he enjoyed honing his speaking and listening skills in Toastmasters. More indulgently, he was usually on a bowling team–no perfect games–but did get 9 strikes in a row.
Frank loved his family and friends very much. He loved visiting. He did an excellent job staying updated with his children and grandchildren’s lives. It was said, “Dad can start a conversation with anyone.” He was often persuaded to share stories about his Norwegian heritage. During a visit to Norway, Frank was able to exchange a few Norwegian phrases with a local store clerk. After sharing the phrases, he was proud to inform her, he was 100% Norwegian.
In these last years, it was hard for him to leave the people of Williston. He always enjoyed “catching-up” with friends on the phone.
Frank was a member of Connect Church (Christian Missionary Alliance) in St. Michael, MN. He felt welcomed into the church immediately. He was thankful for the joy he had in fellowshipping there. One little girl, Rachel, who is an expert in bringing smiles to others, was always a light for him on Sunday mornings.
Frank is survived by his wife, Norma; children, Frank Jr. (Kim) of Merritt Island, Fl, Gregory (Stephanie) of Buffalo, MN, Melanie Eller (Dean) of Lowell, IN, and Joel of Surprise, AZ. They also had the joy of eleven grandchildren: Denley, Colby, Sarah, Jordan, Benjamin, Maria, Kayla, Kyle, Joshua, Joley, and Nicole; brother, Duane Vennes, Welliston, ND; and many other family friends.
Frank is preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Gina, as well as his brothers, Robert, Tony, Lindy, and John.
Visitation for Francis Vennes will be held Tuesday, December 30, 5 – 8 PM at the Peterson Chapel of St. Michael. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, December 31, 11:00 AM with visitation starting at 10:00 AM at Connect Church (Christian Missionary Alliance), 3989 Maclver Ave. NE, St. Michael.