John Gabriel Frankino, 83, passed away peacefully at home on September 28, 2016, with his loving wife, Aggie, by his side. John and Aggie Connors Frankino were married 61 amazing years.
John was born in Butte, Montana, on August 27, 1933, to Steve and Margaret Frankino. He excelled in academics and was an all-state athlete. He led Butte Central to its first State AA basketball championship in 1950, and coached its second title in 1956. He pitched his American Legion baseball team to a State title before attending St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, on a basketball scholarship. He later played baseball for Butte McQueens who captured the Copper League Baseball championship.
He received his masters’ degree in mathematics from the University of Montana and taught math and coached basketball at Carroll College, Butte Central, Flathead High, and Capital High. John’s Carroll basketball teams garnered conference titles in the 1960’s, and John assisted on Capital High’s first AA basketball-title team in 1983. He was inducted into the Carroll College Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach, and the Butte Athletic Hall of Fame as an athlete and coach.
He worked in the management-science department of Mountain Bell in Denver, Colorado, before answering the call to return home to Montana. He accepted employment as the first Director of the Montana Catholic Conference and was the Director of Montana Social Services. He worked and lobbied on social justice issues and was a member of the Human Rights Commission. He believed in the adage, “If you want peace, work for justice.” He particularly enjoyed working with Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, and Father Jim Provost. In his retirement years, John was the Director of the Montana Seniors’ Golf Association and entered the Montana Golf Hall of Fame.
He enjoyed reading, golfing, fishing, gardening, woodworking, and spending holidays and vacations with his family. In his retirement years, John and Aggie enjoyed traveling extensively together.
John is survived by his wife, Aggie; children, Janice (Stu) Doggett, Steve Frankino, Dan (Mindy Swan) Frankino, Kathi Frankino, and David Frankino; grandchildren, Michael (Jessica) Doggett, Anna (Jason) Richards, Jenna Frankino, Sara Jude (Justin) Morine, and Maggie Frankino; seven great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law Rosemarie Frankino, and Roberta Clowes.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Steve and Margaret Frankino; brother Steven Frankino; infant son John G. Frankino, Jr.; father and mother-in-law John and Margaret Connors; brothers and sisters-in-law Kay (Bill) Brennick; Eileen (Oakie) O’Connor, Dan (Sue) Connors; and Bill Connors.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 N. Ewing Street. A reception will follow the Mass in the Brondel Center of the Cathedral of St. Helena. Memorials in John’s name may be sent to a charity of your choice, or in support of the Carroll College Basketball team care of Coach Carson Cunnigham, 1601 N. Benton Ave., Helena MT 59625, Catholic Social Services, P.O. Box 907, Helena, MT 59624, or Helena Food Share, P.O. Box 943, Helena MT 59624.
As John would say, “Tap’er light.”