Funeral services for Frank O’Meara, age 97, of Safford, are on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Caldwell Funeral Chapel. Concluding the service a private graveside ceremony will be held at the Franklin Cemetery.
Frank entered into rest on Saturday, January 30, 2016 peacefully at his home following a brief illness. Frank Anthony O’Meara was born December 22, 1918 in New York City to Mary Marble Murphy and Patrick O’Meara. Frank grew up in New Windsor, NY and graduated High School. In 1940, he entered the army at Fort Dix, New Jersey and was honorably discharged in 1941.
Frank worked on many different jobs until he moved to California where he went to work for the State of California, Division of Highway, as an equipment operator. He retired in April of 1980. While in California he met Millie May Hubbart. They got married and were together for 42 years. Later he met and married Joy (Nations) Johnston and they moved to Safford in 1994. Joy passed in 2003.
Frank loved to ballroom dance, listen to big band music, visiting friends, watching Lawrence Welk and played trumpet for 20 years (to include playing in Madison Square Garden and was in a backup band for Frank Sinatra).
Frank met LouAnn Benzinger while having breakfast and they became friends. When LouAnn went out of town Frank took care of her dog whom he affectionately called “baby Kasey”. When Kasey passed in December 2010, Frank had a stroke 4 days later and LouAnn became his caregiver. He ended up in a power chair and to retain his strength and his determination to live independent at home, he started going to the Road Runner Gym the 1st of May, 2011, Monday through Friday until December 17th, 2015. He was unrelentless with his will wanting to be able to walk again. The physical therapists there, Craig Hackett, Wayne Nelson and Jace Nelson would take Frank for a walk every time they were available. LouAnn can’t thank them enough for their thoughtfulness, time spent with him and caring for him.
After going on 9 years taking care of Frank, LouAnn couldn’t have kept him at home without the help from Sheila Hartner, Gary Cleland, Sharon Ford, Nora Beauchamp and of course “her boys” who answered all questions concerning the maintance on his house, yard and vehicle. They will always be treasured to her. There were so many to thank over the years who were kind to Frank and took time to visit with him. Thank you to you all!!
Frank is preceded in death by his parents, his wives; Willie May and Joy, and baby Kasey.
Frank leaves behind his friend then longtime caregiver LouAnn Benzinger, 2 step-granddaughters Carla Hubbart and Joan Slaughter of California.
It is suggested donations be made in Frank’s memory to: Safford High School Scholarship Foundation, 734 11th Street, Safford, AZ 85546 and then in the memo line on your check write “Ruth Powell”.
Lovingly written by LouAnn.
Services are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.