Frank Gabriel Clines was born on August 09 1927 in Jersey City, NJ and is one of our most senior Post 522 members. Frank rarely, if ever, misses a Post membership meeting.
His wife, Dolores, passed away after after 65 years of marriage. They have 3 children, Eileen, Dan and Tom. All his kids now live close by: Whitefish Bay, Pewaukee, and Racine. Frank and his dog Kate live in Richfield in his single family ranch home.
One of Frank’s interests is shooting. “I can no longer hunt (and) I got a real good bird dog. (My English Setter) Kate’s a natural born hunter, she has a good bloodline. She knows why she was born. I can’t take her hunting anymore, but I have some property so I let her run every day and she hunts around for what we’ve got.”
When I’m able I do skeet and trap shooting, but now I’m doing mostly pistol because I can sit down and do it.”
As a youngster, Frank wanted to be a pilot.
He describes his family as “A good religious Catholic family”. He grew up in New Jersey during the depression and went to Catholic School. He recalls that the nuns were tough on the students, but he believes they gave him a good education. Frank liked History, but wasn’t too crazy about “Secretarial” classes. Later in life, he later took some college courses in Management.
When he was 14 years old Pearl Harbor was attacked. At age 17, he enlisted into the Navy as a Moto machinist mate (Engine Man) on a YFD (floating drydock) and served 3 years. He went to boot camp in Samson, NY, then on to Basic Engineering and Diesel Engineering training in Mississippi. After that he was shipped out to the South Pacific, serving on the USS Resourceful, YFD21. He remembers that he was mostly near The Philippines. Although it was dangerous duty, Frank liked what he was doing in the military. He says it taught him how to take orders. It prepared him for civilian life where “Everybody has a boss. So you better do what the boss wants you to do”.
After the war, Frank returned to New Jersey and went to work as a machinist. But, he decided to take 7 years off from that profession and worked in Law Enforcement. Frank explained “I decided I’d like to try law enforcement (as a NJ State Trooper). I used to shoot with the Police Reserve Pistol Team, and I got to know some of the people and I thought. Hey, I would be a full-time guy. My wife kept a scrapbook of anytime my name would come up, (and on each article) she wrote ‘The Seven Year Itch finally scratched’ “ Frank still has that scrapbook.
Eventually, he returned to machining and moved to Wisconsin. “I was transferred here with by my company (Carnation Company). I don’t remember the date now. In the 60’s maybe.” He became Plant Manager in Menomonee Falls. Frank eventually retired from that position (now called Silgan Containers).
Frank joined our post about 8 years ago. He was recruited by Pat Farley thru the church they both attended.
If a young person came up to Frank and asked him what is the most important thing for living a good life, he would tell them “be honest with people”.
The world event that impacted Frank most in his life was Pearl Harbor. Enlisting at 17, “My mother had to sign for me. I was going to high school and serving an apprenticeship in a machine shop, so for me to enlist my boss had to sign for me also, because you know we did war work”.
His most important lesson learned in life; “It’s a good question. I don’t know. It was probably getting along with my wife. You know, I just still miss her”.
Frank told us that the most influential person in his life was his older brother. “He treated me well, he got me involved in fishing and so forth”.
What is Frank the most proud of? He is proud f his family, and “Well I’m proud that I was able to serve my country.”
Frank just wants us to remembered in life as “a good guy”.
We find Frank to be that “Good Guy” and a Gentleman we are all extremely proud to have in our family.