By Alice Huth-Derrah
The next time you see Frank Reskey, be sure to thank him. Frank, along with Jeff Adams and Jason Major, is a member of the dedicated maintenance crew that tends to the church and parish grounds at St. Elizabeth Seton. Look for the very tall guy with a winning smile and an eager willingness to lend a hand.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Frank’s family moved to York Center, a western suburb of Chicago, when Frank was a teenager. The “baby” of two children, he and his older sister were very different. “My sister was the golden child,” Frank laughs, “while I was a bit of a trouble maker.” He says this reputation was mostly “given not earned” since he seemed to get blamed, especially in school, for the antics of other kids because he was always so tall. Frank admits, though, that he was and still is a bit of a “hard head and likes to clown.”
Frank’s family lived on three acres in York Center on property shared with their nearest neighbors, an arrangement that increased the size of their lot and the amount of animals the family adopted. The menagerie included ducks, dogs, parrots, hamsters and, Frank’s favorite, horses. He had the responsibility of caring for all of them and remembers that tending the horses was “tough work, especially in the winter.” However, he developed a true love of riding as well as the rewards of hard work.
As Frank grew up, he regularly took mechanic classes in school. He was also fortunate to have a close high school friend whose dad owned a body shop, and Frank soon began working there, learning as much as he could while indulging a growing passion for cars. Frank’s dad shared his passion and they often worked on cars together. Years later, Frank had the opportunity to purchase a 1969 Chevelle which, with his father’s help, he lovingly restored. Frank still owns the car today and claims he “will never sell it.”
On a cruise to Mexico, Frank met Michelle who was also traveling with friends. For a time, the relationship continued long distance since Michelle lived in California and Frank was still in Illinois. After marrying, Michelle and Frank settled in California, outside of Sacramento, and would eventually have two daughters. Frank’s love of cars, especially trucks, led him into the field of mechanics and then driving “big rigs.” His dad, a mechanic and truck driver himself, wasn’t enthused with his son’s choice of a profession. Frank believed it was his “destiny” and was soon employed with Dr. Pepper as an Inter-Branch Transfer driver, traveling a set route between San Francisco, Reno, and Fresno, a job Frank loved.
After living in California for 15 years, Frank and Michelle moved to Arizona, where most of Frank’s family now resides. His parents and an aunt attend church at St. Elizabeth Seton and it’s thanks to his aunt’s noticing an ad in the parish bulletin that Frank found the position at the parish. Frank uses his many skills to accomplish the assortment of tasks involved in maintaining a large parish. He is responsible for cleaning, repairing, rewiring, replacing and generally ensuring that everything is functioning properly as well as looking polished and inviting.
Frank credits his parents, especially his dad, with teaching him the importance of helping others, learning many different skill sets, and being self-reliant, traits he tried to pass on to his own, now adult children. He says smiling, “I appreciate all my parents taught me.”