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Obituary: Frank Yoerg

As received from the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home:

SERVICE NOTICE: Frank J. Yoerg III, 72, a resident of Calumet passed away after a valiant 9-month battle with cancer at his winter home in Wisconsin, on Tuesday January 4, 2022.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 10:00am, with a funeral mass immediately following at 11:30am at Sacred Heart Church 56512 Rockland St. in Calumet. Arrangements are being handled by the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet.

Frank J. Yoerg III, 72, a resident of Calumet passed away after a valiant 9-month battle with cancer at his winter home in Wisconsin, on Tuesday January 4, 2022. He was surrounded by the love of his life and soulmate, Roberta (Wee-Zee), his adoring stepdaughter and grandchildren, sister, nieces, and many loving family members.

Frank was born in Buffalo, NY on May 6, 1949, the carrot topped and freckle faced son of Frank Yoerg, Jr. and Lois (Heidenreich) Yoerg. He was a hardworking and entrepreneurial boy from his earliest years, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, and taking on a daily paper route with the Buffalo Courier Express at the age of seven. His route became the largest in the Buffalo region, expanding more than 300% due to his drive and strong work ethic. He won a trip to the NYC World’s Fair, by coming in 2nd place in a new subscription contest. After graduating from Williamsville High School in 1967, Frank paid for his entire first year at Michigan Technological University with his paper route savings.

Frank was an avid learner and greatly enjoyed his years at MTU, academically and socially. He was especially interested in history, and loved watching the History Channel and answering almost any question asked on Jeopardy. He was a thoughtful, cheery, social, and friendly optimist that never met a stranger, traits that served him well throughout his years as an active part of the restaurant scene in Houghton. Frank managed the Poor Boy’s Sub Shop in Greeley CO, the former Togo’s Sub Shop, Library Bar, Consumer’s Advocate, and eventually started his own popular Mexican restaurant, Los Dos Amigos. He was well known for his homemade salsas and continued to make and sell them until his illness. Frank finished his 17-year career as a supervisor of Nutrition Services at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, retiring in 2014.

Frank was a proud 35-year member of the Houghton Lions Club, serving in various positions including King Lion, Vice President and Secretary, holding some positions more than once, and giving back to the community in a way that only Frank could do. He especially enjoyed working on the Lions annual Chicken Barbeque fundraiser. When asked what he was most proud of in his years of work, he enthusiastically replied, “giving back to the community”. That will come as no surprise to all who knew him.

Frank was also an active member of Sacred Heart Church in Calumet, where he served as President of the Keweenaw Catholic Community Council. Frank was raised Lutheran, and had a strong connection to the Baptist faith after spending several years attending Bible Camp. He had a very strong spiritual side, and once even considered a career in the ministry.

Frank loved nature and all outdoor activities including downhill skiing with his granddaughters and gardening in his beautiful backyard oasis in Calumet, where he painstakingly cared for many frogs and large goldfish in the pond. In the summer he could often be found in the yard enjoying a tasty margarita with Wee- Zee after dinner. One of his favorite places was at his grandparent’s family home in rural Short Tract NY where he loved swimming, fishing, camping, and the mystery and awesomeness of the quiet, surrounded by large trees, meadows, and stars. He had many exhilarating rides there in his Grandpa’s open cockpit bi-plane, a 1930 Stearman C3R. In 2005, Frank and Wee-Zee purchased a rustic piece of land on Torch Lake in Bootjack that they named “the Property”. They spent countless hours in Spring, Summer, and Fall turning this tree lined lakefront property into a magical retreat, hosting family and friends for their Annual 4th of July parties, and had hoped to one day build their dream home on that site.

Frank was a big supporter of the Green Bay Packers and he loved attending games when he had the opportunity. He could often be found proudly wearing a Packer t-shirt. His Packer fandom paled in comparison to his devotion and passion for watching his granddaughters excel in Mishicot (WI) sports. He attended their volleyball, softball, and basketball games, as well as their track and field events, from elementary school onward. One of his proudest moments was watching his granddaughter Desiree compete in and win the WIAA Division 4 Women’s State Championship basketball game in 2021, making history for her school. He was also able to witness Desiree and Nevaeh competing for their school in Track and Field together, both taking the podium at their State finals in 2021.

Frank had many hobbies and interests, but what mattered to him most in the world was family. He met his true love Roberta (Schutz) Allen at the Houghton Rotary Seafood Festival in 1997. Just a couple of dates later and they were inseperable, how they remained for the rest of his life. They were married on June 12, 1999 at Niagara on the Lake, Canada, during a fairy tale ceremony with close family and friends. Frank and Wee-Zee made even the most mundane tasks like yard work or grocery shopping a fun adventure, and they loved to travel and spend time with their many friends and family members, especially after they both retired. After his retirement in 2014, Frank and Wee-Zee started to winter in Wisconsin to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Frank loved Wee- Zee’s children as his own, and his special loves were of course his two granddaughters.

Frank is survived by the love of his life, wife Roberta (Wee-Zee) of Calumet, step daughter Tina (Chris) Kleiman of Maribel WI, step son Chad Allen of Green Bay WI, granddaughters Desiree and Nevaeh Kleiman of Maribel WI, sister Susan (George) Campbell of Spencerport NY, brother Peter of Buffalo NY, sisters-in-law Patricia (Kent) Wilkinson of Houghton, Lisa (Bob) Jelic of Ann Arbor, nieces Laura Campbell of Lakewood, OH and Maddie and Abby Jelic of Ann Arbor, nephew Jeff Campbell of Austin, Texas, and cousins.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents and father and mother-in-law Robert and Louise Schutz, nephew Robbie Klass and niece Kim Klass.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Hui-Zi Chen and team at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee for their dedicated care and concern during Frank’s clinical trial as well as the Bellin Cancer Team for their compassionate and knowledgeable care. The family is especially grateful to Heartland Hospice of DePere, WI for their quality personal comfort care to Frank in his final days at home.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made in Frank’s name to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (events.org/donate/lbfe-donate), or Omega House (omega-house.org/donate). Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 10:00am, with a funeral mass immediately following at 11:30am at Sacred Heart Church 56512 Rockland St. in Calumet. Arrangements are being handled by the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet.

Online condolences for the family can be left at ericksoncrowleypeterson.com

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