Franklin Neal Frank Phares 1926-2002 Obituary

Franklin Neal Frank Phares 1926-2002 Obituary

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Franklin Neal “Frank” Phares, 76, a lifelong resident of Valley Bend, passed away Thursday evening, Nov. 7, 2002, at Broaddus Long Term Care Facility. He had been in failing health since 1993.

Born March 6, 1926, he was the son of the late Benjamin Lee and Lucy Priest Phares.

Frank is survived by a close companion of 13 years, Margaret Skidmore of Montrose, along with her two children; two sisters, Helen Tacy of Valley Bend and Marybelle Keiper of Calvin; and one foster brother, Sanford Ours of Wakefield, R.I.

Also surviving are several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and several great-great nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death besides his parents was a sister, Laura Phares, and two brothers, George Phares and Dorsey Phares.

Frank was born in the house in Valley Bend where he had lived until becoming ill. He was a graduate of Tygarts Valley High School with the class of 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 during World War II and served aboard the USS Helena. He was honorably discharged in 1947, having received the Asiatic-pacific, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the American Ares. He then joined the Naval Reserve from which he retired.

He was a lifelong farmer and became postmaster of the Valley Bend post office on Sept. 5, 1958, and retired June 1, 1997, with almost 40 years of service. Frank held the longest-serving position as postmaster since the office opened on March 15, 1886. The post office had many locations in Valley Bend while he served, but the last building currently housing the Valley Bend post office opened for business in September 1982.

Frank never met a stranger and at his last visit to the post office, he spoke to every customer who came in, calling them by name and asking about their work and families. He was also the one to begin leaving the lobby open until 6 p.m. for the working people and then he would come back and lock it up.

He was a member of the Randolph Lodge AF & AM No. 55 of Beverly, where he was a 50-year member and had served as past master, a member of the Beverly Chapter 23 Royal Arch Masons, Pilgrim Commandery No. 21 of Elkins, Osiris Shrine of Wheeling, BPOE No. 1135 for 40-plus years, and a former member of the Tygart Valley Fire Department. Frank was also a member of the H.W. Daniels Post 29 American Legion and the Tygart Valley Post 3646 VFW. He was a Methodist by faith.

Friends will be received at the F.E. Runner Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and after 6 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted from the Runner Chapel on Monday at 11 a.m. The Rev. Frank Long, pastor of the Mill Creek Memorial Mission Church, will officiate. Interment will follow in the Beverly Cemetery in Beverly. The H.W. Daniels Post 29 will make the presentation of the American flag at the cemetery and also the Randolph Lodge AF & AM No. 55 of Beverly will conduct masonic rites at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mountain Hospice or to the Tygart Valley Fire Department in memory of Frank.

The F.E. Runner Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Franklin Neal “Frank” Phares

Franklin Neal Frank Phares 1926-2002 Obituary

Return to Randolph County Area Obituaries Home Page

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