Sharon A. Frank of the Town of Saukville was a spiritual woman who took to heart the adage that people should help one another.
She and her husband Ray served as foster parents to a number of children, including one they shepherded into college, through the years.
“They treated the foster children and us exactly the same,” their daughter Robin Manthei said.
Mrs. Frank’s husband said that when they moved to Saukville, they had a large house and wanted to fill it.
They applied to host an exchange student, something they were told could take time, and into becoming foster parents.
“One Wednesday morning she called me at work and said, ‘We got two foster children,’” Mr. Frank said. “That afternoon she called and said, ‘We got a foreign exchange student.’
“We went from three children to six in a day.”
The couple cared for eight or nine foster children through the years, he said.
The couple were spurred by a simple principle, their daughter said.
“They’ve always been very religious.
Anything they could do to help somebody, they felt was their duty,” she said.
“They enjoyed being able to help people.”
Her mother was also a minister of the Eucharist and a religious education teacher at Immaculate Conception Church in Saukville for years, Mrs. Manthei said.
Mrs. Frank, who fought multiple sclerosis for 40 years, died of cancer Wednesday, May 30, at her home.
She was 75.
“She was a strong willed woman,” her daughter said, noting that when her mother was diagnosed with cancer doctors gave her three to six months to live.
She lived 26 months and refused chemotherapy, her daughter said.
Mrs. Frank was a native of Chicago, born on Jan. 3, 1943, to Victor and Myrtle Scholl Cizinauskas.
She graduated from Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, Ill., in 1960, and on May 19, 1962, married Rayburn Frank of Berwyn, Ill., at St. Simeon Catholic Church in Bellwood, Ill.
When Mr. Frank’s job took him to Milwaukee, the couple moved to Saukville in 1973.
In addition to raising her children and foster children, Mrs. Frank was a volunteer candystriper at the former St. Alphonsus Hospital in Port Washington.
She also worked for a number of companies in Ozaukee County. She was the vice president of Manchester Mall in Grafton.
“She started there (Manchester Mall) as a secretary,” her husband said. “She was a very talented woman, and was very organized. She took over the leasing, worked with the lawyers.
“She was smart. Whatever she tackled, she did well.”
She worked for Kelch, where she served as a secretary for 13 engineers, and for Fromm Laboratories, as well as a number of companies in the transportation field.
“She did everything from billing and dispatching to being a terminal manager for a small trucking company,” her husband said. “She drove a fork lift.”
In her free time, Mrs. Frank enjoyed art. She worked with oils and chalk to create seascapes, portraits, still lives and more, often creating the pieces as gifts to others.
Mrs. Frank’s garden brought her peace and joy.
“She had the green thumbs,” her daughter said, noting she especially loved her flower gardens.
Mrs. Frank also enjoyed annual trips to Las Vegas with her husband.
Mrs. Frank is survived by her husband Ray of the Town of Saukville; children Richard (Mary) of Vinton, Iowa, Renee (Brian) Burhop of Howards Grove and Robin (Jon) Manthei of West Bend; grandchildren Brent (Danielle) Burhop, Breanne (Luke) Gahagan, Brendan (fiance Alivia) Burhop, Michaela Frank, Sarah Frank, Josh Traut and Alex Manthei; and two great-grandchildren.
She is further survived by her brother Vic (Jean) Cizinauskas of Elm Grove Village, Ill., and sister Susan (Louis) Bartucci of Schaumburg, Ill.
A memorial Mass will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, June 8, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Newburg with Father Kevin Kowalske officiating.
Visitation will be at the church from 4 p.m. Friday until the service.
Memorials to Holy Trinity Parish or the St. Vincent De Paul Society are suggested.
Funeral arrangements are being handled through Poole Funeral Home, Port Washington.