Frank Horst


Wenatchee Valley, Washington

A beloved husband and great father, Frank Horst, passed away on Friday, April 10, 2015, at Central Washington Hospital as the result of a massive stroke. Our eternal gratitude goes out to the emergency responders who were able to work a miracle and give his family time to arrive and tell him goodbye.

Frank was born on January 27, 1929, in Chehalis, WA to Francis Wayne “Frank” Grove and Paula Anita (Sonichsen) Grove. He spent much of his early years with his grandparents in Chehalis. His parents divorced and, when he started school, he took the name of ‘Frank Horst’. That early school was in the Seattle, Kirkland area, where he first started working. He set pins in a bowling alley at 11, sold and carried newspapers for the Seattle Star, and remembered the papers on December 7, 1941. Back in Centralia at 14, he worked before and after school in a local bakery. He carried a summer U.S. mail route and Christmas mail at age 15, and bailed hay on the weekends. At 16, he delivered flowers and was proud to say he was able to buy his own school clothes and supplies.

Ten days after his 17th birthday, he was sworn into the Navy. His mother had to sign him in and then go to court to have his name legally changed to Frank Carl Horst. Frank served two tours in the Navy, the first on Guam and again during the Korean Conflict aboard the U.S.S. Skagit, AKA 105, out of Sasebo, Japan. When he returned from service, he decided to give law enforcement a try and started as a radio operator/dispatcher at the Lewis County Sheriff’s office. He moved quickly to field deputy and when he was offered a job with the State Game Department, he joined their floating patrol unit in 1953. That year, he had a chance meeting with the 14 year old son of a local Game Warden that would later impact his life. He also had another chance meeting that year, when he went to the local J.C. Penney’s store to buy a pair of wool socks for hunting season, and met the young woman who was doing window displays in the front windows. Frank and Lyonne Marshall were married the following May 29, 1954, in Centralia, WA. Frank would later say that was the most expensive pair of socks he ever bought.

As newlyweds, Frank’s first assignment was Republic, WA at the San Poil Fish Hatchery and, along with game patrol duties, he assisted ATF agents when they were in the area. His first son, Karl, was born in March of 1955 in Colville, WA. In August of that year, he returned to Lewis County briefly, before he joined the Washington State Patrol. He completed the Patrol Academy and was commissioned on April 21, 1958 as Trooper #375. Back in Republic again, out of the Okanogan Detachment, he was transferred to the Wenatchee Detachment in January 1959. His daughter, Alicia, was born that year in June. When a promotion came up, it also meant another transfer, and this time to the I-5 corridor. With a second son, Kurt, due in January, Frank opted to resign from the State Patrol to raise his family instead in the Wenatchee Valley. He resigned in December 1961.

Never without a job long, Frank went to work for Don Miller at his Jeep dealership and, while it was a short stay selling cars, it became a lifetime relationship with the Miller family. Missing law enforcement, Frank took a night shift with the Chelan County Sheriff’s office as radio and dispatch and was hired on as a field deputy on January 11, 1963, by then Sheriff, C.R.“Dick” Nickell with Rueben Rose as Under Sheriff. He was assigned 10 as his call number. In June 1964, Pat Allen joined the Sheriff’s Office as deputy and the young Game Warden’s son was back in Frank’s life, this time to stay. In January 1969, Frank was named to a new position created by Sheriff Nickell, as Captain of the 19 man uniformed division. Busy years followed as Search and Rescue Units were formed, a helicopter acquired to aid Search and Rescue, a patrol boat for Lake Chelan and, with his good friend, Don Peltz, NCWLERN (Law Enforcement Radio Network) was implemented.

In January of 1980, at 51 years old and with nearly 25 years of combined service, Frank retired from Chelan County and took a job with O’Neill Security doing corporate security for Arco in Prudhoe Bay, AK. It was a two week on, two week off job that afforded time to work and time to play and Alaska became a great adventure; a lifestyle that lasted 14 years.

Back in Wenatchee, he teamed up again with Pat Allen, this time to work a Forest Service contract with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office to do forest fire mop-up, rehab work and slope terracing with a work crew from the jail from 1994 through 1998. At nearly 70, he retired the last time.

If Frank took great pleasure in work, he took equal pleasure in play with his family. Always busy, he loved people and laughter and a good time. Those times were magic for his family and the years just flew by. We camped and fished, hiked and water skied, had wonderful special summer vacations, and followed all the sports and camps for football, baseball and hockey. Frank was a gourmet cook and collected cookbooks from wherever we traveled. They total over 300 now. He came to enjoy the Deep South Cajun cooking, crawfish boils, Mardi Gras and Zydeco music. On a whim, he decided he wanted to own a tavern, so Jim Carver built him one on the corner of Second Street and Wenatchee Avenue. It wasn’t long before he found out what a full time job it was, and he already had a full time job (sort of) working on the Slope, so through several new owners, Frank’s CA Tavern became Bob’s Classic.

There was time to sail in the Caribbean Islands and winter in Texas for a few years. Camping trips to Alaska, and the Chesaw Rodeo on the Fourth of July. And, of course, all the Wenatchee Wild Hockey games.

Frank was lucky enough to see his children reach their goals, from when Karl graduated from West Point to his retirement as a Major General. When Kurt went to work at Prudhoe Bay as a menial laborer, only to rise to the position of Manager of the facility for British Petroleum. And to enjoy seeing Alicia’s children grow up as she went from flight attendant to full time mom to follow her engineer husband in the oil fields of Texas, Louisiana and Alaska.

Frank had suffered through two strokes that left his abilities damaged and he grew tired of the battle, and after a while, just plain tired. When he was given a picture of his father in early February, he was pleased with what he saw; a man in a Navy Chief’s uniform, who had served for 30 years. The search for him was over, the circle was closing. The strength he had gotten from his grandparents, a Frisian woman from the island of Pellworm in the North Sea, and an officer in the army of Kaiser Wilhelm was all gone. He was just too tired, so he went home. My love, my life, our beloved “Poppa” signed off and left us.

10 Chelan County ~ Out of Service

Frank is survived by his wife, Lyonne, at the home; son, Karl and wife, Nancy, and their children, Kaitlin (Mason) Thornal and daughter, Caroline, son, Paul and wife, Tania and daughter, Megan Horst; daughter, Alicia (Mike) Cook and their children, Cara Cook, her fiance, Tyler Babin and daughter, Avery, Audra Cook, her fiance, Chris Johnson and his daughters, Lili and Lexi, and son, Samuel; and son, Kurt and his children, Samantha (Pittman) Johansson (Jason) and daughter, Kate O’Malley and son, Cody.

Please join us and celebrate Frank’s life as he would want it, with laughter and good cheer, for a life well-lived at Chateau Faire Le Pont, One Vineyard Way in Lower Sunnyslope on Friday, May 29, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please come and share a “Frank Story”, for there are many.