Wayne Frankie, 69, beloved husband, father, and “Bopa” went to be with his Lord Jesus on Friday October 23, 2020 from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after complications from surgery. He went peacefully with his wife and son by his side.
Wayne was born on October 21, 1951 at the Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL. The middle child of five, he was preceded in death by his parents Wallie (Lt Colonel Retired, USAF) and Edythe (Lohmiller) Frankie and older brother William Frankie (Specialist 4, US Army).
He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Kathleen Adams Frankie; son Thomas and Erin Frankie and their three children, Silas, Audra, and Jocelyn; siblings Janis Jean Frankie, Clyde (Jane) Frankie, and Elizabeth Frankie; niece Sara Frankie; and nephews Matt (Katy) Frankie and their nine children and Scott (Branda) Frankie and their two children, all of Illinois.
Wayne graduated from Rantoul Township High School in 1970. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and proudly served his country during the Vietnam era (active duty from November 1970 to July 1975) and was honorably discharged in November 1976 with the rank of Sergeant. While in the Air Force he was stationed in Montana, Germany, and the Philippines. He recently joined the American Legion with plans to be part of the Honor Guard for Post 1015 Mahomet.
Following his military service, he attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology. It was there that he met and fell in love with a Geology classmate, Kathleen, whom he married shortly after on March 14, 1980.
After graduation in 1980, the couple moved to Lexington where Wayne worked for the Kentucky Geological Survey mapping coal beds in the Appalachians. During his time in Kentucky, his son was born and he became a Big Blue Fan.
Wayne took a position at the Illinois State Geological Survey in 1989, where he later served as the Head of the Education Outreach Program. He led public field trips throughout Illinois and wrote detailed guidebooks. Wayne provided teacher workshops and helped develop curriculum. He authored a Geoscience Education Series Guide to Rocks and Minerals of Illinois and other classroom resources such as Illinois Rocks and Minerals. While at the Illinois Survey, he completed his Master of Science from the University of Kentucky. He retired in July of 2010.
Wayne was a longtime Scouter who began his service with an inner-city Troop in Lexington before his son was born. Later he served Boy Scouts of America Prairielands Council with Cub Scout Pack 25 and was a current leader for Boy Scout Troop 25 in Mahomet. He was passionate about developing young men to be leaders and teaching them outdoor skills. He taught sessions for scouts during Prairielands Council’s National Youth Leadership Training as well as numerous Merit Badge classes.
Known to friends and family as an avid fisherman and reliable guide for numerous campouts, treks, and adventures, he enjoyed instilling an appreciation for all of God’s creation into the countless young men that he mentored through Scouting, with his own son and grandchildren, as well as many other family members and friends. He will perhaps most fondly be remembered by scouts and adults as the patient and skilled Range Instructor for shooting sports at Camp Robert Drake near Oakwood, IL.
Wayne earned the Wood Badge, twice, for the completion of the Scouting Leadership training program. He received the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to young people within the BSA Prairielands Council. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow Illini Lodge 55 and earned his Vigil Honor for years of exceptional leadership and service to the Lodge. Wayne was also awarded the 2011 Community Builders Award by the Lodges of the Champaign Masonic Center.
Wayne enjoyed spending time with his family, camping, hiking, bird watching, collecting stamps and antique tools, decorative knot tying, fixing things, and puttering around in his workshop which was fondly nicknamed “Wayne’s World.” He will be greatly missed by family members, friends, and the Scouting Community.
Private services will be conducted with the burial at Danville National Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the BSA Prairielands Council on their website at: https://prairielandsforms.tentaroo.com/FOS-donation with Prairie Fire District and “Wayne Frankie Memorial Fund” noted for use in developing the shooting sports program and other facilities at Camp Robert Drake. Memorial donations may also be mailed to Prairielands Council BSA, P.O. Box 6267, Champaign IL 61826-6267.