Franklin Martin Jongsma was born at home in Oak Harbor, Wash. on Aug. 25, 1927 to Sidney and Lena (Abrahamse) Jongsma. He died at Where The Heart Is in Burlington, Wash. on May 24, 2019 due to a large esophageal region mass, likely malignant.
Frank was the eldest of seven children. He was raised in Oak Harbor on Cackle Corner and graduated from Oak Harbor High School. He was drafted into the Army and honorably discharged after WWII ended.
He met Lois Sherman, a new girl in town, at church, and set his sights on her. They got married in 1949 after a three-month courtship. They had a long and happy marriage of 64 years.
He worked for the Civil Service driving semi-trucks for NAS Whidbey, and he worked many other jobs before and after retirement including janitor for the Oak Harbor Christian School, Oak Harbor dealer for the Seattle Times, independent distributor of Fuller Brush and maintenance of school buses for Mount Vernon Christian School.
Frank was known as the Flying Dutchman because of his “get-er-done” ways and Dutch heritage. He maintained a sterling work ethic throughout his life and passed this onto his seven children along with so many other life lessons. He was a whiz at math and enjoyed numbers. He was very competitive in a team setting or against himself. He was a rock hound and prized his many agates and other interesting rocks and Native American arrowheads. He loved to grow a large vegetable garden every year and enjoyed growing flowers, especially roses. He generously shared the bounty of his gardens.
He was a Toastmaster and won awards. He sang in the Whidbey Island Chorale, Skagit Valley Chorus and Whatcom Chorale. He was optimistic, generous, helpful, fiercely hardworking, loyal and honest. He loved his family, extended family, friends and his church. He loved to laugh. As his wife once wrote, “Characters are the people most worth knowing,” and Frank was a true character.
He was preceded in death by his wife Lois Jongsma; son Arnold Jongsma; and daughter Dee Ann Carlson. He is survived by his children Martha (Robert) Hitchcock, Alan (Nancy) Jongsma, Gail (Gordon) Kruckeberg, Joy (Kenneth) Anderson and Doris Brinkerhoff; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sisters and brother Mary (Al) Wright, Cornelia (Carl) Huisman, Lois Vander Meulen, and Glenn (Josephine) Jongsma.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Monday, June 17 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2015 E. Blackburn Road, Mount Vernon. Memorials may be made to First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon or the Mount Vernon Christian School.