I first met Frank in April 2013 when I moved into Manor Park West Allis independent living Apartments. Frank had been a resident for a number of years and shared many of the activities available to me. We both enjoyed playing sheepshead three times a week, with Frank always sitting to my left. Our friendship was immediate.and I gradually learned more his most interesting life experiences. I was surprised to realize I knew of Frank while following high school sports so many years ago. It was like having a living legend become my friend. With Frank a former Marine and me a past Navy man, that that also added to friendly exchanges between us. Another connect was my Dad’s name was also Frank, which brought back many memories of both of our youthful days. It now seems Frank has been a friend for all my life.
I have no doubt; Frank rests in peace…God Bless him for being the man he was…
Sincerely, Jerry Zimmerman, for ALL of us at the Village of Manor Park, West Allis
Frank Pokrop left an indelible footprint on my heart. He was my hero. I was proud to have served under him as a new teacher at James Madison High School. You knew he had your back, you were confident that he would make the right decision, and you were certain he was a man of integrity. He was fair, he was funny, he loved his wife and his family, and he was an uncompromising administrator and unflappable leader.
There was an article in INC magazine about remarkable people that reminded me of Frank; he possessed all of the qualities listed and then some –
1. They courageously stay the course.
2. They listen way more than they talk.
3. They give before they receive–and often do not receive.
4. They don’t act self-important.
5. They shine the spotlight on others.
6. They choose their words carefully.
7. They don’t discuss the failings of others, but readily admit their own.
8. They ask for help.
9. They have the courage to take an unpopular stand.
10. They believe in something bigger than themselves – a power greater than their own.
Thank you, Frank Pokrop, for teaching me about courage, about sacrifice, about being authentic and about the value of family and friends. Your life made a huge difference in mine! With love and respect – Debbie Kukla
I do not have memories of Frank but the stories i hear from my dad are truly amazing. As a great nephew of Frank Pokrop and doing family history my heart goes out to the family
Myrta M. Garcia
I did not know Mr. Potkrop well. In life he was my brother’s, Julio, father-in-law, friend, and perhaps the only father he ever really knew. Because I live in Chicago, I don’t see my family often. I got to know of Frank because I met and saw him at a few family functions over the years in Milwaukee. I knew a little about Frank through the stories that Julio and Lynne would so lovingly share with me over the years. On occasions when I would call looking for Julio, he would be out with Mr. Potkrop doing something or into something; sometimes a guy’s night out; sometimes vacations days some where in the country; or perhaps a fun night in the backyard; or sometimes looking in on Mr. Potkrop whenever some illness laid him up; or when there were sad occasions to mourn. I know that my brother, Julio, loved and respected Mr. Potkrop very much. I am sorry that I did not get to know Mr. Potkrop personally, but I was content to know him through my brother. I know that Julio, Lynne, and the entire family are missing a great man who gave them security, strength, and a love of life. Our Catholic faith teaches us that after we leave this earth, our souls continue the last stretch of our road to finally meet Our Lord in Heaven. Let us pray faithfully, fervently, and with love to help Mr. Potkrop on his final journey to reach heaven. Also, I pray that we find the time to be with family so that there are no regrets when it is then too late. May God bless Mr. Potkrop and may he rest in peace.
Myrta M. Garcia
Here in Chicago we love you all very much.
I just have to say that Frank was one of the nicest people I could have known. I wallpapered for Frank and Max when they added a family room on their home. It was so nice to talk to them. They were so warm and welcoming. I sent a few cards to Frank on Veterans Day, thanking him for his service. He was proud of his Marine service. He was an educator and principal and “boy” could we use guys like him now. Yes, when The Lord made Frank, he broke the mold. I remember driving with him to Frankie and Orla’s house to wallpaper their kitchen, in Libertyville, IL. He always had some sort of sweets or snack for the trip there. Max was volunteering at the hospital and Frank came with me to Frankie and Orla’s so I wouldn’t get lost.
I sent him another card for Veterans Day, last year, but it came back to me. He called me early this year to let me know that Max had died and that he was living on Beloit Rd. and that is why my card came back. I had a knee replacement on January 6th of this year. I planned on visiting him in his new place for Christmas, this year but I had another knee replacement on my other knee on November 17th. That is the reason I’m writing this note. I can’t come to the funeral but wanted you to know that Frank was a good friend and a truly wonderful person. I know God is waiting for him with open arms.
I just wish I could have visited him one last time.
Terri Leonard Newbury
I also am a 44th street kid. I loved baby sitting for the Pokrop kids because they had great snacks and the kids were so well behaved. Frank knew how to talk with young adults he always acknowledge me and made me feel important. I know that Frank is singing in heaven with the angels. May his soul rest in peace.
Wednesday morning when I opened the paper and saw Frank’s obituary I audibly gasped. It was like learning of a relative’s passing. I reread the obituary over again being flooded by the memories of that past time growing up on that amazing block. The Pokrop’s were my second family and I grew up in their home and yard as much as I did my own. Lynne and I spent every day together. We would simply walk into each other’s homes-knocks at the back door were unneccessary. I will be forever grateful to the kindness Frank extended to my parents when my dad was in the throws of Alzheimer’s. He would ask my dad for “help” on projects that were clearly beyond my dad’s capabilities anymore but it was a way for my dad to feel useful and provided for my mom a much needed reprieve. Although now I am certain Frank is back to giving my dad a hard time like the good ‘ol day ; ). Godspeed Frank and thank you.
Such a fine human being – and a funny fellow to boot
As one of those kids on 44th steet, Frank did indeed play a big role in our childhood.
So much so, that even though back in the 60’s when kids referred to adults as “Mr and Mrs”, we were allowed to call our neighborhood parents by their first names “Frank and Max”.
I remember when my Dad was injured at work, he was the first friend at our back door telling my Mom “It’ll be ok Beck”.
My Dad and he were great buds, always chiding one another.
When Frank asked my Dad’s help in carrying up Paula’s harp two flights of narrow steps to the choir loft for the Christmas midnight mass, my Dad slyly asked Frank ” Couldn’t Paula have taking up playing the flute?” (The two of them laughed so hard the harp was lucky to make it up the rest of the way,)
In the summers, as all of us kids raced around the neighborhood , I loved the freedom of going barefoot. Frank was forever asking me “where are your shoes?” He’s probably “up there” asking everybody else that now too!
Thanks for the memories Frank.
When you lived on our block of 45th street, all of us kids “shared” parents. Frank taught me how to throw a football, swim at the deep end of the pool, and enjoy and ice cold Pepsi.
He was a loyal friend to my dad and mom who are, no doubt, already teaching God the latest Pollack jokes.
The kids of 44th street will all miss you.