Cover photo for Francis "Frank" S. Nelc's Obituary
1951 Francis 2016

Francis "Frank" S. Nelc

February 12, 1951 — November 12, 2016

Munising / Neenah, WI

Francis Stanley "Frank" Nelc, age 65, died unexpectedly at his home in Neenah, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 12, 2016. Frank was born in Munising, Michigan on February 12, 1951 to Frank and Genevieve (Erochinski) Nelc, and raised in Christmas, Michigan. From the humble walls of his Kindergarten class in a two-story, two-room schoolhouse in AuTrain, Michigan, lifelong friendships were born with his classmates that remain strong yet today. He attended William G. Mather High School, Munising, Michigan and completed his education at the 4th Army NCO Academy, Ft. Hood, Texas.

Born with a wrench in one hand, Frank began a long career with snowmobile racing at 14 years of age. At the spry age of 17 years, he was hired by Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, MN, where he worked until he volunteered to serve his country in the United States Army in Wheel and Track Vehicle Maintenance with the 632nd HEM USARV in Chu Lai, Vietnam from August 18, 1970 to March 6, 1972. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Stars, and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device.

Upon his return from 'Nam, Frank continued his career with snowmobile racing at Polaris, and worked for them in both Minnesota and Colorado. He worked with Marvin Windows (Warroad, MN) and on the oil rigs in Oklahoma. He developed the first hill climbing cleats with Simmons.

Frank earned a degree in Aviation Technology and worked on the 727 refab project with Kalitta and several projects with Basler. He then joined Tecumseh where he worked with engineering and dyno-lab testing until the plant closed.

Frank was more at home in the outdoors, and most loved his days spent hunting and fishing whether with his comrades or his children. He especially loved teaching. He was as phenomenal a down-home cook as he was a story-teller. He touched the lives of family and friends with support, friendship and caring.

Frank is survived by his loving wife of twenty-two years, Jodi (Golisek) Nelc of Neenah; his first family's children including Misti (Michael) Nelc Okerlund of Minneapolis, Minnesota and their twin sons, Anders and Charlie; Jeremy (Hajnal) Nelc of Cincinnati, Ohio and their daughter, Sofia; his second family's children including Nicholas (Rose Hermsen) Davis of Freedom, Wisconsin, their daughter, Matilda, and Nick's son, Landon; Melissa (Michael) Van der Burgt of Little Chute, Wisconsin, and their sons, Mason and Madden; and Victoria Nelc Frank's children, Maxwell and Hunter. He is also survived by his sister Ruth (Dennis) Kasubowski's children Joanna (Makato) Abe of Cambridge, Massachusetts and their daughter, Haruka; Katherine (Jason) Leonard of Charlotte, North Carolina, and their daughter, Sadie and their son, Jacob; Laura Kasubowski of Charlotte, North Carolina; sister Diane Nelc of Tumwater, Washington and her daughter, Eva Burnett, and her granddaughter, Layla; sister Rosemary (Ed) Balko of Wetmore, Michigan and their son, William and his daughter, Siera, and son, Dimetri, their daughter Natasha (Jamin) Wonch and their daughter, Quinley and son, David.

Frank is preceded in death by his parents, Genevieve "Jenny" (Oct 2011) and Frank Nelc (August 1996); Jodi's parents, Theodore and Cibble Golisek; his sister, Ruth Nelc Kasubowski (September 1999); brother-in-law, Leland Golisek; daughter, Victoria Ann Davis Nelc Frank (March 2014); and Rosemary and Ed's son, nephew Ryan Balko (March 2016).

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, family and friends are invited to share in a luncheon and fellowship at the American Legion from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM. A celebration of Frank's life will be held at Bowerman Funeral Home, 302 E. Superior St., Munising, Michigan.  Visiting time with family and friends will be from  5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. The American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard will conduct military honors at 7:00 PM followed by a Catholic service officiated by Father Chris Gardiner. Private interment services are planned for a later date at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis "Frank" S. Nelc, please visit our flower store.

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