Nov. 1, 1944-Oct. 26, 2012
Franklin Otto Weddig, 67, of Bailey, Colorado, a commercial electrician by trade and lifelong public servant, passed away Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.
Frank was born Nov. 1, 1944, in West Bend, Wisconsin. He was the son of Fredrick and Lucille Weddig, and the middle child of seven. Upon high school graduation, Frank joined the U.S. Air Force in September 1962 at the age of 17. He worked on B-47 bombers in Kansas, Alaska and Idaho before being honorably discharged in 1966. While stationed in Mountain Home, Idaho, in 1965, he met the love of his life, Patricia May Ineck. They were married Nov. 5, 1966, in Idaho. On their honeymoon, they drove from Idaho back to Wisconsin and passed through Colorado. They both thought that the state was beautiful and that it would split the difference between their two large families, hers in Idaho and his in Wisconsin, so they vowed to live there one day. The couple settled in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, for five years and had three daughters in that time. Frank completed an apprenticeship program for commercial electricians and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in January 1971. On Feb. 1, 1971, with three children under the age of three and a winter storm brewing, they packed a U-Haul trailer and set out to make good on their plan to live in Colorado. They arrived in Colorado to 65 degree weather on Feb. 3, and agreed that they had come to the promised land. They settled in north Aurora. Frank found work as a full-time commercial electrician in Colorado, and over the next 35 years worked on the construction of many Denver hospitals, hotels and landmarks, including the iconic cash register building, the Denver Art Museum, and the Fitzsimmons campus.
Always being a gregarious person, and never having met a stranger, Frank became a neighborhood activist. His first appointment was to the Aurora Planning Commission in 1977. That led to his first campaign for office for Aurora City Council in 1981, which he won handily. He served on council until 1993, when he was appointed to the State Senate. He was a senator for six years, and was the first legislator termed out under newly passed term limits. So, Frank ran for representative, and served in the House for four years. He was elected to the Arapahoe County Commission in November 2004.
As a commissioner, Frank worked on the transitioning of public works services from Arapahoe County to the city of Centennial in addition to pursuing numerous transportation improvements, including work on I-225 and the Parker and Arapahoe Road Interchange. Frank oversaw the county’s Facilities and Fleet Management and Community Resources departments. He also represented Arapahoe County’s interests on several community boards and organizations, including: Developmental Pathways Board of Directors; Colorado Counties Inc. General Tourism and Economic Development Committees; and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also served on the Forfeiture Board for the District Attorney’s and the Sheriff’s Office, and in 2011 was appointed chairman of the E-470 Public Highway Authority Board of Directors. As a commissioner, Frank helped shepherd the opening of the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Events Center and the return of the Arapahoe County Fair in 2006. He helped oversee the completion of a $13.8 million project that successfully addressed the space needs for the courts; celebrated the 2008 grand opening of the Eastern Service Center in Byers, and approved a variety of projects that provided citizens with improved parks and trails, as well as protected 18,000 acres of open space throughout Arapahoe County.
Frank retired from his position as commissioner on Jan. 3, 2012, to spend more time with family. Frank and Pat moved to their dream mountain home in Bailey, Colorado, on Jan. 5.
Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Patricia, and his three daughters, Frances (Geoff) Thomson, Pamela (John) Williams, and Patrice (Kurt) Thoresen, and six grandchildren, Zoe and Ian Thomson; Megan and Kyle Williams and Eva and Evan Thoresen. He is also survived by five brothers: Chuck, Eugene, Bob, Joel and Rick; and one sister, LuAnn, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Newcomer Mortuary-East Metro Chapel, 190 Potomac Street. Memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 13670 E. 13th Place, in Aurora.
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