Memorial Service

Frank Sanger – June 26, 1933 – February 23. 2013

There will be a Memorial Service and celebration of life for Frank Sanger July 27 from 1 to 5 at the Living Hope Church of the Nazarene.

Directions to the Living Hope Church of the Nazarene.

556 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
For more information, call Carol Sanger 978-317-2702 or email me.


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There was nothing typical, average or conventional about my father and, therefore, this service will be a bit different from your typical service. This is an opportunity for family and friends to gain closure since the funeral was in California in February. However, it’s also a chance to tell stories and share memories about a guy who made an impression wherever he went and with whomever he met. Together we will wish Frank well on this next big adventure.

My father Frank, known as “Frankie” when he was a kid growing up in Peabody, was able to accomplish much more in his lifetime than many. For those who knew him, that was Frank. For those who didn’t, who had just heard about him, perhaps you will find him to be an inspiration too when hearing the stories about the life of the man with one arm and one leg who swam in the water like a fish.

When my dad was just two years old he was run over by a trolly car in front of his home on Andover Street in Peabody, MA. He lost his right arm and left leg as a result of that accident.

After release from the hospital, he got around without prosthetics and sometimes with a crutch. In fact he use to joke about how he’d drive his buddies around as a designated driver and clutch with his crutch.

He never let that the absence of limbs slow him down. In fact, he went on to become an internationally known scuba diver and instructor and much more. He was my father, who taught me a lot about people and life,

This site is a tribute to his life. While it’s still shaping up, I will post photos and stories this week (starting July 21st). I encourage you to to share your stories as well because my dad is so much more than just my memories.

I do hope you will join us at the Memorial Service. My mom, brother and sister-in-law will be coming in from Bakersfield, California, which is where my parents settled after leaving New Jersey a few years ago. I believe this is an important step in the healing and closure process.

~ Carol

10 thoughts on “Memorial Service

  1. Jay Tanzer

    Frank and I were childhood buddies back in Peabody. From about the age of 9, I can remember often trudging from my home on Jacobs St. up to his on Andover where there were many fun games and toys to play with. Frank also played baseball with us and I can still see him cradling the bat with his right arm and whacking the ball with the other, followed by hop-skipping on his prosthetic leg to first base. To field the ball, he would catch it in his gloved hand, slap the glove under his upper right arm, grab the ball out of the glove with his left hand, and pitch it a mile. Even then, he could do more with one arm than the rest of us could do with two. The thing is, I don’t remember thinking of Frank as handicapped and more importantly I don’t think Frank did either.

    As we reached high school we were going in different directions and we didn’t spend much time together other than in class. But I’m reminded of a funny incident triggered by Frank although he probably never knew it. We were having a big test in Ms. Coyle’s Science class and everyone was really tense. Midway through the test, Frank got up to sharpen his pencil. Of course, it was a little awkward for him as he used his left hand to hold the pencil and rotated the sharpener essentially with his elbow. The result was a sound pattern like ..aaarummph…aaarummph….aaarummph. Someone giggled. The whole class erupted in laughter and that provided a big break in the tension. I’m not sure the giggler ever told Frank his pencil-sharpening was the welcome trigger.

    Both Frank and I went to Northeastern. I saw him occasionally in swimming classes. I still remember him doing magnificent dives off that one powerful leg.

    What a guy ! God bless him.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Thank you so much for this memory!! I can just see him doing this in class. He probably knew…he had a way of knowing what was going on even though he pretended he didn’t have a clue. :-)

      Reply
  2. Frank Gawron

    I worked with Frank Sanger in the 70s when N. E. Divers was on Tozer Rd.
    He was hardworking, always smiling, well almost always, a role model for everyone in the Company.
    From the satelite stores to U. S. Divers to Parkway to Healthways.

    I’ll never forget him.
    Frank Gawron

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Frank,

      My dad did smile a lot…almost always as you mentioned. I recall seeing an old photo of him once; it was taken at some meeting, probably in the 60s and he had a look that was definitely not smiling. We laughed so hard because we could tell what he was thinking. Someone said the wrong thing and got “the look.”

      Thank you so much for sharing this!

      Reply
  3. Stevie Porter

    I met Frank back in the late 60′s and he inspired me to go into the commercial diving business and did for 34 years. I will always remember him for this . Stevie Porter

    Reply
  4. James (Jake) Plummer

    My thoughts on Frank Sanger 7/22/2013

    Frank was a friend and mentor to myself and to all of the divers that came in contact with him. Frank would always have a friendly word and a genuine interest in all that came into New England Divers. (Did you get any lobster’s, see anything cool, steal any of Duggys nails off the New Hampshire, did you see any SUBMARINES)for our almost daily dives all over the North Shore.

    In the spring of of 1963 I took my diving lessons ( we called it the kamikaze course in later years) from Frank and all the other instructors with my friend Richard Lutts and a few of my friends from Salem.
    We took our lessons at the Water street location where Bobby Boyle now has a great diving Shop.
    I have a few side stories of that experience that I can’t get into right now.
    They would be great side stories for sitting around the bar.

    For fifteen years or so I dove locally with my diving buddy’s. Getting lobsters and finding pipes, bottles and other artifacts around the North Shore waters (yes some of Duggies Nail’s ended up in my bag).
    Then in 1975 I went to Commercial diving center in Wilmington CA. for a diving course in oil field diving.
    One day when I was coming out of the water from taking a challenging project I took my diving helmet off and looked around and saw Frank standing nearby, He turned toward me, walked over and said” Hi Jake it’s nice to see a New England Diver here still diving and learning the trade.

    This is how I always will think of Frank as a man that helped and remembered the many men and woman that he taught to dive and love the ocean!

    With out this knowledge I would not have known the many friends that I have in the diving world, Mike(MMMM) Dave, Fuzzz, Jim, Jim, David, Barry, Rich, Steve, Bobby and many more and some that should probably remain nameless (actually i can’t remember them all).

    Frank, I Respect, and if I may say so Love you for the education and interest that you showed to myself and my friends with your education and respect through the years.

    James(Jake) Plummer

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Jake,

      Thank you for this. I use to hang around the dive shop behind the counter as a kid while my dad chatted it up with the divers. This brings back fond memories of dive stories and laughter. I had no idea what anyone was talking about but the camaraderie was unforgettable. He loved it there. If you are still in the area, we should plan a “story telling bar night” – Ray Bates would join in with the stories too.

      My dad never forgot anyone, even these past few years when he wasn’t doing so well.

      I think it’s great that Bobby Boyle has a successful dive shop in the original location of N.E. Divers. I stopped in to see him yesterday and the smell of the suits sent me back in time.

      Thanks again!

      Reply
  5. ROGER WARD JR

    DEAREST MARLENE and SANGER FAMILY, OUR MOST PROFOUND CONDOLENCES FOR YOUR LOSS.
    PLEASE BE AWARE, I AM ONE OF THOSE, INSPIRED BY FRANK’S LIFE.
    BEING TWELVE YEARS, FRANKS JUNIOR, I OBSERVED HIM, DONNING HIS DIVE GEAR ON
    DANE STREET BEACH FOR AN EVENT, SOME 57 YEARS AGO. I WAS MORTIFIED! THERE WASN’T
    A SOUL AROUND TO HELP
    I OFFERED TO HELP. BUT, HE SMILED THAT SMILE! AND SAID “THANX BUT, I GOT THIS UNDER
    CONTROL” THOUGH I HAD OTHERS TO INSPIRE ME, WATCHING FRANK WAS AN EYE OPENER!
    AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, I BECAME A CAREER NAVY DEEP SEA DIVER.
    FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS! TO AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN!
    MY WIFE, JANET RUTH PHILLIPS, WHOM YOU WENT TO SCHOOL WITH, SENDS LOVING REGARDS.

    Reply
  6. Michael Brennan

    Frank Sanger was indeed a SCUBA legend. He knew everyone in the diving community. When my sweet girl was 7 months pregnant the company I was working for at the time, the old Farallon, went bankrupt. I was looking for a job. Frank called. “You can come to work for me.” We moved to New Jersey, had our first born in the Princeton Med center. Lived in a nice colonial town, Cranbury. I had a short commute to South Amboy. The first night in NJ Frank and Marlene drove up to Newark Airport to welcome us and take us out for dinner.
    A great man. Well respected by all who knew him.

    Reply

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