Mike Mills


My family have been very close to the Blasi family for years. Which Blasi family? A whole bunch of them. In fact we now live within a few miles where the Blasi family was raised near St. Leo, Kansas. There are a lot of Blasi stories in our family history.

If you know a Blasi it should not be a surprise, there were 17 kids in it. So there are a lot of chances to get stories about the family. We were very close with Vernon and Floyd. but I also was around Frank for many years.

Frank was a character, but then you could say that of the whole family. Frank was a carpenter. His career in construction is legendary. Frank always believed in doing every job the right way. I have known other people who it would be said that there was a right way, a wrong way, and their way to do a job.

In this case there was Frank’s way and the wrong way. Frank did it right or not at all. There was no guile in his character. You always knew where you stood with Frank. It was not possible to be untruthful.

To those who did not know Frank he would appear to be grumpy and a curmudgeon. I think he kind of like the persona. But if you saw the sparkle in his eye and took the time and listened to him you found the kind of man that it took to build this nation. A nation that so many now are trying to tear down.

Frank was a patriot and did not hide the fact. There was one time at a baseball game in Texas where there were two young jerks in front of him in the stands. Both were ignoring the National Anthem and acting like a couple of reform school rejects. Frank removed their hats for them. And for his trouble was kicked out of the ball park. On the way the security guard told him that he did the right thing and he was glad someone had the sand to stand up to the jerks. Frank had sand. He always stood up for right even if it cost him watching the ball game (baseball is and was the Blasi families favorite sport).

With eleven children, forty three grand kids, and over twenty great grand kids you can believe that the legacy of Frank will live on. In the group I counted 2 Navy, 1 Air Force, 1 Army, and one other uniform that I did not recognize but did have ribbons on. It was a proud group to see.

The church was a large one their at Schulte Kansas. At Saint Peters, and it was a large gathering. Not only were their tears in the families eyes, but a whole community.

And there were stories about Frank. I wish I could have listened and recorded every one of them. I would have liked to told them all my stories of Frank.

I am looking forward to eventually writing a story about Franks brother Daniel who was lost in an Army transport plane crash in Alaska. We have hoped for years that Daniel would be found and brought home. The one who has worked on the project for many years was Franks son Leo. Father Leo. In fact Father Leo was part of the clergy for the funeral. Along with the Pastor Father Bernie, there were the Bishops of the Salina and Wichita Diocese as well as about 20 other priests that came to honor Frank.

Father Leo is a complete story of his own. If you did not shed a tear for Frank you would have done so for his son who helped to bury him.

I have written about some very special people that we have had to bury and it is getting to be a regular event in my life. I will have fond memories of Frank. And I hope to be with Father Leo when Daniel’s remains are interned at his home here at St. Leo Kansas.

Everyone had hoped that Frank would still be here when Daniel was brought home. The fact that Leo was able to fly Frank and his wife over the crash site will have to do now. Frank is home now visiting with Daniel.

And if you would set down with me and a cup of coffee I will tell you stories about Frank and the Blasi Family.

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