Surrounded by his eternal companion and children, beloved son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, Frank Harold Wirig passed away at home peacefully and quietly at the age of 94 on Sunday, January 31, 2021.
Born in Evanston, Wyoming, Frank was the only son of Frank Earl Wirig and Maude Annie Hutchinson. Frank had many interests and has always been a seeker of truth, knowledge, learning, and self-improvement. You almost never found him without a book in his hand. He loved music and played the baritone in the school band. He also loved to sing and had a beautiful tenor voice. Frank was active. He enjoyed playing basketball, both church and school. At the age of 15, he entered a Soap Box Derby and took first place. On D-day, June 6, 1944, Frank enlisted in the Navy at 17 years old. He served for 2 years as a radio operator on a ship in the Pacific Theater. He received his Honorable Discharge from the Navy on Flag Day, June 14, 1946.
Frank served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the East Central States Mission from June 1947-June 1949. Upon his return, he worked as a fireman, shoveling coal, on the Union Pacific Railroad. During this time, he met Bessie Carpenter and courted her, taking the empty rail car home each weekend from his work to date her. On November 18, 1949 Frank and his sweetheart, Bessie, were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple.
Using the GI bill offered to him for his service to his country, Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University in 1953. He taught seminary in Grace, Idaho during the subsequent 4 years and he attended BYU in the summers to earn his Masters Degree. He completed his Masters Degree from Brigham Young University in 1957 in Economics and received a fellowship to Wharton School of Business for a PhD.
Frank and Bessie moved their family to Philadelphia in 1957. There he attended The Wharton School of Business, worked part time and served in many church callings.
In 1961, they purchased their first home on Peaceful Drive, in Morrisville, PA, where they created a place of joy and love for their 7 living children. He loved gardening and working in the yard. He had a green thumb like no other. Many in the neighborhood would recognize Frank with his walking stick, to protect Mom from stray dogs, as he and Bessie shared their daily routine of a 2 mile walk. Frank was a Professor of Economics at Rider College in NJ and an accomplished businessman, later serving as President of Universal Academy for Music/America’s Youth in Concert in Princeton, NJ. They traveled all over Europe together coordinating these youth in concerts for 10 years.
They served in many assignments in their ward and stake all of their days there. Frank was the first seminary teacher in the Trenton Ward and also in the north eastern United States, Counselor in the Bishopric, Bishop, Counselor in the Stake Presidency of the newly created New Jersey Central Stake, which became the East Brunswick, NJ Stake where he served as President from April 1979~July 1988.
After 31 years in the east, Frank and Bessie sold the family home in 1988 and moved to Utah where Frank was an adjunct professor at BYU and Utah Valley University.
In 1997, Frank and Bessie served a 2 year mission to the Sydney, Australia South Mission where they served the people in Wollongong and Batemans Bay faithfully.
Settling near family in Highland, Utah in 1999, Frank and Bessie served in the Mount Timpanogos Temple for almost 2 decades. Frank was called to serve as Patriarch of the Highland Stake at the same time and served for over 16 years.
Frank never stopped progressing throughout his life. He believed in striving to always be better. His intelligence, honesty, dedication to his work and family, and hunger for learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all other things, set an example for all who seek to make the most of their lives. Frank was always a Depression-era man, whose stories of the hard times he witnessed have left an indelible impact on his children. Those hard lessons about self-reliance and self-improvement, learned at a young age, were evident in every aspect of his life. This lasting impact on his family is shown by their love and appreciation for him. He will always live in the cherished memories of his family and all those who had the privilege to know him. FAMILIES ARE FOREVER.
Frank was preceded in death by his son, Jeffery Neil Wirig, his parents, and his sister Carol Wirig Buckley. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Bessie Carpenter Wirig, 7 children: Frank Alan Wirig, Jay Weldon Wirig (Yvonne), Lois Ann Sucher (Scott), Kimball Kevin Wirig (Betty), Linda Joy Cecil (Randy), Evan Clark Wirig (Kimberlee), and Lisa Gay Rhodes (Vaughn), 36 grandchildren and 116 great grandchildren with 2 on the way this year and more to come.
Frank never let you say goodbye without saying the words, “BE GOOD.” He taught that to Be Good means to Be Like God. He was a man who lived for the Lord.
A viewing open to all will be held Friday, February 5th from 6pm-8pm at the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland Utah. Due to COVID restrictions please see the Signup Genius link below to schedule a time to attend the viewing.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 6, 2021. Because of COVID restrictions, the funeral will be by invitation. Interment in the Highland City, Utah Cemetery.
The family expresses its deepest gratitude to the Highland 13th ward members for their love and service to the Wirig Family.
In lieu of flowers, the Wirig family requests that you consider a donation to honor Frank H. Wirig to The Humanitarian Fund sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which serves all people throughout the world in times of need.