Frank E. Ekas, Sr. (Grandpap), 98 of Sarver died peacefully in his home Tuesday morning. He was born July 18, 1923 in West Deer, Allegheny County and was the son of the late Alfred and Florence Ekas.
He was a member of the Clinton Presbyterian Church, Saxonburg VFW and the Golf Course Business Owner's Association.
Grandpap was a WWII veteran. As a young boy, he spent his free time at a local airport. He learned how to fly airplanes as a crop duster. It was during this time that he developed a love for aircrafts and flight. During Word War II, at the age of 19, he was drafted into the Army. With his previous experience flying, he was quickly reassigned to the Army Air Force. After completing flight training, he was assigned as a B-24 pilot to the 453rd Bombardment Group, based out of Southern England. While taking on a barrage of fire from Luftwaffe fighters and navigating through a storm of flak from ground based anti-aircraft guns, he piloted over 30 successful missions against Nazi Germany. Grandpap was a hero, not just our hero, but one of our nations many.
Grandpap had many talents, I guess you could say he was a jack of all trades. After his time in the service, he went on to work at Oberg as a machinist and private pilot. He continued his flight training at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and obtained his license as a flight instructor. He was a young man with big dreams; an entrepreneur, an inventor who would later earn several patents, a visionary. He married his sweetheart Frances Jean (Peaches) and together they built a home and shared a life. Soon after they married, the two bought some farmland. Grandpap had a vision. In 1960, they started a family, Frank E. Ekas, Jr. had arrived! During that same year they would become business owners. Through hard work and the help of many, Grandpap was able to design and build an 18 hole golf course out of that old farmland. Frankie Jr. starting working alongside his father at the age of 5 and this continued for a lifetime. Through the years Grandpap remained the owner of the golf course and continued to work with his family beside him. Two weeks prior to his death he informed his grandchildren he was officially retired and enjoying the good life and that he did. Saxon Golf Course still stands today. It remains family owned and operated. His brother, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren continue to work at Saxon and hope to make him and his late son Frank Ekas, Jr. proud.
Grandpap was an extraordinary man. He was charitable, humble and kind. When asked how he accomplished it all, he replied "With good luck and good people." He led a long and full life. He was a good and honest man filled with years of knowledge and history. He had an appreciation for life and the people around him. His motto "What will be, will be." He will be dearly missed and always remembered by all who knew and loved him.
He leaves behind a daughter in law, a sister, a brother, 7 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his only son and two siblings.
Friends will be received on Friday, September 3, 2021 from 5-7 pm at the Fox Funeral Home, Inc., 410 W. Main Street, Saxonburg, PA.
Services and interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hillman Cancer Center.
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