Frank William Lancaster Sr., 92, of Newtown, a longtime resident of Ridgefield passed away on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at Danbury Hospital. He was the loving husband of Bernice "Bunny" (Bedini) Lancaster.
Frank was born April 30, 1929, at his grandparents' farmhouse on Spectacle Lane in Ridgefield, the son of Frank Everett and Julia Gay Lancaster. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in the Class of 1947.
In June 1948, he enlisted in Headquarters Battery 963rd Field Artillery Battalion National Guard and was called to active duty in September 1950. He attained the rank of SFC E5 while in service in the U.S. and Germany. He graduated from the Combined Operations Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and was commissioned to Germany for occupation duty in 1951, where he was Chief of Section, an instructor, and Computer Chief in the Fire Direction Center, until his discharge in 1952.
Frank was an automotive technician who owned and operated Lancaster Chevron Service station on Routes 7 & 35 for 12 years. He was then employed by Kellogg-Theiss Pontiac/Cadillac which later became Village Pontiac/Cadillac and retired after 23 years of service there.
In the 1950s, he was Noble Grand of Pilgrim Lodge 100F, and an original member of the Ridgefield Townies Athletic Club started in 1953, and an organizer of Townies Youth Basketball. During the 1960s, he was a president of Babe Ruth Baseball, an organizer of Red Raiders, Inc., and head coach of the local midget Pop Warner Football team for 12 years. He was an organizer of the Candlewood Pop Warner Football League with sportscaster, Paul Baker and others, and an organizer/President of the Father’s Club.
While President of the Townies, Frank worked with Horst Senf and Neil Casey to organize Youth Soccer in Town. He also supported the start of the Girls Youth Softball League. As a member of the American Legion Post #78, he represented the Legion Baseball Team for four years and served two terms as Commander of the Legion. In November 1990, the Post honored him with a lifetime membership award.
In the 1990s, he helped organize the Ridgefield Old Timers and served two years as its president, and received its Sports Award in 1997. From 2003-05, he became president of Chapter 4852 of AARP, receiving its National Award for Community Service. He was a life member of VFW Post 3052. He was also a member of SPIF, the Triad Salt Council, the Ridgefield Community Center, the Coalition Against Substance Abuse, and the Chairman of the SPIF Senior Appreciation Day in 2005. He also served two terms as president of the Ridgefield OWLS and was a member of Founders Hall and its Seniors Band, the Melodiers.
Over the years, Mr. Lancaster received the Jaycees Physical Fitness Award, the Bob Scalzo Award, and the Townies Award for his many contributions to the youth sports programs in town. In 2007, he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award and in 2008, the CT Veterans Wartime Service award for his service during the Korean War.
In addition to his wife of 72 years, he is survived by his son, Frank, Jr. (Ann) of Newtown. Mr. Lancaster is also survived by four grandchildren, Michael Lancaster (Nicole), William Lancaster (Holle), Jennifer Matus (Benjamin), and Kimberly Jimenez (Daniel). He is also survived by ten great-grandchildren; Payton, Rylee, Emma, Lucas, Jackson and Parker Lancaster, Ethan and Liliana Matus, and Elena and David Jimenez Mr. Lancaster was predeceased by a son, Steven Michael Lancaster in 1971 and a daughter, Donna, in 2020, a victim of Covid 19.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah St., Ridgefield on Monday, July 5, 2021, from 4 PM to 6 PM.
Graveside funeral services and interment will take place on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 10:30 AM in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield.
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