Frank, Fran, Frit, Daddy, Dad, Pops, Pappa, Grampa
Colonel Francis J. “Frank” Almeter, USAF, Retired, age 84 of Lebanon, IL passed away at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, IL on Friday, November 29, 2019 surrounded by his family.
Frank was one of seven children born to John G. and Anna C. (Redding) Almeter of Sheldon, NY. His father was a dairy farmer, later carpenter. His mother was a teacher prior to becoming a mother.
Frank was fascinated by airplanes. He did not have much interest in school. One day a teacher gave him a flying magazine. There was an advertisement for the Air Force. It stated “You too can be a pilot”. The rest has now become history.
To say that Frank loved flying is an understatement. Frank lived and breathed flying. He joined the Air Force in August of 1955. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on December 19, 1956.
He was stationed at Dow AFB in Bangor, Maine when he met his wife Diane Dunning. They married on June 6, 1959. Together they were graced with 3 children, Ann-Marie, Mark and David.
Frank was stationed at Dow AFB, Bangor, Maine; Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, South Dakota; Castle AFB, Atwater, California; Dover AFB, Dover Delaware; Bien Hoa, Vietnam; Travis AFB, Fairfield, California; Altus AFB, Altus, Oklahoma; Scott AFB, Belleville, Illinois; Ramstein AB, Ramstein, Germany. Frank retired from the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis, MO in July, 1985.
Upon retirement, Frank started Lebanon Homes, Inc. He developed 4 subdivisions in Lebanon, was Mayor of Lebanon for 2 terms and Alderman for several other terms.
He was a decorated member of the United States Air Force. Frank received the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He acquired a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
Frank had a deep love for his family and his animals. He loved exploring the world that lay before him. Thanks to the Air Force he traveled all over the world.
Frank is survived by his wife, Diane Almeter of Lebanon, IL his children Ann-Marie (Mike) Vandeloo of Bartelso, IL; Mark Almeter and Mark’s former wife, Laurel Almeter of Flower Mound, TX; his granchildren Katherine “Katie” Vandeloo of Bartelso, IL, Andrew Almeter and Audrey Almeter of Flower Mound, TX; siblings Nancy Baker of Hornell, NY, Joan Warner of St. Helena, CA; sister-in-law Barbara Almeter of Norfolk, VA; a brother-in-law William “Bill” Wrobel of Greenville, SC. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Margaret “Peg” O’Brien, Catherine “Cate” Wrobel, Agnus “Mickey” Almeter; brother John “Jack” Almeter; brother-in-laws Donald “Don” Baker, Francis “Frank” O’Brien, Robert “Bob” Warner; numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation: Visitation will be held at St. Joseph’s Church in Lebanon on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 7, 2019 10:00 to 11:00 am.
Service: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Church. Internment will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Lebanon, IL. Msgr. Jim Margason, officiating.
In lieu of other gifts, expressions of sympathy in memory of Mr. Almeter are suggested Spencer Kennel in O’Fallon, IL or to the wishes of the family. Donations will be received at the church or through Zieren Funeral Home, 1111 Clinton St., Carlyle, IL 62231.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space.
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee Jr., R.C.A.F.
Written September 3, 1941
Killed December 11, 1941 in WWII
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1405 East Highway 50, O'Fallon IL 62269
The Wishes of His Family