John Frakes

November 4, 1955 - February 13, 2018
Vicksburg, MI



Friday, February 23, 2018
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions


Saturday, February 24, 2018
11:00 AM EST
Wakeshma Community Church
16732 E Uv Ave
Fulton, MI 49052

Directions to Wakeshma Community Church

East on W Ave. through Fulton to 47th Street
Turn left on 47th Street and go to the first stop sign turn right on UV Ave., church will be on the right hand side.


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Centrica Care Navigators
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site

Wakeshma Community Church
16732 East UV Ave
Fulton, MI 49052


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

VanderSalm's Flipse
1120 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(800) 232-7134
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Although his life ended too soon, John Frakes knew what it meant to truly live. His days were filled with hard work and fun times, but there was nothing that brought him greater joy than being with his family. John was blessed to share the majority of his life with his true love, and together they witnessed their family tree blossom to include the grandchildren he adored. It was easy to see that the compass he used to direct his steps was his unwavering faith, and it was his faith that helped him face whatever came his way with strength and courage. Life will never be the same without John here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.

Life during the 1950s was exciting in America. Televisions were becoming part of our homes in record numbers while James Dean and Marilyn Monroe entertained us on the silver screen. Civil rights came to the forefront when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, and by the end of the decade we had welcomed Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1955 when John C. and Marjorie (Baldwin) Frakes were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named John L. on November 4th. He was the third of four children as he was raised in the family home alongside his older siblings, Barb and Randy, and his younger sister, Karen. John attended Sunset Elementary and graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1973. From there, John went on to Western Michigan University and received his bachelor’s degree.

Not to be forgotten during John’s years in high school was his introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Cynthia “Cyndi” Wedel, and she was a sophomore when he was a senior. Although they met at that time, it wasn’t until she was a senior that they went on their first date on February 18, 1975. Sparks soon flew, and it wasn’t long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together John and Cyndi were married on June 30, 1978, in Wakeshma Community Church. Together they welcomed two children including Jonathan and Heather into their hearts and home. John was an active part of the family, and his family truly appreciated that he loved to cook since as the cook in the family, everything he made was fantastic.

In order to support his family, John worked hard. Right out of college he began working for the City of Marshall. From there John worked for the City of Battle Creek and then for the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is where both of their children were born. They spent seven years living there before moving back to the Vicksburg area in 1988. There, he did some real estate work for a time. Although they were happy to be back, they did miss their lifelong friends in Pennsylvania. The bulk of John’s working days were spent working as the treasurer and assessor for the City of Parchment from 1990 until retiring after 25 years. This was a great fit for him, and he truly loved the Parchment community.

There were so many things that enriched John’s life along the way. The primary thing was his faith. He loved the Lord and used the wisdom he gained to be very discerning in everything he did. John was there to support others in any way he could, and he exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. He enjoyed reading his Bible, and his favorite verse was Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. An outdoor lover, he was a big camper and loved to hunt. One of John's biggest hobbies was antiquing. He loved looking for unique antique furniture, housewares and fixtures. John enjoyed both oldies and contemporary Christian music. An avid reader, he liked reading mystery and crime books. John also loved playing cards, and Pitch and Railroad Pedro were among his favorite games.

As much as he enjoyed pursuing his interests, there was never anything of greater significance to John than his loved ones. He was filled with joy beyond measure to welcome five grandchildren, Gianna, Brighton, Everett, Aneli, and Maverick, into the family. It was easy to see that they were the light of John’s life, and the feeling was completely mutual as they loved their “Papa.” He always played with them and was very involved in their lives, and he even babysat them once a week. This past September, John and Cyndi took their dream trip out West after she retired. Although this was the same time that he noticed health issues that led to his cancer diagnosis, they were so fortunate to have created the most amazing memories on the trip they had been planning for so long.

All who knew John Frakes would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was warm and genuine, the sort of person others looked up to, and he drew others near with ease. John was known for his sense of humor and his deep devotion to his family, but perhaps what he will be best remembered for was his strong faith through both the peaks and valleys of his life’s journey. He had the best sense of humor and could always be found just loving life no matter what he was doing. Deeply loved, John will be forever missed.

John L. Frakes, of Vicksburg passed away on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at the age 62. John’s family includes his wife, Cynthia; two children: Jonathan (Michele) Frakes, of Portage and Heather Frakes, of NY; five grandchildren: Gianna, Brighton, Everett, Aneli, and Maverick; siblings: Barb (Ted) Sanger, of Jackson; Randy (Rick King) Frakes, of FL; and Karen (Steve) Marshall, GA. The family will receive friends on Friday, February 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 24th at 11 a.m. at Wakeshma Community Church, 16732 East UV Ave, Fulton. Please visit John’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to the Wakeshma Community Church and/or Hospice care of Southwest Michigan.