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Frank will be celebrating his 100th birthday on Sunday, February 20, 2022. He was born at home on February 20, 1922 in Bulpitt, Ill., to George and Sophie Maras. Frank attended the Catholic School in Kincaid and South Fork High School. His family owned a farm and he spent much of his childhood working on the farm. After high school graduation, he joined the Civil Conservation Corps. (CCC) in Havana, Ill.
Frank served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945 as a pharmacist’s mate first at Portsmouth Naval Hospital and then on board the USS Julius Raven — a converted destroyer. During this time, he met Reta D. Miller of Charlottesville, V.A. Frank had brought several injured soldiers to the University Hospital in Charlottesville were Reta was working. They were married May 26, 1945 in her parent’s home in Charlottesville. Reta passed away on December 13, 2015. They were married for 70 years.
After the service, like many recently released service personal, Frank worked at various jobs rebuilding our economy after the war. He worked at various jobs such as a diary in Detroit, and the Brach’s Candy Company to name a few. He was not satisfied with any of these careers and went back to Virginia to learn the electrical trade from his father-in-law, A.J. Miller, owner of Miller Electrics. He completed this on the G.I. Bill as an electrician’s apprentice and returned to Kincaid to work at Peabody Mine #7 as an electrician. Frank worked for Peabody as an electrician for a total of 35 years, most of it on second shift at mine #10. He retried from the mine in 1985.
While working in the mine all these years, Frank also owned and operated two local businesses. He and his wife (and their seven children) operated the A&W Root Beer Drive-In for 20 years, which was located on Spresser Street that is now home to the Palmer State Bank. Frank also operated Frank’s Electric Shop in Taylorville, later moving it to Kincaid where he repaired small motors.
It was not unusual for the phone to ring early in the morning during the winter months. It was the janitor from the Kincaid schools calling to see if Frank could come help get the boiler started so the building would be warm when the kids got there. He never said no. Frank is a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Chapter #4446 and the Taylorville VFW. He has always been a member of the St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kincaid.
Frank has said on numerous occasions, “I have done a lot in my life, but what I am most proud of are my seven kids — I could not have asked for a better bunch of kids.”
Frank resides in Kincaid. Those “Better bunch of kids” are Sandi Halvorson of St. James, Minn., Vick and (Ben) Martin of Parker, Colo., Barbara Maras of San Antonio, Texas, Frank (Marc) and Debbie Maras Jr., of Rochester, Ill., Kris Daugherty of Taylorville, Ill., Deanna and (Bill) Kowalski of Peoria, Ariz., and Michael Maras of Kincaid. They have five grandsons, two granddaughters, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter. Frank has one brother, Ivan (Lorene) Maras of Springfield, and one sister, Rosalie Murrer of Pittsburg, P.A. His wife Reta, his parents, and sister Bernice Woodard, one granddaughter Jade Nicol Daugherty, and one grandson Zachary Dane Martin are deceased.
An Open House is being planned for Saturday, February 19 from 12-2:30 at the Taylorville VFW. Frank would love hearing from you. Cards may be sent to Frank Maras Sr., at P.O. Box 416 Kincaid, Illinois, 62540.