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Frank E. McCauleyNovember 9, 1916 ~ June 1, 2017 (age 100)
Frank Edward McCauley, 100, of Hamilton, passed away June 1st, 2017 at the Marcus Daly Hospice Center. He was born November 9, 1916 in Hicksville, Ohio the son of Ray and Edna McCauley. Frank was raised on a large farm which included a dairy; providing milk to the Hicksville Community and schools. Frank attended Michigan State University graduating in 1939 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. After college Frank enlisted in the Army, then quickly transferred to the Air Corps. He trained to fly fighter planes in Texas before being stationed in England. He flew his P-47 Fighter “Rat Racer” on 46 missions, supporting and protecting our B-17 bombers. He successfully shot down 5 ½ enemy aircraft, achieving “Ace” fighter pilot status. Frank returned home in 1945 having earned the Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 4 Air Medals. In 2015, Frank and Bobbie were flown to Washington D.C., where Frank was presented the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively presented to all 1447 American Aces. Frank married in 1945 and had three sons, Craig, Kirk and Kevin. He pursued a successful career in construction in Northern California for the next 29 years. He retired in 1974, married his wonderful wife, Bobbie, and settled in the Bitter Root Valley of Montana. Frank and Bobbie enjoyed adventures traveling in their motor home, including a very memorable trip to Alaska. Frank also enjoyed hiking and fishing here in Hamilton and Volunteering for local organizations, including Marcus Daly Hospital and the Bitterroot Humane Association. Bobbie and Frank entertained often; it was not uncommon to have two or three dinner parties weekly with friends. Frank had an infectious smile and most positive outlook on life that will be eternally missed by family and friends. Frank proved to be a wonderful husband, father and grandfather with a fantastic network of neighbors and friends. The family wishes to thank those friends and neighbors who offered support for Frank and Bobbie as needs arose. Frank is survived by his wife, Bobbie McCauley; sons, Craig, Kirk and Kevin; step-daughter, Nancy Cook; grandchildren, Morgan, Kristy, Alina; 5 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 16th at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery, 1911 Tower St., Missoula, MT with honors presented by the US Army and US Air Force. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the Bitterroot Humane Association or your favorite charity.