Frank DeCoursey, 79, of Prairie Village, Kansas, passed away unexpectedly on October 18, 2022. Frank was a loving husband, devoted father and proud grandfather. He leaves his wife Anne, daughter Molly and walking companion Duke at home. He leaves his son Dan, daughter-in-law Karla and grandchildren Lea and Ian of San Diego. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 26 at 10 a.m., and a memorial mass at 11 a.m., at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas. Live streaming of the service will be available at https://stannpv.org/frankdecoursey.
On September 13, 1943, Frank was born to Frank (“Duke”) DeCoursey and Ruth Dugan DeCoursey in Wichita, Kansas. He attended Kapaun High School, where he met Anne Villepigue DeCoursey. Anne remembers how excited she was when she got the chance to dance with Frank at a Kapaun-Mount Carmel sock hop. In high school Frank and Anne became lifelong friends with Tom and Carol Sweeney. Both Tom and Frank played football, but we have been told that Tom was a little better. Frank and Anne quickly developed a special bond after the passing of Frank’s mother and Anne’s father. They enjoyed 51 years of marriage.
Frank had many fond memories of the DeCoursey Creamery. Rumor has it that he might have used the milk truck for an occasional errand or two. Over the years he acquired an impressive collection of DeCoursey ice cream signs and milk bottles. Frank attended College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he graduated with a degree in economics.Frank was always eager to give free investment advice. (In a nutshell, invest for the long haul, and don’t invest in anything you don’t understand.) He was quick to point out that economists, despite what they claim, don’t have all the answers. He would say if you ever came across someone who claimed tobe infallible, run away, and fast!
Frank had a passion for exercise. For years he joined friends to play tennis on Saturday mornings as long as the temperature was above forty degrees. He ran several races with his daughter Molly, including numerous half marathons and the Chicago Marathon. He was especially proud when at one race he won his age group. (He was the only runner in that age group.) He was willing to try new things and push his limits with his daughter Molly while she lived in Denver. He hiked a fourteener with her, and they even considered running Burro Days in Leadville until they realized they would have to pull a burro (uphill!) for 29 miles. Apparently, the burros don’t always cooperate.
He worked for Commercial National Bank for several years until he decided he was ready to give back to the community. Frank went back to school and earned his master of social workat the University of Kansas, where he met another lifelong friend, Pat Sullivant. He and Pat went on several adventures, including a canoe trip. The canoe flipped a few times, but luckily no one was (seriously) injured. Frank worked in the mental health field for over two decades. He eventually retired from Johnson County Mental Health Services. In retirement, Frank continued his passion for reading books on history and economics. His ability to recall tidbits he had come across wasimpeccable. He would underline unfamiliar words and look them up in the dictionary. He also enthusiastically dove into Spanish classes so he could communicate with his daughter-in-law Karla’s family in Guadalajara, Mexico, and talk with the locals with his brother Pat in Puerto Vallarta. Frank, like many in our family, came to love traveling in Mexico and enjoying Mexican food. He claimed the best tacos in Kansas City were actually in Overland Park at Taco Naco. Frank was also an avid Chiefs and Jayhawk basketball fan. He even watched some KU football this season. He had an encyclopedic memory about former players. If he was on your Trivial Pursuit team, you always picked sports. Frank could be reserved at times, but he was not shy about letting the refs on the TV know they made the wrong call against our team.
Frank was always the DJ at family gatherings. He had an impressive collection of CDs, including opera, Broadway tunes and Irish music. On St. Patrick’s Day you could count on a night of Wolf Tones songs, with Celtic Symphony as the grand finale. Anne and her sisters-in-law would usually perform a dance. No one is sure who choreographed it, but it was a mix of Irish jig and cheerleading. Changing the original lyrics was encouraged.
Frank was very proud of the family’s Irish heritage. When Molly and Dan were told during a trip to Ireland that the DeCoursey surname was actually French (we were Norman invaders), he replied: tell them your grandma’s last name was Dugan and that my sister married an O’Connor. His generosity knew no bounds. He always kept his best bottles of wine for guests and drank the cheaper ones with dinner at home. He was always looking to plan his next adventure. Frank believed that researching the trip, especially places to eat, was even more fun than the trip itself. He was especially pleased with himself when he found a good deal at Costco Travel to celebrate his fiftieth anniversary in Maui. This past summer at Silver Dollar City with his grandchildren Lea and Ian he gleefully got an roller coasters that even his son Dan was a bit weary of.
Frank had a very close relationship with his siblings (Dianne, Pat, Ruthie, Dan, Dean and Mary Beth), cousins, nieces and nephews. Once you told him you had a special interest in something, you could count on him sending you a link to an article that would be waiting for you in your inbox the next morning. He was always ready to receive your phone call just to listen or offer gentle advice. He made it to countless birthday parties and family celebrations, whether in Kansas City, Wichita, Branson, Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta, and he and his wife Anne hosted quite a few celebrations themselves at the family compound on Juniper Drive (just turn right off Roe at the lion statue), even when his health wasn’t 100%. He often had a humorous toast ready to share, usually poking fun at himself. Four years ago he endured treatment for aggressive prostate cancer with a Midwestern fortitude: one day at a time, no complaints. His cancer was in remission at the time of his passing. He was grateful for the excellent care he received at KU Medical Center.
Frank had a knack for accepting the whole person, warts and all, both with himself and with others. He always strived to be a better person. He was taken from us too quickly, but we are comforted that he passed peacefully and without pain, and that the morning of his passing he was at home with Anne, Molly and their dog Duke. Another source of comfort are the countless relatives and friends ready to greet and welcome him in Heaven, especially his recently deceased brother Pat and his brother-in-law, Bob (“Pops”) O’Connor, all of whom will continue to send their blessings upon us. In a final act of kindness, his eyes were donated so that two blind individuals can see the world and plan their own adventures.
Donations may be made in Frank’s honor to Guadalupe Center in Kansas City, Missouri.