Frank Philip DeRosa, 81, died at Northern Montana Hospital on Monday, March 7, 2005.
A viewing will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Home. His memorial service will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Jude Catholic Church with
the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery. A fellowship will be held at the Havre Eagles immediately after the services at the cemetery.
Born Nov. 5, 1923, to Italian immigrant parents, Michael and Marietta DeRosa, Frank attended St. Jude's Grade School and graduated from Havre High School in 1942. In 1943, Frank joined the Navy and served in the South Pacific in World War II until his discharge in 1946. He was a member of the VFW post 497.
Frank married his sweetheart, Eunice Jones, in 1947.
Frank began working for the Great Northern Railway Co. in 1941. He retired as a chief clerk in 1984. Since 1971, Frank was an active member of the BN Veterans Association and served as system president in 1994.
Beginning in 1961, Frank served three terms as Third Ward alderman for the Havre City Council.
Frank joined the Great Northern Credit Union, now known as Bear Paw Credit Union, in 1950. He began as a member of the credit committee in 1957 and during 35 years held various offices in the credit union. Frank served for eight years as the secretary of the Montana Credit Union League.
Frank joined the Eagles in 1962 and served in various offices. He received the prestigious Montana Eagle of the Year in 1989. He was a member of the BPO Elks Lodge since 1943.
In 1962, Frank and Eunice began Northern Electronics, a wholesale electronics part business, which expanded to retail sales and relocated in 1965 to First Street in Havre. The family continues to operate the business as Northern Home Essentials today.
Through his efforts, the Jim Hill statue and fountain was dedicated in 1993.
Frank was one of the founding members of Havre Beneath the Streets in 1989, which opened its doors in 1994 to tours of the historic underground. Through his efforts, the Pacific Junction Railway Club was started and in 1999 the Havre Railroad Museum opened its doors.
Frank served as co-chair of Havre's Centennial Celebration and was elected the president of the North Montana Centennial Celebration committee and organized the Centennial excursion train run between Havre and Big Sandy.
The Havre Chamber of Commerce awarded its first North Star Award to Frank in 1994. Frank was the recipient of the Jaycee Community Appreciation Award in 1992.
Eunice and Frank shared travel adventures throughout North and South America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, Hawaii and the Caribbean.
His hobbies included historical research of Havre and the railroad, photography, and collecting train memorabilia. His dream was always to see Havre Beneath the Streets continue to grow, not only in the number of people who enjoy the tours but also to see the number of displays expanded.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Marietta DeRosa; sisters, Edith VanBuskirk and Mary Gratke; brother-in-law, Bill Gratke; and sister-in-law, Anastasia DeRosa.
Survivors include his wife, Eunice, of Havre; children, Larry (Patty) DeRosa, Margie (Leonard) Deppmeier and Barbara DeRosa, all of Havre; grandchildren, Darci (Chris) Hertz of Billings, Kati (Steve) Purkett of Havre, Jenny (Jeff) Taylor of Everett, Wash., Debbie Deppmeier of Oakland, Calif., Brian DeRosa of Bozeman; and one great-grandchild; brothers, Tony DeRosa of St. Paul, Minn., and Sam (Eleanor) DeRosa of Richland, Wash.; brother-in-law, Warren VanBuskirk of Havre; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Havre Railroad Museum/Havre Beneath the Streets, the Gift of Life or to the donor's choice.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.