Before getting into the family issue, I want to finish up on the civilian component of Frank Colby Myers’ career. After joining the City of Oakland, California in 1924 as a junior engineer and draftsman, he steadily advanced through the ranks. He completed exams and received an California engineer’s license in 1930. He was a traffic engineer and “senior” engineer until called up for active duty in WW2. After the war, he served as Supervising Engineer until his retirement in 1953. He then retired and moved to the San Diego area, where he grew avocados, and remained active in public affairs, serving on the boards of a Public Utility District and the California Department of Forestry. He died in October 1973.
But what about his family? Of all the Myers family members I have talked with, only cousin Gail ever met “Uncle Frank.” This is what Gail wrote about their one and only encounter:
… In the late 1960’s somebody knocked on the door of the Pres[ident’s] manse at Monticello College in Godfrey IL where I was reigning monarch. When I opened the door I saw almost a ghost of my father. The man introduced himself as my Uncle Frank, whom I knew about because he had achieved some prominence in his lifetime my dad and then my mother talked about. He had decided to look up Larry’s kids and found my name listed somewhere and could track me down easiest he explained. He stayed overnight and another day with me. He explained he had a terminal illness (un-identified) and owned some family items he would like to get into hands of some members of the family who cared about the Myers line. Very openly and casually he told me that his own children wanted nothing to do with him or keepsakes and other artifacts he owned — how did I feel about it? He seemed quite rational and although thin (partly why he so closely resembled my dad who was sick much of my growing up) and good sense of humor and a delight to talk with. I knew enough about his city engineer in Oakland and as a Marine to probe more on those items.
Never said anything further about the estrangement from kids, and I did not even know who they were since I had no contact with him before that. Not long after he’d gone home a big box arrived and inside was a child’s rocking chair which was made by hand for him by his [maternal] grandfather, a box of a few other artifacts including a 20-dollar gold coin given to him by his older brother and a handmade sheath knife (like a Bowie) and leather scabbard with his initials burned on it which had been made for him out of a steel file and ringed heft by some of his Marines when he retired from his command — he was a Brigadier General in the Marines at one time. We hadn’t talked about what he was sending but he explained all the contents in a letter which I’ve subsequently lost but the items are in good hands. …
Many thanks to cousin Gail for that poignant anecdote. As best I have been able to determine, Frank had only one child, Stephen D Myers, pictured as a baby in the previous post. He was born 07 July 1921. Due to sloppy reading of some small print in Jody Boyd’s report, I first thought that Stephen has died in 2008. Upon more careful inspection, it turned out to be his wife who died then. I finally located Stephen at an assisted living facility in northern California, where I have tried unsuccessfully to contact him by telephone. Based on what I have uncovered so far, I suspect that he had no children, but I would like to ask him about that myself. Stay tuned.
Next: Dan Myers’ only sister, “Aunt Nora,” who has several living descendants, previously unknown to me. I made contact with one of them yesterday, and will have some info for you soon.
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Dec 10, 2011
I have a vague recollection of visiting Uncle Frank in California on a family vacation—early 60’s. I think I recall seeing a picture that was taken during that visit.
Dec 10, 2011
Are you sure Uncle Frank was in the San Diego area and not more central California?
Dec 10, 2011
Wow, sis, I guess I never thought to ask you! Frank lived in the Oakland area until after he retired; his own memoir does not say just when he moved to Fallbrook, near San Diego. Please try to dredge up more memories of the visit you referred to. I must have missed that picture when I archived selected photos of Mom’s. Also any memories of Aunt Nora, my next “victim.” Just made contact with a great-granddaughter of hers. Please email me as much as you can remember of both of them. Cheers!
Jan 30, 2012
Pictures of Uncle Frank and Aunt Mildred, and dad, are in the mail.