Peterborough, N.H. — Francis W. “Skip” Creeley, 86, of Peterborough, N.H., died peacefully with family after a period of failing health at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Jaffrey, N.H. on March 15, 2013. Frank was born in Lawrence, on August 16, 1926 to William F. Creeley and Minnie Hoh Creeley. He attended Lawrence Public Schools and graduated Lawrence High School in 1944. While in high school, Frank joined the Civil Air Patrol, learned to fly and developed a lifelong interest in aircraft.
Shortly after high school, Frank joined the U.S. Army and served with the 24th Signal Company, 24th Division in the Pacific Theater. He was among the U.S Army forces that entered Japan immediately after that country’s surrender in World War II. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.
As a returning veteran, Frank worked at the Wood Mill in Lawrence for several years. During that time he developed an interest in mechanical drafting and attended schooling and training in the trade. In 1955 he joined the Western Electric Company and became a draftsman, where over his long career, he worked to develop all manner of telephone and advanced microwave telecommunications equipment. Frank held numerous supervisory and management positions within the drafting division at Western Electric’s Merrimack Valley Works in North Andover, where he retired after 31 years of service.
Frank was a lifelong aviation enthusiast with a special love for fixed wing aircraft. Over the years, he gained a truly encyclopedic knowledge of airplanes from the Wright Flyer through today’s latest jet fighter aircraft. In his youth, Frank and a friend bought, patched up and flew a cloth covered two-seater Piper Cub airplane from its home field, Lawrence Airport. From his earliest days, Frank was always building model planes. He invariably had several in various stages of construction at any one time. Spare room and basement work benches were littered with plastic model airplanes being built for display. Later, the same workspace was taken over by massive but intricately constructed balsawood and cloth covered model planes to be flow by wire and, in the later years, by radio control. Weeks, months and sometimes years were spent building model planes to fly with relatives and his lifelong circle of aviation enthusiast friends. Frank was a member of numerous model aircraft organizations. Among them were Academy of Model Aeronautics and Radio Control Model Flying Club. In addition to aircraft, Frank enjoyed photography and numismatics.