EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 21, 2013

Francis Creeley, 86


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.

Frank was a kind, loving and gentle man; a stoic, hardworking man full of intestinal fortitude. Frank was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather; a man of unfailing pleasant demeanor, who never, ever lost his temper, raised his voice, or spoke poorly of others. Frank always had a pleasant smile and a hello for everyone, and was always willing to help others. A team in heaven just gained a master 45’s player.

Frank was predeceased by his loving wife, Irene Creeley, in 2009. Frank is survived by his son, Ronald Creeley of Peterborough, Diane Creeley of Peterborough, and his four grandchildren, Meghan Creeley and Johanna Creeley of Peterborough, Brian Creeley and his wife, Christine, of Roslindale, and Sean Creeley of Gloucester. He will be missed by his great-granddaughter, Harper Grace Creeley; his nephew, William Sullivan and wife, Barbara of Lawrence; nephew, Francis “Buddy” Sullivan and his wife, Nancy of Milton, N.H.; niece, Geraldine Mears (predeceased) and her husband, Robert Mears of Lawrence; niece, Marylou Cossar of Methuen; nephew, John Iannazzo and wife, Martha of Salisbury, and Francine Iannazzo of Florida and all their children.

ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be held at the Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home, 223 Lawrence Street, Methuen, on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 12 to 2 p.m., followed by a prayer service. Burial will be at St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Cemetery, 29 Barker Street, Lawrence.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be made in Francis' name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. https://www.michaeljfox.org/ Jellison Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. To view and online obituary please visit www.jellisonfuneralhome.com.