SACO - Frank Francis McGrath, 81, former athletic director of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, died Friday, April 27, 2012, at his home. He is survived by his wife, Margaret. Frank was a graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts, a school noted for its leadership in athletic education, and where he was the captain of the college's basketball and baseball teams. Frank went on to earn a master's degree in physical education from Penn State University. After that he taught and coached at schools in New York state while also enrolling in the state's National Guard. He was called to active duty in post war Germany. His wife "Maggie" and many of his friends and former students described Frank as a strong but gentle and caring man who could always be depended on for support and guidance. Apparently he never yelled at anyone, even a referee. His service in the military reflects this quality as he served as a medical corpsman, providing aid to American soldiers and German civilians alike, and as a member of a touring U.S. Army track and field team. His sport was "throwing the hammer," an ancient Scottish game involving hurling a 16-pound steel ball at distances in excess of 200 feet or more. Frank liked to joke that while he did not always win, he also never "hit an innocent bystander." Frank moved to Aroostook County in 1979, where he met and married his wife "Maggie," and joined the University faculty. During the next 14 years he assumed increasingly responsible coaching, administrative and teaching roles, culminating finally as the school's athletic director as associate professor of physical education and athletic director. During his career many of his teams achieved winning records, a remarkable feat considering the school's small size and limited recruitment resources. After Frank's retirement to his oceanfront home in Saco, another aspect of his personality became apparent - his love of animals and of nature. No other home in his neighborhood attracted more birds to their feeders than the well-stocked ones maintained by "Maggie" and Frank, and no one else was known to extend a welcome to the lady slippers that appeared in spring,or the mushrooms that popped up in the fall while walking their dog "Bear." A memorial gathering will be held 2 p.m. Friday at Cote Funeral Home, 87 James St., Saco, followed by a return of the Frank's ashes to the sea. For further information contact Rick Lamb at email@example.com. Donations may be made to www.aspca.org.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in BDN Maine on May 2, 2012