We miss you already Frank.

A couple weeks ago, we lost one of the great ones. A longtime boatbuilder and general all around joy to be around, Frank Fife passed away and no doubt will be missed bigtime around here in the Reedville area. Frank was one of the few you could count on being there and doing what he said he would do at a fare price. No drama, just got it done.

Frank under the ladder making others laugh. Thats what he did, he gave his laughter to us all.

I met Frank wile working with George Butler, and at first, you think Frank is a gruff person, but good lord, under that facade of it all was one funny and warm soul. He would crack me up all the time, and thats hard to do. He would drive around in this old Dodge van that had looked like…and sounded like it had just been pulled from a junk yard, and it was just PERFECT.

Frank taking a break in the heat

One day Frank showed up at the railway and said he had to drive here with one eye since he had just had surgery on the other one. HE WASN’T KIDDING.  Mind you its a very small town, and not like he was on an interstate between exits.  He chuckled and got the job done. Needless to say his lettering skills suffered that day, but to be honest. I wish I had him letter my boat now, just for that memory and proof. UGH.

Frank and George. You could just watch and laugh. They made it fun.

Repairing the Worm shoe damaged from the On The Rocks Incident. This was the exact moment I knew I was home

A corner of Franks Van, to be honest, I always tried to shoot around it. Now I wish I had done an entire story on it.

This next week, there will be a memorial service at the Railway to say goodby to him for his family and friends. I could not imagine a better place to say goodby than the place he helped make great. A place of love, kindness and passion for boats and each other. We will report it all so stay tuned. this will be the second event held at the Global HQ and more to come.

todays header of Frank and the IRIS MARIE, a Butler Built boat

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20 Responses to “Frank Fife, A Sad Farewell At The Railway.”
  1. Troy in ANE

    Wish I had gotten the chance to meet Frank when we stopped in at HQ.

  2. John Rothert

    The great old boat builders/repairers are few and far between now and Frank’s passing only exacerbates the problem and hurts the heart.
    RIP “hail fellow well met”.

    John in Va.

  3. John Rothert

    and the header pic of Frank is a true classic…one of the best…

    John in Va.

    • A C Fisher jr

      Frank was a good friend an skilled boat carpenter . He often would to help me out of a jam at my Railway. We will miss him .


    He sounds like a real nice guy that will be missed…….RIP Frank.

  5. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)

    Good friends are hard to find. Even harder to loose. RIP Frank. Im sure the world is a better place because you were in it.

  6. floyd r turbo

    Is it me or are we loosing too many of our friends? Sad news, but we have to celebrate Frank’s for what he added to the sum of its parts.

  7. Murdock

    In today’s world of some young “men”, they would be far better off to emulate gentlemen like Frank.
    Not afraid to pitch in, always happy to help, skilled in a large cross-section of various disciplines, knew how to read a tape measure, probably didn’t give a damn who you voted for and wasn’t afraid to be a “character” either.
    And I’m quite sure he knew which bathroom to use too.
    We need more characters like Frank……………….

  8. Clif

    I miss Frank and I missed my 1939 Chris craft. He worked on it several times over the years.

  9. Rob Urban

    I will miss Frank, he always had a nice hello or good morning. A pleasant man and he was my friend. I didn’t get to see Frank before he left this boatyard for the heavens. 🙏🙏🥺 we are all better people for knowing Frank Fife.