April 9, 1955-May 15, 2015

Frank FleshmanFrank Fleshman passed away May 15th in the arms of his wife and two children, after a two-year battle with liver cancer. A casual memorial was held at the family home with his friends and family over a fire pit, with many great stories shared about his life. It was exactly the kind of party he would have hosted himself.

Frank was the kind of person who left a big mark on everyone he met. He was incapable of being anything but authentic. His friends could count on him for his honesty, his unwavering loyalty, and his time, tools, and energy whenever they needed a hand on a project. Frank always came through for the people he loved.

He was born in New Orleans to Tom and Patricia Fleshman, and was a twin sharing the title of youngest of six children. His single mother moved the kids to Santa Monica when Frank was in middle school, where he met the group of friends he would maintain all his life. It was in 9th grade when he met the love of his life, Joyce Fleshman, who would go on to have two daughters with him, experience countless adventures, and care for him through his illness.

Frank served in the army during the Vietnam era and was stationed in Germany. Upon his return he went to work for the studios as a prop maker, building the sets of many of the TV shows and movies so many of us enjoyed. He retired after 30 years in the Local 44 Union but he worked on home improvement projects up until a few days before his death, with a heart for making sure his wife would be left with “the home she deserves.” His favorite years were working on the set of “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” He enjoyed the camaraderie of the crew, and felt that there was something really special about that time. He often brought his two daughters on set to meet the cast and learn his craft, teaching his children about hard work and leadership.

Frank was a leader, a spark, the life of the party. He loved camping with his family and buddies, and most of his fondest memories involved annual trips to the Kern River and the beach. He treated his children’s friends, and his friends’ kids, as his own family, and was looked up to as a dad figure to many. He had a way of lifting up the people around him with a few strong words pointing out their best qualities, a wink of his electric blue eyes, and a big hug or slap on the back. He let you know when you were selling yourself short, and you left the conversation ready to take the world in your hands.

Frank is survived by his wife of 34 years Joyce Fleshman, his two daughters Lauren Fleshman Thomas and Lindsay Fleshman, his son-in-law Jesse Thomas, his grandson Jude Thomas, his four living siblings Michael, Tom, Melanie, and John, and a group of amazing, lifelong friends and their children who will carry his spirit forward and beyond.