Today would have been the 90th birthday of my father, Robert Frennier. He was born the second of five children, and lived through one of the toughest times in American history. He graduated high school at 16, to work full time to help suppot his family. On his 20th birthday, Monday Dec 8th 1941, he joined the United States Navy Aviation, taking the Marine Corps option soon afterwards. He flew between 20-30 different types of aircraft during the war, and served mostly in the Pacific. Afterwards, he left the active military to go to college, where he played football for his school.
But the lure of national service was too strong, and he returned to the full time military. After a short time with the Army, he took to the air again in the new US Air Force. He added another 10 types of planes to his experience, but the C-130 Hercules (pictured here) seemed to be his favorite. He had many adventures, and saw most of the globe.
He met my German mother in England in the 1950s, and they were married in 1960. He was utimately assigned to Sewart Air Force Base in Smyrna, TN, and retired from the Air Force a Lt. Colonel around the time they closed that base. He served several tours in Vietnam, along with other deployments. Two days after I was born, during a 1000 nautical mile mission, the pilot of his aircraft panicked when one of the engines caught fire. My father took control of the plane, and safely landed the fiery craft.
My father loved to laugh, tell stories, and visit new and exotic places, to learn their cultures and eat their foods. He loved education, and our house has always been filled with books. There was no subject that you could discuss that my father could not add to your knowledge. I like to say that they invented the internet, only to replace my father after he had a stroke.
He loved children and animals, and gave large sums to charity. He sponsored a number of children through various international organizations.
He was charming and chivalrous, with a deep respect for women. He never backed down in the face of adversity, and always fought against those who victimized the weak.
If there was anyone in the world he loved as much as my mother, it was his grand daughter, Alyssa LeeAnne Frennier. All of his best characteristics and passions can be seen in her.
So, Dad, keep flying high, and remember that we will always love and cherish you.