Franklin D. Munkres M.D.

Franklin Munkres was born December 18, 1942 in Douglas, Wyoming to Audrey L. (Porter) Munkres, and her husband Dale. He is survived by his wife, Sherry L. Munkres and his sons, Stephen and Michael; Stephen’s sons Jackson and Henry; his stepsons Jeffrey and Andrew Demboski; Jeff’s sons Tyler and Code; Andy’s sons Ryan and Brendan; and by his sister, Ellen Dennis of Lander WY.

At first the family lived on their small ranch Northwest of Douglas. The little ramshackle house had a wood-burning cookstove, a pitcher pump by the sink, and a “Hoosier” kitchen cabinet. The icebox was filled with ice cut from a nearby pond. Of course, there was an outhouse. Lighting at night was from a couple of kerosene lanterns. On nice days his mother would check the yard for rattlesnakes, and then he could play outside with the two “ranch dogs” and his ever-present imaginary friend “Kemmesser”. When he turned four they moved to a small house in south Douglas so he could start Kindergarten.

In high school, he worked six days per week, for two years at the LaBonte Hotel, and two years at the Safeway store. December 18, 1959, he joined the Wyoming National Guard. Douglas was the forward support battery for Wyoming’s Field Artillery Brigade, where he served as an assistance mechanic and truck driver. Based on his army IQ test result of 140, he was offered but declined Officer Candidate School.

He attended the University of Wyoming from 1962 to 1966, majoring in Zoology. He completed an additional five graduate level courses and the basic requirements for minor degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics. He was invited to join “Iron Skull” pre-med society, and Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society. He worked part time as a research assistant and worked summers as a truck driver and assistant mechanic. He graduated debt free with honors in 1966.

He attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine from 1966 to 1970. A straight A student, he won a scholarship and cash award in each of the four years. He also completed the course work, biochemistry, and probability & statistics to quality for minor degrees. He worked six days per week during the summers for a commercial masonry company and managed the apartments where he lived during the first two years. The second two years he covered the obstetric unit on “free weekends” (not on call) at General Rose Memorial Hospital. During the fourth year he worked for three months at a charity hospital in the “Bed-Stuy” ghetto in Brooklyn. While in New York he had the opportunity to meet Margot Seitleman, president of American Mensa, and pass the Mensa test at her office in the city. He graduated with honors free of debt in 1966.

He then moved to Hanover New Hampshire for graduate training. During “free weekends” he covered the emergency room at Springfield Vermont Hospital.

He returned to the University of Colorado to complete two additional years of training, the second-year voluntary, to round out his training as a general internist. During “free weekends” he covered the Denver Veterans Hospital Emergency Room.

In 1974 he joined Marquette Internal Medicine Associates in Marquette Michigan, where he served for many years as the group’s president. In 1979 he was elected president of the Marquette Medical Center, a group of about 65 doctors, with a plan to build a large addition to accommodate medical and surgical subspecialists, so residents of the upper peninsula would not need to leave the area for comprehensive medical care. Within a few years the number of physicians had nearly doubled.

On arrival in Marquette, he started long-distance running and cross-country skiing. He qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon in 1981.

In 1982 he signed himself and his sons up for membership in Marquette Tae Kwon Do, a traditional Korean martial art school. He earned his first-degree black belt in 1986. When the “second in command” of the school had to leave the area for an out of area work assignment, he took over his weekly class for 1.5 years at no charge to the school.

He met Sherry as a new patient in the mid-70’s. The surprising development occurred in 1990 when they met at a cocktail party and realized they were both in the process of divorcing. They started dating not long after that and married in 1994. Frank always says he didn’t have a chance: Sherry is sweet, kind and beautiful and she has that smile that can “light up a room”.

Frank started sailing after arriving in Marquette and owned a couple of small sailboats. When Sherry got interested, they bought a larger cruising sailboat which they sailed out of Marquette. Then, when nearing retirement, they bought a summer home in Escanaba Michigan and bought a large cruising sailboat, which they sailed in the bays and islands of Lake Michigan. Frank became “Coast Guard qualified” to personally charter boats up to 52 feet, and they took many sailing vacations to Florida, the Bahamas, and Chesapeake Bay. Each winter they would invite friends, two couples, to join them on a 50-foot sailboat to cruise the British Virgin Islands.

In retirement, they first moved to Charlotte County Florida. Unfortunately, they had significant damage from Hurricane Charley, so they moved to Maricopa County Arizona. They moved back to Bay Harbor Michigan for a few years, then back to an independent living campus in Arizona.

One Comment on “Franklin D. Munkres M.D.

  1. What an amazing life he lived! Sherry, please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of Mr. Munkres. May your many memories together bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time, and thank you for entrusting Simply Cremation to care for his final arrangements.

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