We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Tulsa Location
Frank Stinson was born at Flower Hospital on August 9, 1943 at 10:15 A.M. In the days which followed in his life that was probably the latest he ever slept.
Frank loved life and he lived it well. He created a loving family. He started and sustained a business that lasted 50 years and built thousands of homes to strengthen families. He helped fund college for 14 family members, employee's kids, and family friends. He taught his kids and their friends how to work construction, how to ride bikes, how to roller skate, how to rig and sail a boat, how to snow ski, and that being Santa while hosting a family Christmas party for 75 people for 52 years was rather a jolly undertaking. He personified putting words of faith into actions to lift up others. He mentored on how to mow a lawn, how to care for and wash dogs, how to bet on horses at Hot Springs. He taught how to bring a neighborhood together with a fireworks show set to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture; how to change a flat tire, parallel park, remove and clean spark plugs, change oil filters, and when to use the clutch.
He adored his wife and would spontaneously embrace her and dance through the kitchen for no reason other than she was the love of his life and he felt so lucky. Their 48-year marriage went by in the blink of an eye. After he was widowed he was a relentless flirt but always a gentleman. He got more calls on Valentine's Day than his single son and daughter combined. In the last month of his life he received cards from a sweet lady he'd met twice in the last year thanking him for making her feel seen, respected, and appreciated.
Frank volunteered for activities that suited his skills and that his kids were into so he could spend more time with his kids and their friends. His son Robert's friend described Frank in this video tribute. His daughter's college friends would take Frank out for guys' night at Tulsa's oldest bar, The Buccaneer, when Frank was in his 70s because he was so much fun to be around. He loved to sing baritone and had a pretty good voice. He hosted a weekly open salon dinner and called it the "Monday Night Dinner on Wednesday" for family and friends. He was a great mentor. And he contributed to service communities where he led with integrity. Frank embodied a generous spirit that welcomed, recognized the value of, and had fun with each person he met.
Frank passed peacefully, surrounded by his kids and grandkids at his home early in the morning on Father's Day and Juneteenth, June 19, 2022.
Frank is survived by his grateful, inspired, and very lucky children: Robert Stinson of Tulsa, OK; Debra Koren Lilburn and her husband Tom Doyle of San Diego, CA; and Beatrice Stinson-Hoxie and her husband Craig Hoxie of Tulsa, OK. God-daughters Sherry Dossman of Wellington, New Zealand and Jana Davidson of Broken Arrow, OK and numerous nephews and nieces also carry forward Frank's legacy of love. Frank's brothers Dan Stinson of Oologah, Roy Stinson and his sister Pearl Reagh and Pearl's husband George Reagh residing in Locust Grove, OK can testify to Frank's generous and caring nature. Adult grandkids Mystique, Stephanie, Alex and Brad Doyle of Southern California joined Frank's family in 2019 and appreciated the creative gifts he made to welcome them. Three of Frank's seven grandchildren have known him all their lives and chose to live in Tulsa so they could be near and learn from their grandfather until his final day: Willow Hoxie, Rowan Hoxie, and David Lilburn were the lights of Frank's life.
Interment will be at Markham Family Cemetery in Mayes County. The family is planning a Celebration of Life on August 6th, 2022 in Tulsa, OK. Details will be shared by Frank's kids in the coming weeks.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that generous monetary donations, food drive proceeds, or volunteer hours be directed in honor of Frank Stinson to:
Ministerial Alliance of Locust Grove Food Pantry
PO Box 125 and 117 E. Main Street, Locust Grove, OK 74352
This essential non-profit outreach program helps feed families in need– such as Frank's family was when he became the head of his household as a teenager in Locust Grove. Please donate online or by calling 918-479-6356. Talk to Jo and tell her that Frank sent you.
The sum of Frank's life cannot be contained in a brief obituary but here are a few notable highlights to illustrate the quiet but giant legacy of this good man.
Frank's Early Life
Frank Edward Stinson was the eldest son of Robert and Mary Stinson. His youth aligned with The Outsiders timeline and was set in the shadow of Tulsa's Blue Dome building where his father managed a tire shop before starting his own business.
Early childhood days were spent adventuring by bike on the gravel roads of Sheridan and 11th Street in Tulsa. He attended Bell and Burbank elementary schools and loved helping his father vulcanize tires at his own shop located at 3rd and Kenosha in downtown Tulsa. When Frank was 12 his family moved to Locust Grove, OK and Frank attended Locust Grove Public Schools.
Hardship struck at 13 when a trucking accident and other family hospitalizations made Frank the head of his family's household. In addition to attending school, Frank was now responsible for feeding, caring for, and raising his younger brothers, one of whom was an infant.
Frank became the sole breadwinner for his family at 14 when his father passed away after an extended, unsuccessful convalescence. Frank worked hard to stay in school and provide for his mother and brothers; he credited Locust Grove Superintendent Leonard Yarlborough for making sure he graduated in 1961. Families including the VanBrundts, the Chatfields, and the Beyls also offered Frank and family support in this difficult time and became lifelong friends.
Frank Serves His Country, Marries Marilyn & Begins His Family, Starts & Builds His Business
After graduating, he served in the U.S. Army from 1961-1963. Frank served at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and in the Oklahoma National Guard Reserves until September 1968.
On a sunny Saturday in May of 1963, Frank married his high school sweetheart Marilyn Markham. The couple immediately moved to Kansas City, and launched their whirlwind romance into family and business adventures that went by in the blink of 48 years together.
Frank's entrepreneurial ambitions took root in Kansas City. He apprenticed with the Painter's Union and learned the craft of drywall finishing. He turned these skills into a successful Tulsa business, Stinson Sanding Service. From 1966 into the 2010s, Frank's workmanship defined the residential and commercial spaces of Tulsa. He was a member of the Tulsa Homebuilder's Association, and a pioneer in sprayed drywall finishes--if you go into a Tulsa home with a popcorn ceiling, Frank most likely put it there. If there isn't popcorn on the ceiling, he very likely removed it. From thousands of Green Country homes to the landmarks of Saint Francis Hospital, The City of Faith complex, to the Hard Rock Casino, Frank's fingerprints live today on the pulse of the city he helped build.
Frank never shied away from the physically hard and demanding work of drywall, but it wasn't his passion. His career enabled the true passions of Frank's life: family, community, and art.
Frank and Marilyn had three children: Robert, Debra, and Beatrice. On Father's Day in 2009 Marilyn wrote to Frank, "You have been there for me always...you have been an example to all the children who touched our life. You taught them the power of love, patience, soft words instead of angry rants, and the ability to teach by example using patient explanations." They were the rare couple who brought out the best in each other and celebrated their immediate and extended family daily.
Frank Gives Back as a Volunteer, Community Leader, and Active Citizen
Frank was an active volunteer at Walt Disney Elementary School, a Cub Scout leader and Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 444 in Tulsa. He enjoyed learning and fellowship as a member of the Broken Arrow Masonic Lodge #243.
He volunteered to lead construction on the first Broken Arrow Community Playhouse in 1982 and he led volunteers to build the Locust Grove Community Library in 1988. Frank was a generous benefactor to the Pride of Broken Arrow during the 1980s, the St. Stephens United Methodist Church Youth Group, and collaborated to build new homes in Tulsa and Joplin, MO with Habitat for Humanity 2004-2012.
Frank knew that working with others was the best way to create a better future. He was tireless in his organization, funding, and offering boots-on-the-ground energy to advance causes in which he believed. He understood the importance of Citizenship in the Community, Nation, and World. Accordingly, he served, believed in, and participated in Democracy and set an example for all his family to become informed and active citizens.
As an Oklahoma Democrat, Frank bore his burdens with good humor and grace. He was a proud member of the Democratic Party and was politically active donating, volunteering, and working on several local campaigns in support of worthy candidates including Oklahoma State Representative John Waldron. Frank viewed voting as a sacred duty and never missed an opportunity to vote for the Democrat of his choosing. He would encourage you to get informed on the issues and candidates so you too can vote for the Democrat of your choice.
Frank Becomes an Artist
Frank and Marilyn grew closer as a couple when the kids left to attend different Oklahoma colleges. In this creative phase of life, they learned about and began purchasing original contemporary Native American paintings in 1984. Developing an appreciation for Native American Art, Frank became friends with and collected original works and prints by Bill Rabbit, Connie Jenkins, Virginia Stroud, Bill Glass, and many other Native artists.
Appreciation of art soon seeded creative designs. Inspired by the art they collected and chainsaw artists, Frank began wood carving in 1985 and completed his first work, a 12 foot tall totem pole depicting the 7 clans of the Cherokee and his wife's family history as a 25th anniversary gift for Marilyn. He was a featured wood sculptor at several art shows in Northeastern Oklahoma throughout the 90s and built strong relationships in the Native American Art Community.
Frank enjoyed the craft of woodworking and made several custom wood pieces such as cedar chests, rocking horses, carved animal figures and furniture for family members. His craftsmanship is treasured by those who have been gifted with his time, skill and love.
Frank Joins Our Ancestors and Leaves a Legacy For Us All To Embrace
Frank is preceded in death by his beloved wife–his first and eternal love–Marilyn Markham Stinson. Frank's parents, Bob Stinson and Mary Stinson-Garrison-Pulley, as well as his in-laws, T.S. Hooley and Maxine Markham of Broken Arrow preceded him in death. His sisters-in-law and brother-in-law also preceded Frank in death: Joan Bennett of Locust Grove, Jeanne Nickelson of Sapalupa, and Mark Markham of Broken Arrow.
You can experience Frank's legacy in the actions and words of his immediate family and those who survive him including his kids and grandkids; numerous nieces and nephews; and family friends.
If you knew Frank, take a page from his playbook and do something today that will make someone in your life feel appreciated. Listen to their stories. Put a humorous spin on a challenging situation. Make something with your hands and then share it with your family. Help someone you don't know by donating to the Locust Grove Food Pantry. Patiently teach your kids and their friends how to do things and mentor them until they are fluent in the skill. Lighten up but keep working hard.