MISSOULA — Frank Austin Chaffee Jr., "Bugs," 92, passed away Sept. 1, 2019. Frank was born to Frank Sr. and Alma Chaffee on Dec. 19, 1926, in Spokane, Washington. Once receiving his diploma from Spokane’s West Valley High School, Frank joined the U.S. Navy Air Corps in 1944. He graduated in economics from Washington State College, 1950, as president of his senior class with an Outstanding Senior Award.
Frank married Donna Jean Haas of Clarkston, Washington, in 1954. Frank retired from Phillips Petroleum after 25 years and launched Chaffee Oil Company. He helped to establish convenience stores in Missoula and Lolo until that retirement in 2004. Frank held offices with the Intermountain Oil Marketers Association, including presidency. He worked several years with the Missoula Lions also holding the office of president.
Frank loved to golf, fish, travel, and support the Grizzlies. He and Donna became "snowbirds" and built a home in Mesa, Arizona.
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Frank is preceded in death by his wife, Donna; his son Robert (Bob) Chaffee and wife Darcy; a granddaughter Caylin Idland; brothers, Ells Chaffee and Kenneth "Sid" Chaffee. He is survived by brothers, Harry (Jean) Chaffee and Russ (Emmagean) Chaffee; daughters, Carol (Monte) Idland, Janet (Tony) Cerovski, and Diane (Don) Knight; grandchildren, Kody (Nicole) Idland, Alayna (Luke) Smith, Morgan Cerovski, Erica Cerovski, Anali (Andrew) Silvius, and Craig (Ilena) Fickle; and six great-grandchildren.
Frank was caring, witty, feisty, and comical. He was loved and respected for his guidance, generosity, and friendliness. He had the bluest eyes and the cutest smile.
Celebration of his life will be 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Wingate Hotel, Missoula.