Frank C. Collister, 90, of Catawba Island, passed away Friday, April 19, at Riverview Healthcare Campus, Oak Harbor. Frank was born on June 26, 1922, in Cleveland, the son of Edward H. and Virginia (Smith) Collister. On April 24, 1948, in Shaker Heights, OH, he married Vivian M. Delfing and she survives.
Frank retired from the Delphi Division of General Motors and resided with his wife, Vivian, of almost 65 years on Catawba Island. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in July of 1942. He served as a pilot in the 524th Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group of the 12th Air Force with the rank of Lieutenant. On May 27, 1944, Frank was shot down east of Rome, Italy, and was captured by the German Army. He was imprisoned at Stalag 7A in Moosburg and was liberated from that Prison of War Camp by the U. S. Army 12th Armored Division on April 29, 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the Prisoner of War Medal, the European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He was also a member of the Caterpillar Club, a club for anyone who parachuted out of a disabled aircraft. Frank has been a member of the Elks Lodge #1718 for 43 years, a life member of the V.F.W. Homer D. Gardner Post #2480, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Masonic Lodge #621, Valley of Cleveland Masonic Temple, Al Koran Shriner’s and the CIC Club. Frank enjoyed golfing, fishing and just puttering around in his garage. Most of all, Frank was a family man who took great pride in his son Gregg and grandchildren Kara and Scott.
Survivors include: Loving Wife of almost 65 years Vivian M. Collister; Son Gregg Collister and Grandchildren Scott and Kara Collister. Frank was preceded in death by his parents and brother Edward Collister.
A Celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Catawba Island Club, 4235 E. Beach Club Rd., Port Clinton. Memorial donations in memory of Frank may be given to the Heartland Hospice or Catawba Island Fire Dept. Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com.