Frank Henry Pizza
January 31, 1921 - October 21, 2016
Much loved father, brother, uncle and friend to many
If there is golf in heaven, we know someone who is now on the course! Frank Henry Pizza passed peacefully at age 95 on Oct. 21, 2016. Born Jan. 31, 1921 in Scofield, UT, he graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Business Administration. In 1942, he married Geneal (Jill) Eardley and, soon after, enlisted in the military. After the war, they had two children and moved to Idaho and Washington as Regional Sales Manager for Maytag. After divorcing, he remained in the Seattle area and, in 1975, he met and settled in Edmonds, WA, with Ann Landberg. Frank is survived by his two children, Diane and Ron, and his brother Bill.
Frank was the oldest of three children and was born in Scofield, UT, once the most populous community in coal-rich Carbon County. His grandfather was a coal miner who was eventually killed in a mine accident when Frank was only 11 years old. His father, Frank Sr., worked as a conductor for the Denver & Rio Grande (D&RG) Railroad on freight trains that carried coal and other freight between Grand Junction, CO and Salt Lake City, UT. The family moved from Scofield to Soldier Summit, a railroad town and mountain pass on the main line of the D&RG and then, again, to Helper UT, another tiny railroad town that derived its name during the steam locomotive era, where the railroad stored and added “helper” engines so fully-loaded coal trains could climb the grade over Soldier Summit, the fifth-highest pass on a U.S. transcontinental railroad main line. The family relocated, once again, to Grand Junction, CO. where Frank graduated from high school in 1937. Because his father and mother wanted the kids to go to college, they moved to Salt Lake City so Frank, and his brother Bill, could attend the University of Utah.
Frank was not particularly religious but, during his college years, he seemed to find religion in a variety of church-sponsored athletic programs:
- For instance, in 1941, at age 20, while playing in the Mason’s young men’s organization, the DeMolays, he was the recipient of their highest athletic honor, the Utah State “All-Around Athlete Award”.In that same year, he was also named the “Outstanding Basketball Participant” by their athletic program; according to an article in The Pistos, the state DeMolay newspaper, he was selected because of his “vast superiority on the court”.The article went on to say, “Frank could easily have been named the outstanding participant in each of the three major DeMolay sports!”
- And when he was playing basketball in a Mormon Church athletic program, he met his wife, Jill, who was cheerleading for the opposing side!
After graduation in 1942 from the University of Utah with a degree in Business Administration, Frank joined the Army-Air Corps in 1943 to serve his country in WW II. He began training as a fighter pilot but, unfortunately (or perhaps, more fortunately), he became airsick when he flew jet fighters, so he became a Physical Training (PT) Instructor, instead, working with fellow pilots preparing to go into battle.
After the war, Frank took a position with the Maytag Corp. as a Sales Manager in Salt Lake City, where he and his wife had their first child, Ron, in 1946. He was quickly promoted to Regional Sales Manager and transferred to Boise ID, where his second child, Diane, was born in 1948. He was again promoted and the family moved to Bellevue, WA, a suburb of Seattle. After divorcing, he remained in the Seattle metro area until his death in 2016, just 3 months short of his 96th birthday.
An exceptional all-around athlete throughout his life, Frank’s life-long passion was golf, which he continued to play until age 93. During that time, he shot his age over 100 times and scored nine Holes-In-One, relatively rare accomplishments!!
Frank was a charming, good-looking man with an easy-going, friendly way about him. His sharp sense of humor was always on display. And when he shook your hand, there was a welcoming smile and a grip that was always strong and firm; he often said, “You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake.” His demeanor projected confidence and strength and it remained so throughout his life. Frank’s steady and reassuring voice never wavered, nor gave a hint of aging. He was a proud man….and he had much to be proud of: his Italian heritage; his loving and hard-working parents; his talented brother and sister; his children, nieces, and nephews; and the accomplishments he made in both the business world and with his athletic endeavors.
Frank passed away from congenital heart failure just 3 months short of his 96th birthday. He leaves behind two children, Ron Pizza-Yardley of San Diego, CA, and Diane Pizza-Agarwal of Novato, CA, and daughter-in-law, Deb Agarwal of Novato. He also leaves behind his younger brother, William Pizza, and sister-in-law, Glenna Pizza, both of Holladay, UT; and nephews, Billy and Brad, of Utah; and nieces, Leslie and Kim of Salt Lake City, and Michele, Mari, and Stacy of the Oakland/East Bay, CA area; and step-daughter-in-law, Marcy DuBois of Bellevue, Washington, and sisters-in-law, Didgie Blain-Rozgay, of Pasadena, CA., and Elaine Eardley, Idaho; and nephew-in-law, Michael, Southern CA; and nieces-in-law, Patty, Cleveland, Ohio, and Sheri, Southern CA., and their families, as well as many longtime friends.
He was pre-deceased by his sister, Marie Pizza Sciacqua; his ex-wife, Geneal (Jill) Pizza; and his loving partner and common-law wife of 40 years, Ann Laurel Landberg. He was also pre-deceased by brothers-in-law, Bob Sciacqua, Jack Eardley, (and his wives, Rene Eardley, and Joanne Eardley), and Jerry Eardley; and step-daughter-in-law Rosabel “Boo” Landberg.
At his request, there was no funeral service. His ashes will be distributed in three locations: 1) near his wonderful mother, Anna Mariani Pizza, and father, Frank Henry Pizza, in Salt Lake City, UT; 2) in the Puget Sound, the beautiful water view Frank and Ann enjoyed daily from their elegant home in Edmonds, WA; and 3) on the golf course where he scored his last hole-in-one in Everett, WA, where, in death, as in life, he will continue to shoot his age.
He will be missed.