In memory of

J. Frank Mayo Sr., age 79, of Helena

May 24, 1934 – February 19, 2014

MAYO, J. Frank Sr.

On Feb 19th, 2014 we said goodbye to our father, friend, and confidante, Jude Frank Mayo after winning a 38 year battle against heart disease. Born May 24, 1934 in Livingston, MT to Frank and Mary-Anna (Tecca) Mayo, he was an only child and spent his very young childhood days growing up in section houses at various stations along the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Most memorable was the time spent at the station in Muir, MT at the east portal of the Bozeman tunnel. He was his mother’s pride and joy and she schooled him and taught him, emphasizing, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Many hours were spent in Livingston at the Tecca family grocery in the days when neighborhood grocers were common. While his mother helped bake the bread “Junior” was sent off to the library or roam the streets to play and get into mischief with his cousins John Tecca, Russell Tinsley, Leslie Patzer, Erie Moffett, and Carlo Cieri to name a few. You could find them riding bikes or almost inevitably playing basketball, football, or being the original ‘Sand Lot’ crew. From an early age Frank was very competitive and athletic and soon realized he had a keen interest in all sports that would last throughout his life.

 In 1950 the Mayo’s settled at a home on N. F St. in Livingston during the crucial teen years where he attended Park County High. He liked to put on that he ran with a rough, tough crowd and that Livingston was a rough place to grow up, but he survived and Livingston is still there so it must not have been too bad!

Frank began his railroad career as a gandy dancer at 16 yrs. old. In 1955 he did a 2 yr. stint in the Army in an Artillery Division, which he was very proud of. On his discharge he returned to his Maintenance of Way job and spent 46 yrs. in that position retiring in 1996. At the time of his retirement Frank was the highest seniority member of the 40,000 member strong Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way in the entire United States.  In his day his contribution to interstate commerce was the sacrifice of a dedicated individual in some of nature’s most adverse conditions imaginable. ‘Kojak of the Track’ will never have to deal with the intense heat or bone chilling cold or walk another black banana. He drove spikes by hand into miles of jointed rail and could string line a curve by eye all before the day of mechanization. All of those skills went with him to the railroad in the sky.

During one of his work assignments in Helena, MT, he met Delsey D. Hiatt and they were married in 1959. They had two children and the family moved throughout the state of Montana while Frank gained seniority working in Philipsburg, St. Regis, Superior, Butte, and finally settled in Helena.

To know him was to love him. A more forthright, straight shooting son of a gun would be hard to find. Love, honesty, and integrity were of utmost importance to him. Humor was his modus operandi and boy did he share that with everyone he knew!

Frank, up until his death still carried a lot of ‘Ranger Pride’ by religiously checking the Park County sports scores in the daily paper. Frank enjoyed supporting Helena High School where both his son, daughter, and granddaughters have all attended. Frank and Delsey together attended every college football game their son was ever in at Portland State University even traveling around the country to do so. Frank continued to attend all three of his grandchildren’s sporting events and other activities.

Frank is preceded in death by his loving wife Delsey. He is survived by his daughter  Monica Rankin (Gary), son Frank Mayo (Cynthia), grandchildren Rowan and Evan Rankin, Autumn Mayo, and Brittany Bauer, great grandson Mattias Schwen, brother in law Dallas (Betty) Hiatt all of Helena and various family from Livingston, MT.

We will be meeting at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave., Helena at approximately 10:30 am Monday, Feb 24th,  for a processional to the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison. A graveside service with Military Honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Veterans Cemetery, with a reception to follow in the social hall of the funeral home after the graveside. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Frank.

Our gratitude to the greatest cardiologist in the history of the World, Richard Paustian, M.D. and his staff. Memorial donations in Frank’s name may be made to Helena High School Booster Club, 1300 Billings Ave Helena, MT 59601.  


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  1. Dane & Mary Sark says

    Frank & Monica…our thoughts & prayers go out to you and your family’s. Dane says “Frank was one of a kind”.

  2. Gretchen Longcoy says

    Monica I am so sorry for you loss. We are thinking of you!
    Take care!

  3. Connie Reynolds Hepburn says

    Monica and family,
    So sorry about your loss. Your dad was such a great guy….I know he is having a great time reuniting with your mom. Love and smiles is what comes to my mind when I think of your parents. I will be praying for comfort and peace throughout this hard time.
    Love, Connie

  4. Ed & Eleanor Hollenback says

    Frank & Monica,

    It was very sad to pick up this mornings Missoulian to learn of your loss. We have many fond memories of your parents while living in Mineral County. We were especially honored this past fall when you Frank took the time to bring your dad over to the Loyola football game to watch our grandson’s game. It was great getting to see your dad once again and talk over the years past. Our sympathy and prayers to your familIes.

    Love, Ed & Eleanor Hollenback and family

  5. Marcia Cieri-Reimers says

    I’m sorry for your loss. I did not know your father, however, if he was a good friend of my father, Carlo Cieri, then he was a great guy! I’m sure those two are “roaming the streets” of heaven together and having a grand time! It’s amazing how God has a way of bringing them together again within a month of their passing.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
    Marcia (Cieri) Reimers

  6. whitney meredith says

    Frank and Family,
    We are so sorry for your loss of your amazing Dad!!! He was such a wonderful man! You were so lucky to have him in your life! Love and prayers to you guys at this difficult time!

    With Love,

    Eric and Whitney Meredith

  7. Frank, Cynthia & Family says

    Frank, Cynthia & Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Take Care,
    Marsha Paine

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