The Province of the United States of America recommends to your prayers our dear brother, Eugene Frank, S.M., of the Marianist Community of Cupertino, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 22 in Cupertino at the age of 86 with 59 years of religious profession.
Brother Gene was a gifted musician, scholar, and spiritual seeker. He was a beloved teacher, administrator, archivist and IT specialist in both the United States and Korea.
Eugene Nicholas Frank was born in Venice, California on May 23, 1931, the eldest of five children in the family of Nicholas Frank and Yvonne (Belanger) Frank. He attended Saint Monica’s grammar school and high school in Santa Monica. The Marianists administered Saint Monica’s High School at the time and that is how Brother Gene first came into contact with the Society of Mary.
Brother Gene was greatly gifted in languages and music. He was fluent in French, Spanish, Korean, Russian, and German.
It was during a stint with the U.S. Navy that Brother Gene decided to devote his life in the service of Mary, the Mother of God. Whenever he was in port at Pearl Harbor, he received spiritual direction from both Marianist Father Robert Mackey and Father Steve Tutas.
“Eugene was a careful seeker with a great sense of wonder,” recalls Father Tutas. After Brother Gene was discharged, he entered the Marianist novitiate at Santa Cruz, CA, and made his first profession of vows on June 7, 1958. He made his perpetual profession on August 15, 1961.
Before entering the Society of Mary, Brother Gene had already earned a bachelor’s degree at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He received his master’s degree in physics from UCLA in 1960 and his doctorate in plasma physics from Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1965. From 1960-1962, he was also teaching math and physics at Juniper Serra High School in Gardena, CA.
Upon receiving his PhD, Brother Gene was assigned to teach physics and mathematics at Chaminade University of Honolulu. In 1966, he was sent to Dayton University to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in physics. Under the tutelage of Brother Hugh Bihl, he worked with the Dayton Sodality, giving spiritual direction to sodalists and meeting with the members of the Marianist State. Brother Gene returned to Chaminade University in 1971 as associate professor of physics and mathematics.
In 1975, he volunteered to go to Korea to assist in the formation of Korean brothers. While teaching electronic engineering at Songang University, he continued to work with the brothers and various Korean lay groups. During this time, the Marianist Sisters from Japan founded a community of Marianist Sisters in Korea. Brother Gene felt privileged to assist in their education of Marianist spirituality and history. His final three years in Korea were spent as a principal of the Marianist high school in Mokpo.
After dedicating 15 years in Korea, Brother Gene returned to the United Sates in 1990. He then devoted five more years educating Catholic youth at Chaminade College Preparatory in West Hills, CA. There, he founded the computer studies program and the information systems department. In 1997, Brother Gene went to Villa Saint Joseph in Cupertino, CA, and invested his time and talents as province archivist. He retired to the Marianist Center in Cupertino but continued to spend much time in service to the brothers when they had computer issues. His life-long love of knowledge continued in his retirement.
In marking his 60th jubilee, Brother Gene wrote, “The most rewarding part of my life as a Marianist was living in community.” Brother Tom Redmond reflected, “One of the greatest compliments, I believe, that we can give a fellow Marianist is that we enjoyed his presence in community. I had the joy of living with Brother Gene in four communities and in each of these he added much to our lives through the gift of himself. He brought into community life his unique personality along with his deep interest for learning.”