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Frank T. Brockett
April 11, 1921 ~ December 26, 2023 (age 102) 102 Years Old
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On December 26, 2023, after 102 good years on this Earth, Frank Terry Brockett joined his wife Betty, his son Michael, brothers George and Arlington, sister Ann Elizabeth and his parents in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.
Frank was born on April 11, 1921 to Katherine and George G. Brockett in Titusville, Florida. The youngest of four, Frank grew up in an old Victorian home on the banks of the Indian River. The Brockett’s grew and packed Indian River citrus fruit grown in the family’s groves. His father, who was both the Titusville Mayor for a period of time and a Brevard County Commissioner for 18 years, also grew flowers that were sold wholesale in North East floral markets.
Frank attended Titusville High School where he excelled in football and basketball with his tall stature. After his high school graduation, he attended Bowling Green College for a year, then transferred to the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1938 with a degree in accounting. After his time as a Gator, Frank went on to graduate school, enrolling in the University of Miami Law School.
In 1942, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Frank left the Law School a year early and enlisted in the US Navy, receiving a commission as an ensign with assignment to a Landing Ship Tank (LST) that was operating in the Mediterranean theater. Frank saw action in the Allied invasions of Sicily, Italy and the South of France. He then returned to the US to take command of a new LST that was built in the Pittsburgh area. While in Pittsburgh, he met and married Elizabeth Roney – a marriage that lasted 60 years until Betty’s passing in 2004. From Pittsburgh, Frank, then a lieutenant, and his crew took the new vessel down the Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to Hawaii, and on to Japan, where they engaged in the later stages of the invasion of Okinawa. Frank’s LST was one of the early vessels to arrive in Tokyo Bay at the end of the war.
After WWII, Frank returned to Pittsburgh and briefly worked as an accountant for a major petroleum company before joining J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a special agent. After training in Quantico, VA, his first assignment found him moving to the Yakama, WA office, which oversaw security for the Atomic Energy Commission’s facility in Hanford, WA. Frank returned to the Pittsburgh office until 1952, then moved to assignments in Miami, Jacksonville, and finally Daytona Beach, FL, where in 1974 after 25 years in the Bureau, Frank retired as the Senior Resident Agent in charge. While in the FBI, Frank’s cases found him investigating federal criminal matters, federal civil rights issues, and, briefly, national security matters.
In his retired life, Frank stayed busy primarily playing golf, gardening, and traveling across the U.S. and the globe with wife, Betty. The two split their time between their summer home in Carson City, NV and winter abode in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. Frank was an avid walker, known to take walks for hours on end. He was a fond enthusiast of all things sweet, often indulging his grandkids, who affectionately called him YehYeh, the Chinese word for grandfather, with a steady supply of Oreos, key lime pies, and a secret Christmas bread pudding recipe. He was a gentle giant towering over many at his prime of 6’5” with endlessly smiling baby-blue eyes, a sweet Southern temperament and deep drawl, and laughter that always charmed those around him.
Frank is survived by his son, Peter, his daughter-in-law, Laureen Chang, his three grandchildren Zandie, Preston and Caroline, several nephews and nieces and their children, as well as his caretaker and companion of the last 12 years, Willie Lott.
Graveside service will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 29, 2024 at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens, Titusville with Father Adam Subocz, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to one’s favorite charity in memory of Frank.