RUDOLPH L. “RUDIE” FRANKOVIC
November 5, 2018
Rudolph Louis ‘Rudie’ Frankovic, 98, passed away peacefully at his home on Nov 5, 2018 in Buffalo, WY. He was buried with his family in Red Lodge, MT. Rudie was born June 21, 1920 in Washoe, MT; the youngest of twelve children born to John and Sofie Frankovic. At the age of five, he moved with his family to Red Lodge, MT, where he attended the Roosevelt School and graduated from Carbon County High School, Class of 1938. He wanted to be a chemist and attended Montana State University in Bozeman until WWII broke out. He enlisted and was inducted into the Army in April 1942; one of four Frankovic brothers who served. All four brothers went overseas and only three returned. Brother Pete and his crew were killed in a bombing raid over Budapest. Rudie was trained as a flight engineer and was assigned to the ATC (Air Transport Corp) Division of the Army Air Corp. He served in the Pacific Theater flying missions from Australia to New Guinea, the Philippines and Tokyo. He was discharged in October 1945.
After the war, Rudie attended Billings Business College on the GI Bill where he met Annette Huff of Buffalo, WY. Rudie and Annette were married in Nov 1948 and made their home in Billings, MT until he was transferred to Lemon, SD where son, Peter was born. They moved to Buffalo in 1952 and he took over management of Pioneer Motors in 1953. In 1954, Rudie went into partnership with Jean Curutchet in the 21 Club, which he co-owned and operated until the early 1960s. After the sale of the 21 Club to Ray and Mary Lawrence, Rudie went into business with FIF(now Invesco) fulltime, selling mutual funds and opened Frankovic Realty. He became the first licensed Real Estate Broker in Johnson County. Richard, Philip, Anita and Lisa were all born in Buffalo. Rudie was very active in civic and church-related groups in Buffalo, including The American Legion, VFW, Knights of Columbus and the formation of Amy Holt Nursing Home.
Rudie and Annette were married for 30 years. After the divorce, Rudie and his partner, Juanita Underwood enjoyed many years together, traveling all over the U.S. and wintering in Yuma, AZ. They especially enjoyed spending summers on the Oregon Coast, fishing in Alaska and visiting his brother, Andy in Cape Cod.
His survived by his five children: Peter (Char), Kennewick, WA; Richard (Carrie), Buffalo; Philip (Dianne), Buffalo; Anita (Rob), Seattle, WA; and Lisa (Jim), Casper. He is also survived by grandchildren Stefanie (Ty), Tiffany, Jim (Hope), Cali (Caleb), Richelle, Klayr, Andrew, and great grandchildren Trot, Troop, Taylani and Chloe. He was preceded in death by his parents, seven brothers John, Steve, Frank, George, Charles, Andy, Pete, four sisters Mary, Elizabeth, Ann and Helen, Annette Huff Frankovic and Juanita Underwood.