THOMASTON – Hazel L. Frankowski, 89, died peacefully, surrounded by her family, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at Quarry Hill in Camden. Born Oct. 30, 1924, in Searsport, she was the daughter of Nathaniel and Myrtle Seekins Curtis.
As a young girl Hazel moved to Rockland with her family where she was educated in Rockland and Thomaston schools. The family later moved to Thomaston, and hazel was a High Honors, 1942 graduate of Thomaston High School. Following graduation, Hazel married her high school sweetheart, Oliver W. Frankowski in 1942 in Rockland. Mr. Frankowski’s enlistment took the couple to Chicago, New York, Connecticut and Oregon. When her husband was deployed overseas during World War II, Hazel moved to, Connecticut where she worked more than two years as an assistant to the production manager at an aircraft propeller and dome manufacturing facility in Groton, Conn. Upon her husbands discharge, the couple lived in New London, Conn., where he worked in the textile industry. In 1946 the Frankowski’s returned to Thomaston, residing on West Meadow Road. After raising her family, Hazel returned to the work force in 1966, beginning work at the Rockland Public Library as a Library Assistant. She attended University of Maine in Orono, where she earned a degree in library sciences and followed Mrs. Doris Scarlett as Librarian, serving for 27 years. During her tenure a number of programs and innovations were incorporated into services offered at the library, such as activities to encourage children to read. Other responsibilities included management of resources for the replacement of books. She continually updated the library’s collection of books available to the public and oversaw a staff to provide these services to the community. Hazel was a devoted librarian and took great joy in assisting many people with research and helping them find particular books and articles. Hazel was quoted in a newspaper article as saying, “My most un-favorite library borrower is the person who returns books with squashed bugs inside. My favorite library user is one who starts me doing research even though it sometimes entails a lot of digging.” An avid reader, she was also a member of the Shakespeare Society for many years. A pioneer at heart and never one to be idle, Hazel was the first woman to join the Rockland Rotary Club. She has been an active member of that club since that time, serving on various committees, attending district conferences and was honored by that club as a Paul Harris Fellow. She was a member of Maine State Library Association, the Shore Village Historical Society, volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce and in conjunction with Rotary, often delivered Meals-On-Wheels. Hazel took great pride and joy in her family. She enjoyed traveling to Connecticut to visit, and looked forward to all family gatherings with her children and grandchildren. Her passing will leave a big hole in the hearts of all who loved her and Hazel’s wit and kindness will be missed by all who knew her.
Predeceased by her husband, Oliver in 1988; a brother, Donald Curits Sr.; a sister, Shirley Williams; a nephew, Donald Curtis Jr.; and a niece, Diane Curtis Siani, Hazel is survived by her sons, James E. Frankowski and his wife, Sylvia, of Warren, and Oliver W. Frankowski Jr. and his wife, Catherine, of Dexter; two sisters, Beulah Caron of Plainville, Conn., and Ruth Winchenbaugh of Rockland; a sister-in-law, Virginia Frankowski of Thomaston; two grandchildren, Aric Frankowski and his wife, Amanda, of Punta Gorda, Fla., and Deborah Wheaton and her husband, Mark, of Searsmont; four great-grandchildren, Logan Frankowski, Jessica Frankowski, Nicholas Wheaton and his wife, Angela, of Hope, Amber Wheaton of Lincolnville; one great-great-grandson, Dustin Dodge; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to visit 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. A graveside celebration of her life at the Village Cemetery in Thomaston will be announced in the spring. While flowers are gratefully accepted, donations may be made to, Rockland Public Library, P.O. Box 764; or Rockland Rotary Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1811, Rockland, ME 04841; or Kno-Wal-Lin Homecare and Hospice, 170 Pleasant St., Rockland, ME 04841. To share a memory or condolence with Mrs. Frankowski’s family, please visit her Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.