R.I.P. Frank J. Fleming (1945-2012)

Posted on June 30, 2012 11:20 am

My father, for whom I was named, passed away Wednesday night at the age of 67, just in time to not be bothered with the Obamacare decision. He had been fighting cancer and other ailments for quite some time — many of them related to Agent Orange exposure, so perhaps in a way he was a very late Vietnam War casualty.

My father was the single greatest influence on my sense of humor — even more so than the first ten seasons of The Simpsons. He always teased us kids, and that was his way of showing he loved us. Not that I knew it early on when I would say, “I’m hungry,” and he’d respond with, “Nice to meet you hungry.” I remember when I first successfully teased him back. I was helping with a Boy Scout roadside clean up and he mentioned to me how he had once been to a think tank, and without missing a beat I responded, “What were you doing there? Were you lost?” I could tell he was very proud.

I’m so glad my wife and I ended up in Boise back in 2007 so we could spend more time with him and my mom. I could tell he loved my wife SarahK very much as he was always saying mean things to her, even to his last days. And we’re so thankful God blessed us with little Buttercup, a little ray of sunshine for him and my mom during troubled times. She liked to sit on her papa’s lap and color. She wasn’t old enough for my dad to tease her, so that will be up to me.

Father’s Day this year was pretty hard on me, as I knew there wasn’t much time left, and looking at my father I feel like so far I’m only play acting a dad to little Buttercup. Throughout my childhood, I always felt loved and secure because my father was there, and I feel like I still have a lot of growing up to do to be that for Buttercup. I had a childhood that was about as close as you can have to one of those Norman Rockwell paintings because he and my mom always worked hard to do the best for us kids, and it’s a lot to live up to. I know I should feel sad now that my father has passed, but I just feel so glad to have had such a great dad for as long as I did.

There’s just a little bit of my dad here on my blog. A long while back, I collected military stories from people and got a couple from him. And if you look around, there are some blog comments out there from “Mean Old Man.” Goodbye, dad. And now I’m just looking forward until the day that Buttercup first tells me she’s hungry.

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125 Responses to “R.I.P. Frank J. Fleming (1945-2012)”

  1. Tim says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I wish you the best.

  2. Burmashave says:

    Frank, I should have also said that I hope that you will take your own time. You may wish to jump back into things right away, or you heart may need time with family right now. Don’t worry writing at the moment. Harvey has a loose rein on us, and we’re pretty good at amusing ourselves.

  3. Bill says:

    Very sorry frank…my pop is living with me now as he is nearing the end too. It is difficult to watch because he has been the greatest influence on my life ..

  4. Pug Mahon says:

    So sorry, Frank. Dads are so awesome. God bless.

  5. Chris says:


    Condolences and prayers for God’s mercy and comfort go out from me and PatriotMomOfTwo.


  6. Conservatarian says:

    May God continue to bless your family.

  7. Alexander Cintron says:

    This story was beautiful, thank you for sharing. May God bless his soul and your family always.

  8. TacitEagle says:

    Frank, God Bless you and your family. I lost my dad just over a year ago. I reckon they are in a better place now.

  9. Alucard says:

    I thought my dad wrote that joke! :)

    Godspeed Frank J. Fleming.

  10. zeeman says:

    Sorry for your lost, God Bless!

  11. Jason Francis says:

    As sad as this is for you and your family, it is always good to hear that a soldier passed at home in his golden years and not upon a foreign battlefield in his prime. May his wisdom and strength carry on to your daughter’s children and beyond.

  12. Guuggysdad says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I intend to punch an EXTRA hippie today in remembrance of your dad.

  13. silaS marreD says:

    “I think a good rule in dealing with my son, is to smack him up side his head every time I see him.”
    – Frank J. Fleming, Sr. Sep 22, 2010

    Sounds like a good man. My condolences.

  14. physics geek says:

    Frank, you and yours have my deepest condolences. I’m sure that made- and make- him proud every day.

  15. Ernie Loco says:

    My condolences, Frank. I’ll be praying for you and your family in this time of grief.

  16. The Chap in the Deerstalker Cap says:

    I’m sorry to hear it, Frank. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

  17. Brutus says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I, too, know how real the pain is.
    It was a year and a half before I could joke about my dad being gone. Quite absently I stated to a casual friend that I hadn’t heard from my father in over a year. My friend asked why. I stated, “‘cuz he’s f*****g dead.” It wasn’t intended as a joke but just came out that way. We laughed pretty hard. I really miss him.
    I will include you and your family in my prayers with my two sons tonight.
    Your father’s legacy will live on with your daughter and in the way you raise her.
    God bless your family.

  18. Dohtimes says:

    We can be released from our suffering and saved from our sins easier than we can break free from the love of our dearest of kin

  19. Devil_Dog says:

    I’m praying for your Dad’s soul. May God bless him and your whole family, Frank.

  20. Erinyes says:

    My sincere condolences…

  21. Corona says:

    Haven’t been here in a few days. Sad to read about your fathers’ passing. I’m sure your Dad was a great guy. You are a great Dad yourself.

  22. chris karma says:

    a wonderful tribute, condolences.

  23. island girl says:

    I often wondered what your father must be like, what he must be thinking when he read your funnies. Now I know. Thanks for that ! Thanks to your Dad for raising you so well ! Thanks to the good Lord for good people like the Fleming Family! :)

  24. 4of7 says:

    Yeah, what they said.

  25. IMAO » Blog Archive » Remembering links:

    […] I’m remembering my father who passed away last June from ailments related to his exposure to Agent Orange during Vietnam. I don’t know if that […]

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