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Frank L. Wattelet Sr.

Published on -6/6/2013, 9:23 AM

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Frank L. Wattelet Sr., 77, Joplin, Missouri, passed away Saturday, June 1, 2013.

Frank was born at home on October 29, 1935, in Mulberry, Kansas.

He attended Arma, Kansas, High School graduating in 1952 where he lettered in football, basketball and track. He was a member of Arma's 1952 state championship track team. Frank was a National Honor Society member. Upon graduation from Arma High, he attended Pittsburg State University, where he played football and was a member of the four Central Conference championship track teams. He received a BSe in 1956, and a master's degree in administration in 1962.

On August 4, 1957, he married the love of his life, Mary Lee Tassi of Arma, Kansas. They remained married for 55 years. They have three beautiful children: Frank L. Wattelet II, Joplin, MO, Kurt Wattelet, Flower Mound, TX, and Kristy Wattelet Grantham, Lee's Summitt, MO.

Frank was an outstanding high school football coach, including head coaching stints at Kincaid Kansas, High School in 1956 to 1957, at Parker, Kansas, High School from 1957 to 1960, Neodesha, Kansas, High School from 1961 to 1965, and 1966 at Campus High School in Haysville, Kansas. As head football coach of the Neodesha Bluestreaks, his teams achieved three back-to-back undefeated seasons.

After leaving football, Frank entered the business world working as an HR manager for Baxter/Travenol in Hays, Kansas, and Alco-Duckwall Stores in Abilene, Kansas. In 1976, he started Dunhill of Joplin Inc. and was owner/operator of the business until he retired in 1998.

Frank was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Besides his family, his true passion was football, hunting and fishing.

Frank is survived by his wife, Mary Lee; his children, Frank, Kurt and Kristy; daughters-in-law, Tara Wattelet and Deana Wattelet; son-in-law, Chuck Grantham; seven grandchildren, Frank Joseph Wattelet, Corey Wattelet, Alexa Wattelet, Alexander Grantham, Nick Grantham, Olivia Grantham, and Kurt Wattelet II.

The Wattelet family will receive family and friends at a celebration of life memorial to be held on Saturday, June 22, 2013, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Downstream Casino and Resort Pavilion, 69300 E. Nee Road, Quapaw, OK 74363.

(For those traveling from out of town, you can call (888) 396-7876 for room reservations at the resort.)

Memorial gifts are suggested to the Neodesha Alumni Scholarship Fund in memory of Frank Wattelet Sr. and can be sent to P.O. Box 313, Neodesha, KS 66757-0313, or in care of LPL Financial, 506 S. Main Ste. B, Joplin, MO 64801-2314.

Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to Parker Mortuary, Joplin, Mo. www.parkermortuary.com.

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