Frank Willis Bartlett
3/23/1923 ~ 8/25/2012
Frank Willis Bartlett, 89, passed away at his Walsenburg home on August 25, 2012. Frank was born in Catlettsburg, KY on March 23, 1923. He grew up in Whitesville, WV where he achieved the honor of Eagle Scout.
He joined the Army Air Corps in WWII and served in the 8th Air Force, 360th Squadron, as a B-17 tail gunner. After fulfilling his required 25 missions, his pilot announced that the crew was short a man for the upcoming flight. Frank said, “Count me in.” On that 26th mission, his plane was shot down. He spent 16 months as a POW in German held Stalag 17-B.
Upon returning home, Frank attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was a Scout Master, 32nd degree Mason, Kentucky Colonel, Church Deacon, hunter, fisherman, and wild game chef. He enjoyed careers in state government and coal mining sales, and he served on numerous state political committees.
Frank was preceded in death by parents Cecil and Nola Bartlett of WV, son Frank Bartlett II of La Veta, brothers Bill, Ed, and Dr. Cameron Bartlett, all of WV.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary, daughter Debbie (Patrick) Williams of Walsenburg, his brother Reverend James (Joy) Bartlett of NC, brother-in-law C.J. (Debbie) Hicks, and sister-in-law Lucy (Naaman) Clonch, all of WV.
A family campfire memorial was held on Sunday, September 2, honoring his long life of kindness and service.
The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Johnson-Romero Funeral Home for their guidance and assistance during the last leg of Frank’s journey.
He was a patriot, he was kind, and he was a warrior to the end.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward