Frank Yanish, 75, of Sartell, formerly of Willmar, died Friday, May 24th from complications of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare progressive neurodegenerative brain disease that increasingly impacted his vision, balance, mobility, swallowing, and speech. His Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 am, Thursday, May 30th at Church of St. Mary in Willmar with visitation from 9:00 am until time of the Mass. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.
Francis Ambrose Yanish was born August 12, 1943, in Watkins, MN, the son of Herbert and Evelyn Yanish. He grew up in Annandale where he graduated from Annandale High School in 1961. Frank was forever an entrepreneur and started his first small business along with his friend, Bengt, from Sweden, when they set out for California in his VW Bug. Following this venture, he returned to Minneapolis and went to work for Mankato Welding. This is when he met his wife to be, Lorna Hahn, when he was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserves in 1965. They were married on May 1, 1965.
While Frank was a sales rep they moved to Willmar in 1973. He spent 25 years in the food industry before he and Lorna purchased Central Tire & Auto along with their son, Marc, and son-in-law, Fred. Marc worked with them for 21 years and Fred for 5 years. Together, they grew the business to be very successful and in 2014 they decided to sell the business and retire.
Frank served as Willmar’s Mayor from 2011-2014 and was proud to have been elected to serve the city. He also loved southern gospel music and wanted to share it with the Willmar community so with Lorna they started FLYAway (F-Frank, L-Lorna Y-Yanish) Promotions. Several concerts were held around the area including New Year’s Eve Gospel Concerts at St. Mary’s which brought well known performers to the area.
Frank also had a passion for the stock market, politics, and going to the casino where he always thought he could beat them! His motto was that he was here on earth “to make a difference” and he most certainly did!
Surviving are his wife, Lorna of Sartell; son, Marc (and Lori) Yanish of Clontarf, daughter, Julienne (and Fred) Pirie of Farmington; grandchildren: Chantalle and Spencer Pirie, Kelly Molden and Jarett Yanish; great grandson, James Mast and great granddaughter, Elise Molden. Also surviving are his siblings: Mick (and Sue) Yanish of Annandale; Ron (and Dianne) Yanish of Rochester; Gary (and Bonnie) Yanish of Plymouth; Steve (and Laurel) Yanish of Sartell and Chuck (and Linda) Yanish of Kimball as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.