The database page for Phillip Frank Hults
The circumstances under which I met "Frank" told me immediately the kind of person I was checking out at my register on Christmas Eve 1968.
At closing a devastatingly handsome young man walked up and had two shopping baskets full to the top with toys. My comment was, "You must have a lot of children!" Frank quickly came back with "Well, this basket is for my daughter and the second one here is for all of her little friends." He had me with that!
I finished bagging all of his precious holdings that he, Santa, had before me and smiled back at him with a holler of "Merry Christmas" as he left my register. I thought to myself what a great way that was to end my day.
The day after Christmas I saw that same beautiful face in front of me. "Santa" from Christmas Eve was presenting me with a beautifully wrapped package! I quickly unwrapped it to find a bottle of Channel No. 5.
I didn't know him but I now was curious. He took me to lunch and I came to find out he was the father of a beautiful 4 year old daughter named Elizabeth and he eagerly showed me a picture. I also found out he was nearing the final stages of a painful divorce.
Frank was 25 and here I was a first year college student and only 18 years old. I gave him my number and agreed to at least think about going out on a real date.
I did see Frank after a lot of coaxing on his part. Frank had an established business in Santa Fe Springs, loved to dance and made me smile until my cheeks hurt. He was generous, confident, selfless and loved children and music.
Frank was Roman Catholic and we went to church together several times. I'm not even Catholic. The most important thing was that my Mom and Dad really liked him! He spent time talking with my then 13 year old brother and was very respectful to me and my family.
Oh, did he love his daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth, if you ever happen to read this memorial, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, your father loved you so very much. I have always wondered what it would be like to know you. Elizabeth is probably 40 years of age now and I am sure has a lovely family of her own. Elizabeth was around me a lot but I am sure she would not remember me as I do her. I know this, you have been in my prayers every day since I last saw you. Your father was so very proud of you. I know he is looking out for you where ever you are, dear.
Frank was surprised by his selective service notification. He was to report early June of 1969 for basic at Fort Ord. I was devastated, but we talked on the phone and we wrote frequently to each other. Although we talked about Vietnam openly, we never thought for a moment of the awful possibility that he might not return to his family and me.
We had briefly discussed getting married prior to his deployment in September of 69, but instead decided to wait until his R and R. I sent my Frank off at Orange County airport. I bravely smiled back at that beautiful face walking away and waving goodbye. He never saw me cry.
My Mom and Dad knew of our plans as Frank called from overseas and asked for my hand and hoped for their help in getting his "package" to his R and R destination and for them to please be there as he knew I would be disappointed if they weren't. There was no wedding. My Frank didn't make it safely to his R and R. God took him in February of 1970 just before he was to go.
I would have grown old with him. We would have laughed and danced and had children to join Elizabeth. We would have enjoyed their laughter and shared so many things.
Christmas Eve forever will hold a special place in my heart. It is part of a great celebration of life. During that time in my life I had felt mine was just starting.
I know my life would have been so very different if Frank was still here. Frank, you are with me every day. You are my heart, and always in my prayers. God Bless you dear heart.
Waiting to be with you again, love,
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1 Aug 2005
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/01/2005