Sunday, June 10, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - Where did Frank go after San Quentin?

Frank Gingg is my husband's maternal great grandfather.  I have written a previous post about the crime that lead him to spend some quality time in San Quentin (Black Sheep Sunday - My Dad Lived In San Quentin).

I have known since a vacation with my husband's family in 2001 that Frank lived in Alaska.  We enjoyed a cruise of the Inside Passage including a stop in Ketchikan.  I remember Grandma Shirley pointing out the newspaper office.  She told us a story of visiting her dad one summer and coming to the paper where he worked as a printer.

What I did not know at the time of the cruise is that Frank had spent at least six years in San Quentin starting in 1933.  I have been wondering since my previous research what was Frank's life like after prison.

Last fall I was contacted by a new cousin who had read my original blog post about Frank.  This cousin is the son Frank adopted after getting remarried in Alaska.  For privacy I will call this person Cousin L.  Cousin L has been wonderful sharing information about his memories of Frank and a cd full of photos.

The digital files I received included a obituary from the newspaper in Ketchikan.  The obituary states that Frank had lived there for 15 years.  This puts his approximate date of arrival as 1942.  We know that Frank was sentenced to at least 6 years in prison in 1933.  It is more likely that he was in San Quentin for 8 or 9 years.

I know that Shirley spent at least two summers with Frank after his arrival in Ketchikan.  Shirley married in 1947 so I am guessing these summers took place about 1943-1945.

After Frank arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska he made contact with a childhood friend named Cecil.  Cecil was had two children from a previous marriage.  Frank and Cecil were married February 26, 1953 in Alaska.  Frank adopted both of Cecil's children.

Frank, Cecil and the kids 1954

Cecil and the kids moved to Ketchikan where they resided at 1200 Millar Street.

View from 1200 Millar Street

Frank, Cecil and the kids enjoyed life in Ketchikan.  Frank worked as the mechanical superintendent at the Daily News in Ketchikan.  He was in charge of all the printers.  The family used to swim in the summers and ice skate in the winters at Ward Lake.  Cousin L has many warm memories from this time in Alaska.

Frank Gingg circa 1957

In October 1957, Frank and Cecil drove to California for a visit with Frank's family.  He would visit his mother, Belle; daughter, Shirley; and sister, Catherine.  This would be the first time that Catherine and Frank would see each other in many years.  It would also be the last.  On the drive back to Alaska, Frank would suffer a deadly heart attack in Weed, California on October 26, 1957.  His body was taken back to San Francisco for funeral services.  Frank is buried at Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California.

1 comment:

  1. Such a fascinating story. Alaska seems like the kind of place you could go to escape your past.