Fallen Hero SSGT Frank M. McKinzie, United States Army” title=

SSGT Frank M. McKinzie

August 31, 1954 - December 31, 2015
U.S. Army

Staff Sargent Frank McKinzie was in the Army from 1972 to 1988. He went back into the service with the National Guard in 2001. In 2004 Frank was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to retire from the Army. His wife Gloria tells us that the army was his life, and when his cancer was in remission he wanted to go back in, but to no avail. He was in remission for several years and then in 2015 the cancer came back with a vengeance and Frank lost the battle on Dec. 31 of that year. On the Request Form Gloria had written: “I lost my best friend, the love of my life. He was such a wonderful caring man, and I miss him so much, so the portrait would be a real blessing.”

When Gloria came to my studio to pick up the painting it was apparent that her grief was still so raw. Seeing the portrait for the first time was a very emotional experience. She loved the painting and was beyond appreciative.

Shortly after viewing the portrait she and I were joined by the sponsor and my husband. We sat around the kitchen table and had coffee. We asked Gloria to tell us all about Frank. What a beautiful love story! It was a second marriage for both, and each had had some ups and downs in life…….hard knocks you might say. But Frank was an angel sent to her by God. He babied her. He brought her coffee in the morning and made her breakfast in bed. He did his own laundry so she wouldn’t have to lift heavy loads of clothes. They traveled, he took her places. This was treatment like she had not experienced before, and it was heavenly.

Gloria said Frank treated everyone with respect, and was also very active in the community of Waseca, Minnesota where they lived. Surely this man has a special place in heaven, and is helping to prepare a place for Gloria and all those whom he loved. It was indeed my honor to paint Frank. I feel like I know him very well!

Portrait sponsored by:
: Dave & Kay Swenson through the Cpl. Curtis M. Swenson Memorial Fund, Rochester, Minnesota