Frank F. Witkowski

February 16, 2009

Frank F. Witkowski


SARANAC LAKE — Frank F. Witkowski, 88, of 60 Church St., Saranac Lake, died Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009, at AMC – Uihlein Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 10, 1920, he was the son of Frank and Antonina (Czelusta) Witkowski. He married Lena Gareau on May 8, 1946, at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh.Lena predeceased him on June 21, 1991.He was a 1972 graduate of Adirondack Community College in Glens Falls.

Mr. Witkowski was a resident of Saranac Lake since 1937, coming to the region to “take the cure” from tuberculosis at Ray Brook State Tuberculosis Hospital. He was one of the longest-surviving Thoracic Surgery patients, one doctor identifying him as a walking medical museum. Frank was employed as an operating room nursing assistant and nursing assistant at Ray Brook and the Tupper Lake Tuberculosis Clinic for 32 years. He then worked at Uihlein Mercy Center until his retirement in 1987.After his retirement, Frank provided Home Health Care assistance and transportation for errands and medical appointments to local residents.Frank was a member of St. Bernard’s Church and the Knights of Columbus Council 599 for more than 45 years. He was a 4th Degree Knight and served as their financial secretary for more than 25 years.

Frank volunteered at the Adirondack Correctional Facility at Ray Brook assisting inmate visitors and was a Duplicate Bridge Club player for many years.

Frank is survived by his daughter, Claudia Fennell of Saranac Lake; his son, David, and wife, Catherine of Plattsburgh, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Melanie of Tumwater, Wash., Frank and Christopher of Plattsburgh; two great-grandchildren, Solomon and Darian of Tumwater, Wash.; and cousins in Buffalo and California.

He was preceded in death by his father; mother; and one sister, Mary.

Calling hours will take place at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home on Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.A Bible vigil service will be held at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.A Mass of Christian burial will take place at noon on Thursday, Feb. 19, at St. Bernard’s Church, with Father Thomas Kornmeyer officiating. Burial will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Saranac Lake.

Friends wishing to remember Frank may make memorial contributions to AMC – Uihlein, the Saranac Lake Adult Center or the American Lung Association in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home.Family and friends may also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at

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