Frank M. Hitlaw, Jr.
August 29, 1947 - September 7, 2009


Photo Gallery

Life Legacy

HITLAW, JR., FRANK M., age 62 of Sebring, FL died Sunday, September 7, 2009 at his residence. Frank was born August 29, 1947 in Trenton, MI. A graduate of Wabash High School, Wabash, IN. A veteran of the U.S. Army serving from October 1964 to September 1968 serving in Vietnam as a helicopter medic.. A receipent of the Purple Heart. Frank graduated from Purdue University with a degree in aeronautics. He worked in aeronautics in several locations around the work. He was a certified pilot, parachute rigger and aircraft mechanic. Services will be held 10:00 am, Friday at Sarasota National Cemetery with Pastor Gary Kindle of Faith Lutheran Church officiating. Military Honors will follow. MORRIS FUNERAL CHAPEL, Sebring, FL.


Born: August 29, 1947
Place of Birth: Trenton, MI USA
Death: September 7, 2009
Place of Death: Sebring, FL
Occupation: Aeronauctical Mechanic

Preceded In Death By

Frank M. Hitlaw, Father
Joyce Sylvia Bartel Hitlaw Cristman, Mother
      Survived By

Mary Ann Stout, Sister
Richard Hitlaw, Brother
Edward Hitlaw, Brother
Michael Hitlaw, Brother
Jerry Hitlaw, Brother


09/10/2009 - David Seestt
I was Frank's friend in Columbus, Indiana. We went through Purdue together, got our pilot licenses together, got our airplane mechanic's licenses (A & P's) together, and remained close friends through the years. On the funeral chapel website pictures, I am standing next to Frank in front of the airplane. Frank served two tours in Vietnam (volunteered for the second one - go figure?) from oct 16 '64 - sept 19 '68. I remember him telling me that he was 17 when he enlisted. He never talked about Vietnam very much, but did describe being shot down two times. He said he was a "groundpounder" before becoming a helicopter gunner. He was a Sheriffs Deputy in Wabash, IN where he grew up and was always the kid hanging around the airport. He show me a newspaper clipping one day where he had caught a burglar robbing a store (before he was a deputy). He made the thief dial the phone and call the police and turn himself in. It was a great story. Frank and I worked at Gulfstream Airlines together in Miami, he went on to work at Rich Airlines (Lockheed L1011's), Transcontinental Airlines (Boeing 727's), Paradise Island Airlines (Dash 8's), Polar Air Cargo (on Boeing 747's flying as an onboard flight mechanic around the world), and Adventura (727/747 in Indonesia). And there are a several others as well (such is the nature of airlines). He worked a lot as an Avionic's Technician (airplane electronic equipment), and was well known for his expertise in the field. Frank latest hobby was photography. I remember loaning him some cash one time when he was between jobs. I told him that the money was a gift.. "don't pay me back". When he got back "going" again, instead of sending me money, he sent me a brand new camera (he knew that I wanted one but would never spend the money to buy myself one). He became very good with the cameras, and made frequent trips to the cape to photograph shuttle launches. You'll see some spectacular shots on his facebook page (ever try to photograph a fast moving object - at night???). He had retired and was living in Sebring, FL. Frank's sister Mary told me that he passed away while sitting in his recliner at home. It was very sudden and unexpected. If you didn't know Frank well he came across as a bit "gruff". Once you new him, he was a jovial and kind-hearted man who helped so many people and never told anyone about it. I keep running into folks that tell me a quick story how Frank gave them a hand when they needed it. Frank was glad to have family nearby (but wouldn't admit it to them)! He was always concerned about his nieces and nephews and hoped that as "young people" they would realize they can do ANYTHING they want to and work hard and become ANYTHING they desired. "Make your desires a goal and then... go do it!" I will miss you Frank, you were my best friend.


09/10/2009 - Mila
Hi Dave, thanks to keep me up date on his news I the 1 of his friend in Jakarta-Indonesia he's the best customer in SPORTSMANS, the place where i m working now, I knew him 3 years ago n we still keep contact since he moved out. He's such a very kind people, yes!! He was helped me n my son also anybody. I'll always remember him He's the man regards, Mila


09/11/2009 - Ully
Hi David, The great story ....thks to sharing me about Frank's's make me know more about's a suprised that he was to be sherrifs deputy..he told me too that he had a great moment adventure with u..and when he told me about his adventure with u..I saw that how he was very proud that he had a best friend like's a wonderful friendship..I think he will be miss u too so much..


09/11/2009 - Agus Sutomo
I'm from indonesia sorry to much I do not come to looking you. I'm with family say to sorry about that. ragard agus


09/11/2009 - Arvind Patel

Hi David Sorry to hear of sad news of our friend. May his soul rest in peace, who is in Sebring right now. Regards Arvind Patel


09/11/2009 - John Goolsby
Sorry to here about Frank he was a very likable person, I knew him here a Miami, he would come to the test cell and visit. I am sure he will be missed. He was a fun person. Yours Sadly John Goolsby


09/11/2009 - Henry Gayer
Dear Mr Seest, First I want to thank you for sending me this email regarding the passing of Frank. Frank worked for myself anf my partner Allen Blattner for several years and he was a very fine person. I personally always enjoyed his sense on humor, and he will be missed. He was a great guy. Again, thank you for thinking about us. Henry Gayer Aventura Aviation LLC


09/11/2009 - Chuck Slusarczyk
Hi Dave I hope he gets the best military send off the VA can give him wish I could attend. I'll miss the old SB at airshows we had a lot of fun together over the years . It's the end of an era God bless him See ya Chuck

09/11/2009 - John
i met frank at george air force base.when i first met him i thought he was cranky,but after i got to know him at the sportsman bar in indonesia we became really good friends and i rarely saw him without a smile on his face after that.i used to like hearing his voice on the telephone and hearing his stories about flying his airplane to california.


09/11/2009 - David Seest
I was talking with Phil Clark and he reminded me about Frank's skydiving history. Frank learned to jump under the old round canopies in Richmond, IN. He would make his own designs and then test them.. sometimes they worked and sometimes well... not so much. He would sometimes actually wear 3 parachutes at times. He was a certified Master Rigger so he knew a lot about sewing and thread strengths. He told me the story about paying an airport kid 5 bucks at a skydive contest to hold the wind indicator in the wrong direction. The neighboring rivals all ended up in a cornfield somewhere but Frank's teem all made it right smack on the spot! Did I mention that he was a big race fan. Nascar the most but he loved the old Indy cars and even watched the Indy motorcycle races. If there was a race on.. he was probably watching it.


09/14/2009 - Chuck Slusarczyk

This was way to sudden .I'll miss ya you ol'phart We had good times together at Sun n Fun . We'll form up again sometime for a flight Clear skies old friend . Chuck


09/22/2009 - Juan Robles
We at Aventura Aviation LLC regret to hear this very sad news, Frank worked with us for many years in our project In Jakarta. I had a chance to work closely with him when I was sent to close down the operation over there. He will be missed. Juan Robles