Life Story / Obituary
Frank Noonan Bloom was a loving, thoughtful, and humorous man. He was a hard worker and never had a complaint. Frank knew how to have a good time and held a special place in his heart for his family.
At the tail end of the great depression, as many unemployed Americans were beginning to find work, Charles and Doris (Noonan) Bloom decided it was time to grow their family. On May 18, 1938, they welcomed their son, Frank into the world. He was born in Traverse City and lived in neighboring Maple City along with his older sister Katrine.
When Frank was five, his parents divorced and he and his sister moved to Frankfort with their mother. She later remarried Francis Dechow. As a teen, he loved driving across the frozen Crystal Lake during the winter months and often times left the car with a flat tire. His stepfather never said a word to him about it. Once in a while, the only police car in town would mysteriously end up on blocks so Frank and his friends could enjoy worry-free drag racing down Main Street.
Frank's first job at age 9 was as a pin setter in the bowling alley and later he worked as a gas station attendant. He attended Frankfort High School. After school, Frank enlisted in the Navy, but his time there was brief, and he soon transferred to the Air Force. He was a radar technician flying in an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEWAC) Aircraft. This type of aircraft ran radar to detect incoming enemy aircraft. Frank most enjoyed his time stationed in Morocco where he would take scooters with friends into the city. Frank's most famous story about his time in the Air Force was when he flew as the right wing escort for President Eisenhower's plane.
In the summer of 1958, Frank was on military leave and vacationing at Crystal Lake, where he met Judy Barr. Their first date was to the Cherryland Drive-In. Frank had to return to service a short time later, but he and Judy kept in touch with letters and fell in love. Frank was discharged and the two married on July 9,1960 in Midland and spent their honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula.
After his time in the Air Force, Frank attended dental school in Elkhart, Indiana, to become a dental technician. Due to money being scarce, Judy couldn't follow Frank at first but was luckily able to join him only six months later. When Frank graduated, he secured his first dental job in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He worked under an experienced dentist who mentored Frank and which led him to being skilled in his trade.
Frank and Judy settled in Grand Rapids where they welcomed their two children Allison Kay and Michael Frank. After 15 years, they relocated to Ada. Frank ran his own dental laboratory out of his homes for over 30 years where he primarily worked for three local dentists.
Frank and Judy had a warm and welcoming home where they often hosted friends and family. Evenings included a family dinner with everyone sharing the events of their day. The two were known for having season tickets to the Grand Rapids Owls and Grand Rapids Griffins. They were also avid Detroit Red Wing fans. Their son Mike played hockey from a young age through high school and Frank never missed a game. The family would take annual trips to Toronto for new hockey equipment.
Any neighbor of Frank knew how much he cared for his lawn. You could often find Frank outside where he would mow the lawn multiple times a week, fertilize and find any stray dandelions. Dandelions were no match for Frank; he would use an eye dropper full of weed killer on any dandelion in or near his yard. Yes, that included the neighbor’s yard at times in the cover of darkness!
The Bloom family vacationed every summer and were fortunate enough to have visited many places together. Frank and Judy celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1985 by going on their first cruise with long-time friends. In 1997, they moved to Comstock Park to be closer to their daughter and their first granddaughter, Jenna Michelle. By 2000, the family had welcomed two additional granddaughters Kaitlin Joy and Ashley Elizabeth. Frank and Judy spent these first few years being new grandparents spoiling their grandchildren in every way possible. Their fourth and final granddaughter, Madison Ann, was born in 2005. Earlier that year, the family cherished their trip to Disney World while Judy was still able to before her ALS progressed.
Frank mourned the loss of Judy when she died in 2006. They had been happily married for 46 incredible years.
After several years, Frank attended his high school reunion where he reunited with Dena Jaeger. They found comfort and love in each other’s company. In 2009, they decided to get married before settling down together in Traverse City.
As Frank got older, he began to enjoy the simpler things in life. Nothing brought a smile to his face quite like a good home cooked meal from those who loved him. He was known for his witty jokes that made the whole room erupt with laughter. Even though he called himself an “old-fart” he acquainted himself with technology and made daily phone calls with his children and grandkids. He even learned how to use Facebook and FaceTime.
Although the pressing weight of Frank's absence hangs heavy, those close to him may find comfort when they participate in all Frank loved to do. Whether it's just watching a hockey game, spending time with family, enjoying a home cooked meal, or sharing good conversations with loved ones. His joyous spirit lives on.
Frank Noonan Bloom, age 85 of Traverse City and formerly of Grand Rapids, passed away on September 3, 2023. He was preceded in death by his wife Judy in 2006; infant daughter Michelle Renee; parents Charles Bloom and Doris Dechow; sister Katrine Oatley; and stepfather Francis Dechow. Frank is survived by his wife Dena; children Allison Medendorp and Michael (Karen) Bloom; grandchildren Jenna and Katie Medendorp and Ashley and Madison Bloom; stepsons Donald (Katie) Jaeger, Kevin (Regina) Jaeger, and Robert Jaeger; step-grandchildren and step-greatgrandchildren; and brother-in-law John Oatley.
The service to remember and celebrate Frank’s life will be held on Saturday, September 30 at 1 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel. Friends are invited to visit with his family beginning at 12 Noon, and for a time immediately following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Senior Neighbors seniorneighbors.org. To read more about Frank, to share a memory, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com