MECCA, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Frank Holko, 100, Mecca, Ohio. Another member of the greatest generation was called home by the angels on Saturday, January, 21, 2023 at Cortland Health Care Center.

Frank Holko was born to parents, Michael and Mary Evan Holko, on March 21, 1922, in Mammoth, Pennsylvania. He was the 11th child born to his parents and along with his nine brothers and two sisters, the first generation of Holkos in the United States. His father was a coal miner and his mom tended to the family and chores at home. When Frank was about one year old, his family moved to Neffs, Ohio. The family lived in a primitive company house with no running water or electricity. An outhouse was in back.

In 1928, the Holko family moved to Warren, Ohio. Frank’s dad got a job at Republic Steel and left the dangers of the coal mines. They were welcomed into the modern age. Their new house had electricity, toilets that flushed and running water, along with a coal furnace.

Frank went to Dickey Avenue School for 2nd-6th grade and to West Junior for 7th-9th. From there, to Warren G. Harding, graduating in June, 1940.

Frank caddied until he got a job at Van Huffel Tube Company in 1940. He was a slitter operator, and his starting pay was $0.57½ an hour. When he got his paycheck, he gave his mom half of his money to help out at home.

When WWII broke out, Frank went to the recruiting office in downtown Warren and volunteered for the Army. He received his uniforms and was sworn in on October 6, 1942. Then after basic training, he took a ship to Cardiff, Wales. He landed on Utah Beach on June 14, 1944. When landing on Utah Beach, the soldiers had to climb down on cargo nets to get into landing crafts to get to shore. Frank’s first thought was, “I wonder if I will ever come out of here alive and make it back home to see my brothers, sisters and parents.” While in Belgium, Frank captured three German soldiers without incident and was given a Bronze Star. At the end of his tour, he boarded the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier. The ship arrived in New York Harbor on December 24, 1945. The Statue of Liberty was the first landmark seen by the soldiers. Frank arrived home on December 28, 1945. Frank’s total tour of duty was 39 months, with 21 months overseas.

In January, 1946, Frank went back to work at Van Huffel. He worked there until 1947. Frank went to Thomas Steel and while working there, also went to barbering school under the GI Bill. Frank opened his barber shop at his residence in Mecca in 1956. He then teamed up with his brother, Ed, in 1959. This was called Ed and Frank’s Barber Shop. They barbered until 1972. Frank went to Packard in 1973 and stayed at Packard for 14 years. He retired in 1987 at age 65.

Frank married Mary Zakrajsek on August 26, 1950. They lived in Warren until moving to their new home in Mecca in 1954. Frank was married until Mary’s passing in 2018. Frank and Many enjoyed traveling with family to the Outer Banks and Canada.

Frank was a member of the Mecca VFD from when it first started and stayed for 22 years. He was one of the pioneer firemen who helped start the department, even helping in the construction of the building.

It is believed he was the oldest living resident of Mecca.

Frank loved to garden and also had many fruit and nut trees. He was known as the “Tree Man” to many people as he loved to give small trees, plant starts and advice on pruning and gardening to friends and neighbors. Frank also loved to fish. He was very handy doing repairs around the house.

Frank and Mary attended the First Church of God in Newton Falls.

Frank was preceded in death by brothers, Mike, George, John, Andrew, Joe, Steve, Paul, Peter and Ed; two sisters, Mary Slavik and Elizabeth Balash and several nieces and nephews.

Frank is survived by two sons, Dennis (Laura) Holko and Jerry (Dorothy) Holko; four grandchildren, Chad (Nicole) Holko, Craig (Stephanie) Holko, Megan (Richard) Krcal and Mallory (Stephen) Gabrovsek and four great-grandchildren, Luke and Lily Holko, Logan and Hannah Gabrovsek.

There will be no services at this time.

For his dedicated service to the Mecca community, family would ask any donations to be made to the Mecca Volunteer Fire Department, 6333 OH-46, Cortland, OH, 44410.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Carl W. Hall Funeral Home is honored to assist with these arrangements.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, January 24 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.