During this season of Thanksgiving, we remember Frank Molina who died peacefully at home in Santa Barbara, California on August 15,2014, a few weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. He was born in New York City and raised, along with older siblings Edgar and Elsie, throughout that city by their parents Frank and Amalia Molina. His parents emigrated from Guatemala to the United States in 1916, and his father worked on Wall Street in the coffee export business.
Frank was attending NYU night school when the U.S. entered World War II. He joined the Air Corps and with the 450th Bomb Group, piloted B-24 Liberator bombers out of Manduria, ltaly. He loved flying – the thrill of learning loops, rolls, spirals – the thrill of being up amidst the clouds. However, the joy of flying
was severely tested during his time in Italy. He escaped many harrowing situations – shrapnel damaged planes, an emergency landing in Corsica, bailing out over Germany and time in an internment camp in Switzerland. Frank and the navigator from his plane escaped Switzerland and with the help of the French Maquis, returned to their base in southern Italy.
Back in the States at Christmas,1944, in the Savarin Bar in Penn Station, he asked Barbara Jean Goudy for her hand in marriage. She accepted, they married on April 14, 1945 and lived happily together for almost 70 years. They moved to Laguna Beach, California in 1946 and a few years later to La Crescenta where they raised their two children Barbara and Bill.
Frank and Bob Ford partnered in the Ford-Molina Company where they represented a wide variety of product lines and were the first US distributors for Sony Electronics. Frank and Bob were great friends as well as partners; they worked together for over 40 years.
Frank immersed himself in life and at one time or another enjoyed skiing, sailing, soaring, tennis, hiking, biking, horseback riding, water skiing, backpacking, scuba diving, golf archery shooting. He was an avid reader and investor. He and Barbara (Bobbie) traveled extensively throughout the world and shared their passions and adventures with their children, grandchildren and friends.
Frank leaves behind many friends in addition to many tech support call-center folk throughout the world who will “miss” his penetrating questions. He never stopped his love of learning and exploring -including the world of technology.
Frank was known for his integrity, sense of humor, graciousness and tenacity. He will be sorely missed.
When asked how he wished to be remembered, he replied: “My life was the most wonderful a man could have”
Frank is survived by his beloved wife Barbara, his two children Barbara Howell (Joe) of Santa Barbara and Bill Molina (Suki) of Boise, Idaho as well as his grandchildren Ben Howell (Elena), Sarah Howell Natalini (Lucas), Libby Molina, Kerry Molina and two great-grandchildren Beckett and Cleo Howell.
In memory of Frank, donations may be made to your favorite charity.