Frank Piantek, 79, of Fennville, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his sleep on the morning of November 4, 2023. Frank was born in 1944 in Chicago, IL to Frank Piantek Sr. and Lottie Piantek. He married his wife, Gloria, in 1973, and celebrated their 50th anniversary in February. Gloria stayed true to their love by ensuring that he received the best care at Douglas Cove Health and Rehabilitation in his final days. Together they had three amazing children: Jacquelyn Mazza (Kenneth Mazza), Jamie Conery (Mat Collins), and Dennis Piantek.
Frank inherited his mother’s cheeky sense of humor and there was never a dull moment when it came to having conversations with him, especially regarding politics. He was known to be opinionated and bull-headed at times but always had a heart of gold when it came to his family. He sacrificed everything for them and would do anything for them. Frank was an adventurist when it came to his children. A typical summer in our childhood was spent swimming at the lake, watching the sunset on the beach, riding bikes to the library or tastee treat, playing a quick and often-times hilarious game of tennis, and visiting Nana for coffee and pink fluff pie. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Paul Piantek (Cheryl Piantek). He is survived by his sister Elaine Lewis.
Frank proudly displayed a Michigan State University flag and had an entire wardrobe of MSU clothing in support of his two daughters’ alma mater. He worked as a bus driver for Fennville Public Schools for 25 years, retiring but still supporting the transportation department. He had a true passion for the school and his role – instilling this in his son, who is now carrying on that legacy as a Special Education Para-Professional at the school. You couldn’t shut Frank up about how proud he was of all his children.
Known as Frank in town, he was known as “Dooty”, “Daddy”, and “Grandpa” to us. He was so much more than just our father – he was our whole world. He was the glue and light that guided us to who we are today. He ensured his daughters were self-sufficient, strong, intelligent women. He ensured his son was compassionate, intelligent, and resourceful. He always ended every conversation with “I love you” honey; and gave the biggest hug if you were there with him. He loved his sons-in-law, Ken, and Mat, and would sit and talk with them for hours. Who did he love the most though? His two “sponges” – his granddaughters; Alyson, and Brianna. Grandpa would spoil them every chance that he got! Despite interference from the family to “just say no” we ultimately knew that if the granddaughters asked, he would give them anything that they wanted.
Known as Bus Driver Frank or Mr. Frank to many of the students at Fennville Public Schools, he loved being a bus driver – but loved his “kids” even more. Up until his passing, he still fondly recalled many of the students he had on his bus. If he was your bus driver, please know he loved you all and remembered each and every one of you.
He didn’t want a funeral – he wanted a celebration. The family will be scheduling a celebration of life, or “Frank’s Party” in 2024.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Fennville Public Schools Transportation Department in his name. This is what he would have wanted – a safe bus ride for all students.