Frank Stanley Pierz, 81, of Amarillo, TX concluded his life on January 18, 2024, after sudden cardiac arrest.
Frank was born in Jersey City, NJ on July 22, 1942, to Stanley Pierz and Mary Hociej and grew up in Kearney, NJ. As the second of seven children, Frank would introduce his mother to ADHD many years before it was generally understood, creating quite the challenge to his parents. He would regale to friends and family of how his mother had to tie him up from time to time as a small child, often to raise or lower the expectations of his audience for the joke that was surly soon to follow. Unfortunately, the carefree antics of his childhood came to an end when he had to take a leadership role at the age of 14 with his older sister Barbara after Stanley died at the age of 44. While helping to raise his other siblings, Jerry, Mary, Annie, John, and Vicki, the family was hit hard again when John passed at the age of 16. Still enduring, he formed a bond with his remaining brother Jerry, his best friend, his “main man”. Together they played sports, and Frank earned the name “Flash” as the captain of the Kearney High School football team.
Frank met the love of his life, Carol Feist at Hoey’s Fish & Chips in Harrison, NJ, where Frank impressed her with his good looks, wit, and proficiency as a dishwasher. Carol would return every summer from Ohio to work in her uncle’s store and continue to grow her relationship with Frank, and ultimately marry him after his persistence prevailed.
Frank received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Rutgers University. He began his career working for various companies but ended up at the Panasonic Corporation as a business manager for the near entirety of his working career. His analytical and personal skills were an asset to a conservative Japanese company. His sense of humor and off-color joke telling skills helped build the human resource barriers we all enjoy today.
Frank was above all, a family man. In 1972 they relocated to Hazlet, NJ to raise their two beautiful, smart, charming, and all-around awesome children, Melanie and Frank Jr. When Carol would work on the weekends to make ends meet, Frank would bring his kids to every state park, museum, and outdoor concert in the greater New York/New Jersey area, sometimes against their will, and sometimes against the venue’s will. Frank balanced his family life with a love of the outdoors. Frank was an avid fisherman who, together with his brother Jerry, coined the moniker describing undersized fish as, “Turn your head!” He had many adventures to Alaska, Canada, and “Quinzee”. He coupled that with his enjoyment of losing bait and expensive lures on the beaches of Sandy Hook near his home.
Perhaps Frank’s lasting legacy is his willingness to help others. In his younger years, you would find him helping family members and friends doing some of the hardest manual labor. Coincidentally, Piels and Pabst Blue Ribbon had their highest sales during this time period. He spent countless hours maintaining and improving the local soccer and baseball fields where his kids were involved. He spent a considerable amount of time volunteering with the Kearney VFW, which he was associated with through his brother Jerry. He was also the neighbor you could call to help you do anything, including drinking the beer you had but you didn’t want. After he retired, and relocating to Amarillo, TX, he spent the majority of his time with the Area Agency on Aging, where he served as an ombudsman among other roles.
He was preceded in death by his sister Barbara and her husband Emil Ricci, brother John Pierz, and brother Jerry Pierz (survived by wife Dolores Paulin). Surviving are his daughter Melanie Pierz and fiancé Mark Barons, son Frank Pierz and wife Jessica, grandchildren Jerry Proffitt and partner Selina Rael, Tara and husband Wyatt Heimann, Emily Pierz, Victoria Pierz, great-granddaughter Scoutt Heinmann, sisters Mary and James Cregan, Annie and Mike Walsh, Vicki and Les Epstein, and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 2:00 PM at St. Thomas Apostle Church, Amarillo, TX. A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at a later date in New Jersey.