ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created to honor the life and memory of Frank Waldron.  He was born on December 31, 1926 and passed away on April 7, 2021 at 94 years old.  He had a zest for life and an ever-present smile which left everyone he met feeling like the most important person in the world.  He will forever be in all of our hearts.

Daddy O', Gramps, Dad, Pops, Sergeant Big Frank Waldron--he was known by many different names, but loved by all who had the pleasure to know him.  First and foremost, he loved Mom and deeply valued family--a trait he has passed on to all of us.

Lisa often told him that she wanted to be just like him when she grew up.  His are big shoes to fill, but she will continue to try to live life in the way that he did.

He taught us (and likely many of you) some fabulous life lessons and here are a few that stood out:

Nature Nurtures the Soul
Dad had a deep love and respect for nature.  He introduced Mom, and all of us kids to it at an early age.  We took many family camping adventures as well as backpacking trips to Sierra Lakes and the Grand Canyon. 

Evidence shows that spending time in nature reduces anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings.  Somehow, Dad knew this instinctively.  Maybe this is part of the reason he had such an optimistic outlook on life.

Life is Better with Chocolate
We're convinced that his love of sweets, and chocolate in particular, were one of the keys to his longevity!  He always had a bowl of chocolate bars on his table to eat and share with family and friends.  

He would tell a story of his days in the Army--he would trade the cigarettes in his rations with other soldiers for a chocolate bar.

Living proof that life is better with chocolate!

Whiskey is Better Without Water
Dad was never much of a drinker, but I do remember him asking for a cocktail at his 93rd birthday celebration with friends.  The first cocktail came with water, and he commented about the fact that there was too much water.  The second cocktail came straight up--and he commented that "this is more like it."

Be Kind and Genuine to Everyone you Meet
No matter where you went with Dad, people knew him by name: the boardwalk near his condo in Ventura where he often walked; the plumbing store where he did business, or Costco where he shopped.  People were genuinely happy to see him, called him by name, or sometimes offered a hug.  On a recent visit to the Costco hearing center everyone greeted him and I commented that it was like traveling with a celebrity because everyone knows him by name.  One of the employees responded back by touching his hand to his heart, and telling me it was because he was a truly kind person to the core.  That was our Dad.

Assume Positive Intent
Dad always saw the best in people.  He told a story of an inmate who he was responsible for while he was a Deputy at the Peter Pitchess Honor Rancho.  The guy was doing the right thing while he was there, but he wasn't getting enough to eat.  So Dad recommended that he be allowed to work in the kitchen, where one of the perks was extra food for the inmate kitchen workers.

In the days when Dad worked at the Honor Rancho, he also slept there.  Well one morning Dad overslept, and that same inmate came knocking on Dad's door to wake him.  Dad assumed that the inmate would do the right thing; he treated him with respect, and guess what--the inmate did the right thing!

Never Miss the Opportunity to Comment About a Beautiful Woman, or Mention the Fact that She Had Packed on a Few Pounds
Dad had an eye for beautiful women, and never missed an opportunity to extend a flattering compliment--be it the nurse in one of his doctors offices or a waitress in a restaurant.  And the women seemed to take a liking to Dad too, but the beautiful thing was that he didn't seem to recognize that.  He was a flirt until the day he died.

At the same time, he never failed to mention to those he was with, when he noticed that a woman had packed on a few pounds, or that "she never misses a meal."  Lisa would often tease him that apparently his mother never taught him the lesson "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  With his good looks and charm, he always seemed to get away with it though.

Lead by Example
These comments from those that worked for him and with him say it all:
  • "Happy Birthday to the BEST (and MY favorite) Academy Sergeant the Department ever had.  You had a major impact on my career!  Thank you!"
  • "Hello Frank!  We have met a couple times, but your reputation precedes you.  I'm a reserve with the Montrose SAR team, and I work closely with the Air 5 guys.  I have the utmost respect for the work you did, establishing what has become the most highly respected rescue program in the country."
  • "A leader and innovator who's professional child is a unit started in 1966 that has saved and salvaged so many lives that they are uncountable."
  • "Best sergeant on the department."
  • "Honored to know you and have worked in your great unit."
Growing Old Ain't for Wimps
It's been hard watching the man we all know transform; his body limiting him in more ways each day.  I'm sure that it was hard on him too, but he did it with such eloquence and grace that it was clear to us all--Dad was no wimp.

Run free now Dad; join Mom and family and friends that have gone before you; make new friends, and continue to spread your infinite smile and kindness.  We will miss you, but can find peace in knowing that yours was a life well lived.
Posted by Chris Young on April 29, 2021
I spoke to Sgt. Waldron several times during my time at SEB/ESD (96-19). He was always a pleasure to talk to. To this day I am amazed at the unit (ESD) he created and the esprit de corps he established. Rest In Peace Sir.
Posted by Eileen Ogle on April 24, 2021
Lisa, thank you for sharing your well done heartfelt presentation of many important and memorable times in Frank’s life. Frank gave us one of his phenomenal marine life photos which we are grateful to have on display in our Buena Vista condo as we so admired his skill as a photographer. Yes, the world will miss Frank’s wonderful smile, and those of us who experienced the warmth of his friendship will carry that warmth in our hearts. Eileen Ogle & Judith Nelson
Posted by Mike Kennard on April 22, 2021
The big thing I took away from working for a larger than life figure like Frank, was his attitude and ethos working ESD. He taught us to first step back and asses the scene, then step up to the plate and make things happen. Make a decision and own it! Worked for me for the rest of my ESD career. Probably why other deputies looked upon us ESD dudes as supervisors. We were all just channeling Frank Waldron. I would have loved to have been there when our Lt. Al Juliano either said or did something to Frank in the hallway of SEB one day. Frank turned and one punched Al, putting him on his butt. Must have made an impression on Al as there was no paper work or anything said about it afterwards. All us ESD guys knew not to yank on Superman's cape, it took Al just a little longer to get the word. 
Mike Kennard
ESD Paramedic 1972-95
Posted by Bernard Novatt on April 22, 2021
Dottie and I enjoyed meeting at Frank's condo #121 every week on Thursday at 5:00 o'clock. I also played poker with him over the years and having intelligent conversations. 

Frank was a very nice person to be with. I enjoyed his company and visited him many times by myself.

I am grateful to have known him and will miss him dearly.
Posted by Ray Gott on April 21, 2021
I, like Jim Weyant, first met, or encountered, Frank when he was a Tac officer for Class 96. He was the kind of man we all were inspired to be, but few made it. I really didn't "Know" Frank but I did know him. He had an impact on my career and my life. He was always an example as a Deputy and a Man.
There were few like him.

Ray Gott, Capt. retired
Posted by James Mulay on April 21, 2021
I Knew Frank when I was at S.E.B. during the 70's. He was a Great Leader and highly regarded.
Posted by Steven Jacobson on April 20, 2021
I first met Frank while I was in college attending the 19th LA County Underwater Instructor’s Certification Course in 1970. Frank bet me that I was too much of a pencil neck to make it through the Sheriff’s Academy. So, I took him up on his bet and subsequently was a member of the Sheriff’s Department for 37 years. I remember Frank well and can thank him for all the good memories I have had.

Steve Jacobson
LASD Retired
Posted by Jim Weyant on April 20, 2021
As a twenty-one year old rookie from Torrance, Sgt. Waldron was a commanding presence and a true inspiration for what became a lengthy and rewarding local policing career. I will never forget his guidance and leadership as the TAC Sergeant of Class Number 96 at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Academy in East LA!

Jim Weyant, captain (ret)
Torrance Police Department 
Posted by Jim Shuler on April 20, 2021
Frank was responsible for the formation of ESD in 1966. I was a cadet in the academy and his team put on a demonstration of what they were training for. Little did I know I would have the wonderful opportunity to work with ESD and Sgt. Frank Waldron as an Air 5 pilot. He was an amazing man, and produced the finest team of men I've ever worked with. Thank you Frank, for making possible one of the best times of my life, working with your team for many years.
Posted by Vance Kirkpatrick on April 20, 2021
Frank did more to improve the LASD than any division chief or Sheriff. Frank Scrahm and I used to hunt quail with him back in the 1960s, but we could never keep up with him. Vance Kirkpatrick
Posted by Carl Deeley on April 20, 2021
I count it a real missed opportunity to have not gotten to know Frank during my years with LASD. But, what a great reputation and legacy he left behind for others to follow. I am so sorry for your loss, yet what a wonderful blessing it must have been to have him in your lives for so many years.

Carl Deeley
Retired LASD

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Chris Young on April 29, 2021
I spoke to Sgt. Waldron several times during my time at SEB/ESD (96-19). He was always a pleasure to talk to. To this day I am amazed at the unit (ESD) he created and the esprit de corps he established. Rest In Peace Sir.
Posted by Eileen Ogle on April 24, 2021
Lisa, thank you for sharing your well done heartfelt presentation of many important and memorable times in Frank’s life. Frank gave us one of his phenomenal marine life photos which we are grateful to have on display in our Buena Vista condo as we so admired his skill as a photographer. Yes, the world will miss Frank’s wonderful smile, and those of us who experienced the warmth of his friendship will carry that warmth in our hearts. Eileen Ogle & Judith Nelson
Posted by Mike Kennard on April 22, 2021
The big thing I took away from working for a larger than life figure like Frank, was his attitude and ethos working ESD. He taught us to first step back and asses the scene, then step up to the plate and make things happen. Make a decision and own it! Worked for me for the rest of my ESD career. Probably why other deputies looked upon us ESD dudes as supervisors. We were all just channeling Frank Waldron. I would have loved to have been there when our Lt. Al Juliano either said or did something to Frank in the hallway of SEB one day. Frank turned and one punched Al, putting him on his butt. Must have made an impression on Al as there was no paper work or anything said about it afterwards. All us ESD guys knew not to yank on Superman's cape, it took Al just a little longer to get the word. 
Mike Kennard
ESD Paramedic 1972-95
his Life

A Star is Born: December 31, 1926

Born and raised in Alhambra, California, Dad was the oldest of three boys--Frank, Bill and Jack.

He joined the Army at the age of 18.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Frank Waldron

Dad and Mom met while he was having surgery on his shoulder in the V.A. hospital and Mom was a nurse caring for him.  They later married and the rest is history ❣️❣️❣️

They raised a family together, enjoyed successful careers and touched many lives together over their 60 years of marriage. 

Sheriff Extraordinaire

Dad told the family the story of how he found the career he was meant for.  He was working for Southern California Edison when a co-worker mentioned to Dad that the L.A. County Sheriff Department was testing.  That co-worker intended to take the test and asked Dad if he would like to take the test as well.  Dad took the test, passed with flying colors and was hired by the Department. Unfortunately, his co-worker didn't pass the test.

Dad was shown the way to an incredible career that he loved so much, and that became a big part of who he was.
Recent stories

Always be Humble & Kind

Shared by Lisa Sugich on April 18, 2021
Camping
Dad often took the family camping, and one trip was particularly meaningful.  He took me, Lee and two of our good friends, Diane and Jim to Arizona over spring break.  We set out to see the cliff dwelling Indians.  We camped very near to a reservation.

One afternoon an Indian from the reservation came over to the fence of the camping area and asked Dad for some money.  Dad told us kids that if he gave him money it would probably be used for no good.  So he walked over to the campsite; made the guy a bologna sandwich and grabbed a bag of Fritos. 

The image of the Indian eating the sandwich and chips, and the lesson of kindness that Dad showed us is forever etched in my mind.

Life in the Valley [Through son Lee's eyes]

Shared by Lisa Sugich on April 20, 2021
Life in the Valley
Our valley home was a place for family gatherings, and football games in the street. We kids decided that we needed yard markers in the street to make the field "official" and low and behold there was dad helping us measure and paint the yard markers. Those yard markers were still there in 1991 when mom and dad moved to Ventura.  

Pool parties for family and friends were also a major draw. When mom and dad were off at work, the kids would take running leaps off of the roof into the pool. Luckily we all survived that, and dad never found out. 

Friends
Wherever dad went, he made friends. It never ceased to amaze us kids. We would walk into the plumbing store with him and everyone would give a hearty welcome, smile and hello to Frank. The grocery store was the same, along with the bike store and most of the folks in his Ventura condo. It seemed to us that everyone loved dad. This was because dad loved life and spread his smile and happiness to all those he met.

Dad enjoyed our friends as much as we did. Dad loved to banter back and forth with Mike's buddies Jim Brown, Jim Brady, Grant Webb and Larry Fitzgerald. When they were young men with all the answers, they would share with dad. He engaged them and smiled that smile that said "OK we'll just have to wait and see".

There was nothing he enjoyed more than loading all the gear on board, and setting off for a camping trip with the kids and their friends. We camped in the Sierras, the desert Southwest, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Dad loved to give nick names to our friends. He called Diane Eskridge "Dianeeeee!", and Jim Yorke "James Tetanus Yorke" (not sure how he came up with that but we all loved it).

Grand Canyon Adventure [Through the eyes of son Mike]

Shared by Lisa Sugich on April 25, 2021
Many years ago in my 17th year, Dad, Lee and I along with two of my friends took a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. All five of us, along with all our backpacking gear drove in Dads 1958 VW. It was Easter break of my senior year of high school and it was cool when we arrived. We spent that night camped out on the rim and started down the Kaibab Trail after breakfast the next morning. After hiking for most of the day, we arrived at a campground downstream from the Phantom Ranch. It was beautiful in the canyon and very warm, about 90 degrees as I recall. We spent the week doing day hikes and swimming in Powell Creek where it intersects with the Colorado River.
We were lucky to be on the beach when the 'Woman of the River' Georgie Clark stopped during one of her trips down the Colorado. She guided trips down the river beginning in 1945. Dad knew all about her, and told us about her exploits.
On the day before we hiked out, the local ranger came to our camp and asked if we had been drinking the water from the campground. We had. He let us know that a septic tank was leaking into the water supply and not to drink. Too late, we had been drinking it all week with no ill affects.
The next evening, after dinner we began our climb to the rim. We were all young and in great shape, and made the hike in hours. At the rim, we all started to feel the sick. Imagine the drive from the south rim to the San Fernando Valley with five sickies stopping every few miles to be sick. A memorable ride. We all survived to tell the story and to make many more backpacking trips with Dad. He instilled a love the outdoors that we all enjoy to this day. Thanks for the great memories Dad.