Obituary: Frank Thomps Neidiffer, 79
Frank Thomps Neidiffer, 79, died on July 20, 2013 in Petersburg, Alaska. Neidiffer was born on his parents' ranch on May 15, 1934 in the family home to Walter and Lillian Neidiffer in Holtville, Calif. He had eight siblings, one brother and seven sisters. His father provided for this large family as a sheep herder. It was here that Frank learned to raise sheep and other livestock. Due to this type of work, he developed a love for animals and especially for the dogs he trained for herding and for work on the ranch. Because of this experience he would often have a dog by his side as a constant companion.
Frank spent a large measure of his time hunting and fishing. By the time he had grown into a man, he had hunted and fished all the way from New Mexico to Alaska. Another skill he acquired as a youngster growing up on his parents' ranch was gardening. This was something he would continue doing for the entirety of his life. Just this summer he had raised bumper crops of radishes, garlic, onions, potatoes, rhubarb, and also tomato plants.
Frank as a child, attended military school and then, followed in his father's footsteps and began herding sheep and other livestock. He decided to expand on this livelihood and moved to Dixon, Calif. where he not only continued buying and selling livestock but also started driving and transporting his purchases himself, via long haul truck. It was also at this time he met his wife, Joyce Ann Dixon. Their marriage blessed them with four boys, Frank, John, David and Darrel.
Frank and Joyce eventually went their seaparate ways. Frank continued to drive and deal livestock and then sometime in 1962 he met and married Marguerite Teresa Flores. A couple of years later Frank and Margie adopted the 5th Neidiffer boy, an infant they named Mark Anthony. For 14 yrs they all lived as a family and Frank watched his sons grow. But, eventually he and Margie also split and it was at this time that Frank began to pursue his dream of going to Alaska. His eldest son Frank was already logging in and around Petersburg for the Reid Brothers so, he went on up and paid his son a visit. It was during this time that Frank fell in love with this beautiful and rugged country. Before long he had secured himself a job driving truck for Reids and purchased a small cabin across the bay. Shortly after this, his son Mark came up and lived with him in the little cabin and also in the various logging camps where Frank would work.
After working in the logging industry for many years, Frank felt the need for yet another adventure. He saw his chance when his sons Mark and Frank were wanting to get into the fishing industry. Frank and his two sons became the owners of two trollers, Mark had the Patricia Louise and his eldest son, Frank had the Angela K. After many good years of fishing, Frank left it to his sons and retired. He spent his final years gardening, creating arts and crafts and enjoying his sons and his grandchildren.
At times he could be a little difficult to understand and was the very definition of a complete "character", there was never any doubt that he would always be there for his loved ones.
He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Lillian, siblings John, Maryann and Lillian(Lolly), and son David. Frank is survived by his sons Frank, John, Darrell and Mark; sisters Jane, Kathy, Nancy, Edith and Christine; grandchildren Justin, Frank T, Mathew, Courtney, Marky, Alice and Frank W.
A celebration of life will be held in the fall, after fishing season. Tentatively, a potluck at the Petersburg Moose Club will be held, the exact date and time TBA.