Francis E. Both

Francis E. Both
Francis E. Both

Francis E. Both, age 94, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.

He was born on July 5, 1920, in Evanston, Ill., the son of John and Josephine (Schmidt) Both. Frank was in the Army during World War II in the Pacific Theatre from September, 1942 until February, 1946 when he was honorably discharged a staff sergeant. He began work with the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier in 1947, originally in Chicago/Evanston, Illinois area, then in Madison after his growing family moved first to Stoughton and then to Madison. Frank continued to carry mail until his retirement in 1980. He served two terms as Local Union President and two terms as State Union President for National Association of Letter Carriers. He was the health insurance agent for the NALC. He continued both these activities until his passing. Because of his commitment to the union, when the NALC opened a local union hall it was named “Francis E. Both Union Hall, NALC”.

Frank was never one to sit around. After retiring he became a salesman for Brookfield Uniforms, selling uniforms to carriers and clerks throughout Wisconsin and the U.P. until he reduced his territory to the local Madison area in 2003. He retired from Brookfield in 2013. Frank also worked for UW-Athletic, later Per-Mar, Security providing gate control for athletic and other events at the Kohl Center, Camp Randall and the Field House through 2012. You could find him at Gate 5 at Camp Randall until he became the guard for the tunnel to the locker rooms and the “good luck” mascot. All the players would rub his bald head for good luck, which lead to several Rose Bowl trips and back-to-back championships! Frank spent his free time helping his neighbors with odd jobs, volunteering, refinishing woodwork and caring for his house and yard. He started his life of strong faith as an altar boy at St. Nicholas in Evanston, later as a Level 2 Knights of Columbus life member and since the mid 1980’s as usher and general helper every Sunday morning at Holy Redeemer. Frank met Nancy Becker, his mother’s co-worker, when she invited Nancy to dinner. On May 19, 1951, they married in Stoughton, Nancy’s hometown and later welcomed three children into their family. Nancy preceded Frank in death, as did his parents and siblings.

Frank is survived by his children, Peggy (Randy Chase) Both, John (Theresa) Both and Mary Both; grandchildren, Drew Ferguson, Antonio Francis Both, Nina Brooke (Brian) Engstrom and Blake Ipson; and great-grandchildren, Darren and Tanner Engstrom. He is further survived by Ned Ferguson and Jim Wolff, who were close friends to the end.

Funeral Services will be held at HOLY REDEEMER, 144 W. Johnson St, Madison, at 10 a.m., on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, and at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a health care organization or an animal rescue of your choice. The family would like to extend grateful thanks to the staff at Heartland Hospice, who helped with Frank’s final weeks, and a special note of thanks goes to Teri Bemis for care above and beyond. Online condolences may be made at