Frank J. Bencze

Frank J. Bencze, 92, of Tupper Lake, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, surrounded by his loving family.

Calling hours for Frank will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Frary-Stuart Funeral Home in Tupper Lake. A funeral service will immediately follow, with Dan McClelland officiating.

Frank is survived by his wife Betty; their three sons: Doug and his wife Sarah, Calvin and his companion Toni Reandeau, and Glenn and his wife Marci, all of Tupper Lake; two brothers: Lawrence and William, both of Greenfield Center; and six grandchildren: Ashley, Mackenzie, Willie, Charlie, Grant and Colin; as well as several great-grandchildren. Frank is predeceased by his parents Frank and Julia Dunay Bencze.

Frank was born in Greenfield Center on Dec. 25, 1927, the son of Frank and Julia Dunay Bencze. He graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in 1943 and went on to graduate from New York State Ranger School at Wanakena in 1946. Upon that graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army during World War II in the counter-intelligence corps. He also graduated from Paul Smith’s College in 1951, as well as SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1953. Frank married the former Elizabeth “Betty” Bedore on Oct. 27, 1956, at Holy Name Church in Tupper Lake, and together they raised a beautiful family.

Frank came to Tupper Lake upon his graduation from SUNY ESF and became a forester for the Oval Wood Dish Corporation. This would be the start of a 65-year affiliation with the corporation. Frank advanced rapidly at OWD as vice president and manager of its extensive woodlands in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. During his lengthy career in the wood industry, Frank was employed as procurement manager for U.S. Plywood Corp. as well as Tupper Lake Veneer Corp. for approximately 15 years. He has been involved with many state and regional wood industry organizations over the years. He served as chairman of the Adirondack chapter of Society of American Foresters and was one of four people widely known in the field who were delegated to draw up a set of timber harvesting guidelines for New York state loggers. Locally, he served on the village zoning appeals board, the town of Altamont zoning committee, was a commissioner on the Tupper Lake Housing Authority and chairman for the New York State Tree Farm Committee. Since its inception in the 1950s, Frank was an integral part of the Tupper Lake Woodsmen’s Field Days, serving as a board member for over 35 years as well as treasurer for many years. In 2019, Frank was honored by the local Lions Club in recognition and appreciation for 60 years of service. He was also a longtime member and president of the Potter Brook Hunting Club.

Frank enjoyed spending his time outdoors hunting, snowmobiling and gardening. He also loved watching his grandchildren play hockey.

Donations in Frank’s memory can be made to the Tupper Lake Woodsmen’s Association at 14 2nd St., Tupper Lake, NY, 12986, and the Tupper Lake Rescue and Emergency Squad at 169 Main St., Tupper Lake, NY 12986.

Condolences can be made online at www.fraryfuneralhomes.com.