Salem, NH — Frank E. Hersey, 90, died at home surrounded by family after a brief illness. Four days prior, he celebrated his birthday with family and friends. He was born in Lynn, the son of Hilda (Hersey) and John Frank. He graduated from Woodbury High School, Salem, NH in 1941.
First Lieutenant Frank Hersey served in the US Army Air Corps as a B-24 Bomber pilot in the Asiatic Theater in Burma, China and India from 1944-1945. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster. In flying school, he was known as the “brains of the mob.”
In 1945, Frank worked, as his father had, for the United Shoe Machinery Corp. His entry level position was shoe machinery repairman, later becoming District Manager, then Midwest Regional Manager based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was transferred back to Brockton, where he retired from USM in 1986. While building his first house, he partnered with his friend, Charlie Gordon, doing business as Gordon & Hersey Plumbing and Electrical, while employed by USM Corp. Frank was a self taught master craftsman. He shared his knowledge and talents with his children as they apprenticed with him on several major and minor projects. He built his home in Salem in 1948 and a home in Kiel, Wis. in 1974 at School Hill. Frank’s family tenting vacations began in 1953. The favorite vacation spots were Hermit Island, Small Point, Maine and Sebago Lake State Park, Maine. In 1965, he built a 23 foot travel trailer to accommodate all nine family members. In 1966, he took the family cross country to Los Angeles and Washington State to visit family. When he retired, he built a truck camper. At age 80, Frank built a garage/workshop at his Florida winter home. Frank’s work ethic is summed up by him saying, “If the sun is up, you should be working.” His talents also included auto mechanics and body work.