Frank Yanish, 75, of Sartell, formerly of Willmar, died Friday, May 24, 2019, from complications of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare progressive neurodegenerative brain disease that increasingly impacted his vision, balance, mobility, swallowing and speech.

Francis Ambrose Yanish was born Aug. 12, 1943, in Watkins, the son of Herbert and Evelyn Yanish. He grew up in Annandale, where he graduated from Annandale High School in 1961. Frank was forever an entrepreneur and started his first small business along with his friend, Bengt, from Sweden, when they set out for California in his VW Bug. Following this venture, he returned to Minneapolis and went to work for Mankato Welding. This is when he met his wife to be, Lorna Hahn, when he was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserves in 1965. They were married on May 1, 1965.

While Frank was a sales rep, they moved to Willmar in 1973. He spent 25 years in the food industry, before he and Lorna purchased Central Tire and Auto along with their son, Marc, and son-in-law, Fred. Marc worked with them for 21 years and Fred for five years. Together, they grew the business to be very successful and in 2014, they decided to sell the business and retire.

Frank served as Willmar’s Mayor from 2011 to 2014. He was proud to have been elected to serve the city. He also loved southern gospel music and wanted to share it with the Willmar community so with Lorna, he started FLYAway (F-Frank, L-Lorna Y-Yanish) Promotions. Several concerts were held around the area including New Year’s Eve Gospel Concerts at St. Mary’s which brought well known performers to the area.

Frank also had a passion for the stock market, politics and going to the casino, where he always thought he could beat them! His motto was that he was here on earth “to make a difference” and he most certainly did!

Surviving are his wife, Lorna of Sartell; son, Marc (Lori) Yanish of Clontarf; daughter, Julienne (Fred) Pirie of Farmington; grandchildren, Chantalle and Spencer Pirie, Kelly Molden and Jarett Yanish; great-grandson, James Mast; and great-granddaughter, Elsie Molden. Also surviving are his siblings, Mick (Sue) Yanish of Annnadale, Ron (Dianne) Yanish of Rochester, Gary (Bonnie) Yanish of Plymouth, Steve (Laurel) Yanish of Sartell, and Chuck (Linda) Yanish of Kimball; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, May 30, at Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Funeral arrangements were with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home, Willmar.