His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Lucy Catholic Church, 3101 Drexel Ave., at 6:00 p.m., on Monday, August 14th, with Rev. Richard Molter officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the Mass. Private family burial, with full military honors, will take place at West Lawn Memorial Park.
In the afternoon of Monday, August 07, 2017 Frank Marcel Bado peacefully succumbed to his long battle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Frank battled this bone marrow disease as it evolved into leukemia for more than ten years in much the same stoic, quiet fashion that he lived his life. He faced it toe-to-toe and never let it see him blink or even compromise his dignity. Frank was born to Sylvester and Agnes Bado on April 06, 1936, the youngest of four children: Irene, Sylvester Jr., and Joseph had preceded him. Frank graduated from St. Catherine’s high school in Racine in 1954. While there, he played basketball his freshman and sophomore years, but baseball was always his true passion, and he was a standout in all of his four years there. Rather than wait to be drafted, Frank volunteered for the United States Army right out of high school, and he left for boot camp in November of that year. He was stationed at Lakeland Air Force base in Texas, and he had fond memories of those times and credited them as shaping him into the man he would become. Eventually, he left the service in September of 1956, and that quickly opened the door for his job at S.C. Johnson’s Wax where he would work for the entirety of his professional career, lasting some 42 years. Frank began in earnest at Johnson’s Wax almost immediately upon leaving the service in early 1957, miraculously bypassing nearly every step imaginable to quickly land a contributing role in Research and Development. Sometimes he was bemused by the fact that, in those 42 years, he was the only one he saw come and go that did not have a formal college education. Often, he was in charge of teaching and supervising these upstarts. While working in R&D, Frank would take on the role of a Sample Technician and ultimately a Chemist. It was during his rise at Johnson’s that he met his lifelong companion and wife, Susan DeSmidt. The couple would go onto celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. Susan, in the late 1950s, worked as a secretary at Johnson’s, but also was entrusted to give tours of the buildings there that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wight, and Frank was taken to her quickly. He eventually married her in February of 1967 and also forged a warm, paternal relationship with her daughter, Penny Marie Duesler, whom he bonded with on long car rides through what he liked to call the “Area of Defunction” and the “Hippie Park.” By August of 1967, the couple had their first child together, Robert Scott. Michael David would follow in April of 1969. While at Johnson’s, Frank had a large role in creating one of the company’s signature products, Liquid Pledge, but he also helped in creating a great number of products including the hair shampoos Agree and, later, Halsa in which he spent a great deal of energy. In 1992, he was even a part of a team that was awarded a United States Patent for a Dip Tube Vapor Tap. He seemed to find this honor amusing, too. Although fatherhood and the rigors of his work kept him fully occupied, baseball stayed a constant, anchoring force in his life. Frank would play semi-professional baseball for successful teams such as Irv’s Buick until he was 40. He also played 12-inch softball (both fast- and slow-pitch) and even 16-inch (which he never really liked). Frank was on many championship softball teams during that run, including one that had particular meaning for him for DeMark’s Tavern in the late 1960s as he was able to play side-by-side with his eldest brother, Sylvester, with whom he shared a particularly close bond. Frank was a fiercely loyal man and would continue to stop in to eat beef sandwiches at DeMark’s on occasion for the rest of his life. Frank loved the game, but mostly the camaraderie that came with it and the friends he shared those victories alongside. Through much of this time, he played with his life-long friend, whom he met as early as kindergarten, Robert “Worm” Stanton, who became like an uncle to Frank’s own children. He and “Bob” would attend Brewers games and were great friends the rest of his life. He would stay on the diamond as a participant until 1976. Because of his love of sports, Frank began bowling quite competitively around 1976, eventually becoming a State Champion. At one point, he even appeared on the local T.V. show “Bowling with the Champs.” In the 13 years of his bowling, his average never dipped below 200. By the 1980s, he became involved in golf. While he tried to say he was not very good at golf, it was no secret that he was. Frank could crush a drive that left people wondering if they really just saw “that.” Really, though, he just loved the challenge the game presented to him and especially liked to iron out those kinks at the course he loved the most, Kenosha Country Club, where he was a member in the late 1980s. With the turning of the millennium, though, Frank eventually retired from Johnson’s. Work, however, was in his blood, and he didn’t stay fully retired long. It wasn’t long before he was driving cars for Erickson’s Auto Trim. It was a job that suited him well as he had a great love for cars – especially his 1966 GTO, always using the brand’s nickname of The Goat when fondly remembering it – and the driving of them. One of his favorite things to do was to just go drive. On these drives, he loved to see golf courses, tirelessly listen to his favorite artist, Frank Sinatra who always seemed to inspire him to do it “my way,” but, most of all, he loved to take his beloved mother on long drives, especially in the fall where she loved the changing of the leaves. He would drive cars for them for about ten years, despite the fact that he was having his own battle with the MDS that would eventually claim his life. Frank was a man who seemed to always put others first in this way. Those who preceded him in death, his father Sylvester, mother Agnes, sister Irene, nephews Tony and Tommy (whom was so special to him that he held him in the same regard as a brother), he never failed to remember with honor and longing. To cherish his memory, he is survived by his brothers Sylvester and his wife Marvis; and Joseph and his wife Marian; his wife Susan; his daughter, Penny and her husband Peter Niccolai and his son Trevor. In addition he is also survived by his eldest son Robert and his wife Carolina and their children Zachary, Maxwell and Julia. Frank, too, is survived by his youngest son, Michael. The Bado family would like to give a special thanks to the respected and trusted Dr. Michael Mullane, for his attentive care and kindness of Frank, a man that was dear to us all.