Frank Weber to lead Scappoose Centennial as grand marshal
A longtime Scappoose resident and Veterans of Foreign Wars volunteer, Frank Weber, will be one of three grand marshals at the Scappoose Centennial celebration next month.
At 97 years old, Weber has existed almost as long as the city of Scappoose — though he took a few years to make his way to the town.
Weber grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, before enlisting in the Navy in 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and boarding the U.S.S. Colorado battleship. Weber served in World War II and the Korean War, before leaving active duty and joining the reserves.
After leaving the Navy, Weber moved to Portland, then made his way to Scappoose. He found a job as a pipe-fitter at Boise Cascade Paper Mill in St. Helens, then a major employer in the area. At Boise, Weber met Mae. The two — Mae with three daughters and Weber with one daughter — married and merged families.
While working at Boise, and since retiring more than 30 years ago, Weber has filled his days in a long list of community roles. At Boise, he was president of the AWPPW Local No. 1 union. He served more than three decades on the board of the St. Helens Federal Credit Union, now InRoads Credit Union, and more than two decades as president of the U.S.S. Colorado alumni association.
With fellow Boise mill workers Jim White and Dale Cooper, Weber organized blood drives in St. Helens and Scappoose for many years.
"If all the volunteers stayed home for three days, the United States — or any place — would almost collapse," Weber said.
The public often seems unaware of how much volunteers contribute to any community, Weber said. "They do a tremendous amount of all kinds of things," from giving blood, driving around people with mobility issues, preparing Meals on Wheels. Many local programs are entirely volunteer-run, "but at the same time, they really don't get any thanks."
Joining the Navy was among Weber's most memorable aspects of life. "Outside of that, I guess getting back safe and sound was one of my most memorable (times). I've met a lot of good people in Scappoose."
Weber has been involved with Veterans of Foreign Wars, post 4362, for roughly 30 years, he estimated, and previously served as post commander.
More than 13 years ago, the Spotlight asked Scappoose residents what they were thankful for around Thanksgiving.
"I'm thankful to be here. Eight-three years old? Why not," Weber said at the time.
Mae, Weber's wife, died in May 2018. The two were married for 53 years.
Now 97, older than roughly 99.9% of the country, Weber keeps moving.
In 2018, at 94, Weber took home three gold medals — in shotput, javelin and discus — and a silver medal in the Washington State Senior Games.
Two years ago, shortly before the senior games, Weber broke his hip in a fall outside his home.
Tom Ford, a close friend who Weber met through VFW, "has been my guardian angel" since the injury, Weber said.
"He's been my right-hand man ever since I got hurt," Weber said.
Ford and Weber are in contact daily, and Ford takes Weber to the post office, the credit union, the doctor's office, or wherever else he needs to go.
Weber, Ford and other VFW members have been a driving force behind a spate of local projects.
"When we built the memorial at Heritage ... that was the start of a lot of community stuff. The gazebo at Heritage Park — now I'm not bragging, but I'm the only guy that volunteered and stuck with it from day one to the end," Weber said.
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