Frank P. Steves, Jr., entered into rest on April 6, 2012 at Pacifica Senior Living in Modesto, CA. He was born March 21, 1935 in French Camp, CA, to the late Frank and Edna Steves, Sr.
Frank is preceded in death by his parents and his three siblings; Frank Steves (infant), Lawrence Steves, and Tom Steves. Mr. Steves is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Beverly Ann Steves. He has three children; Jeff M. Steves (Margaret), Brett Steves (Yvette M.), and Karen Ott (Frank L.). He was blessed by six grandchildren; Steven Ott, Erika-Rea Steves, Taylor Steves, John Ott, Alexandra Steves and Austin Steves. In addition, Frank has three siblings that survive him, Betty Pratt (Chub), Robert Steves Sr. (Dolores) and Doreen Steves.
Frank started life out as the son of an immigrant dairy farmer. Educated in local Ripon and Manteca schools, Frank graduated from Manteca High School in 1953. Soon after school Frank became a member of the California National Guard. Towards the end of high school, Frank went to work for Mendosa's Mens Wear. In a short time Frank became a valued employee.
In 1955, he was recruited by Jerry Knapp to work in sales at the Manteca Motors Ford dealership, later to become Knapp Ford. Frank quickly moved up from sales to manger to general manager/part owner. Opportunity knocked and Frank purchased the Oakdale Chevrolet Buick agency from Byron Erkenbrecher in 1974.
While Frank was signing the franchise papers in San Francisco he called the local Bank of America manager for some information. The bank manager had been trying to get a hold of Frank and had some very unfortunate news. The dealership he had just bought caught fire and was a total loss. Undaunted, Frank quickly inquired about a vacant Pontiac dealership building across the street, purchased the property and moved on.
Steves Chevrolet Buick in Oakdale would feature Frank's strong work ethic and approach to car sales that revolved around service. Frank would often say “Service will sell the next car.” Those principles continue at the dealership to this day. In 2004, the Steves family would purchase the Chevrolet franchise in Chowchilla, CA.
Frank always believed in giving back to the community. He was a major contributor to several organizations and charities, including Oak Valley Hospital, the CHP 11-99 Foundation, the Steves Chevy Field, and more recently the Oakdale High Football field. Over the years several youth activities have benefited from his generosity.
Frank was also on the board of several organizations, including the California Motor Car Dealers Association, the National Chevrolet Dealers Council and as part of the design team for the Chevrolet Avalanche.
Frank's true enjoyment in life came from his family, the love of his wife Beverly, three children, Jeff, Karen, and Brett, and of course his six loving grandchildren. The family's trips to Hawaii were most treasured. Frank always remembered his buddies from high school. Their life long relationships were very dear to him.
Frank's love for sports was manifested in his favorite past time, golf. He was the oldest surviving charter member of Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon. He enjoyed playing golf and although opinions vary, Frank at his best had about an 11 handicap.
In 2010, Steves Chevrolet Buick was honored with a California Small Business of the Year Award. Frank said the first thing that came to mind were his family and all the employees at both dealerships. He stated that without our dedicated employees, we wouldn't achieve the success we have had.
P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Steves family.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at P.L. Fry & Son, 290 N. Union Rd., Manteca, CA. Rosary/Mass will be held on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 505 E. North Street, Manteca, CA. A celebration of life will immediately follow at the MRPF Hall, 133 N. Grant St., Manteca. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 530 Bercut Dr. #A, Sacramento, CA 94203 or Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95350.
For condolences to the family an online guest book is available for messages at www.plfryandson.com.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Tuesday, April 10, 2012