This was the headline on St. George News:
“A little prior to 5:30 p.m. we were notified by someone in the park that had discovered the body,” Ed Kantor, public information officer for Washington City Police Department, said. “Someone did see him there and notified the police department and the fire department.”
It was right around 1992 or 1993 when I first met Frankie Walsh and his family. I was working at Circle K in Phoenix and his mom came to work there. I ended up being the person that trained her and she along with her family has been in my life ever since.
My first memory of Frankie or Francis was when he was a very small child that was running around his apartment while my husband Chuck and I visited with his parents. Frankie was a little jokster and loved picking on his sister and having fun. Frankie had this ability to make you laugh even if you wanted to be mad at him. He had a sweetness and gentleness about him too. Sometimes he used that to his advantage I think, lol. He would bat those eyes like the best of them and he would get his way. Or at-least with me he would.
Frankie was different than his sister Lynnette. She was a more serious kid and loved to read. That is something that she and her mom shared the love of. And I think that is still true. Now, Frankie, I don’t think reading was what was on his mind. He loved music, having fun and being a mischievousness and loving person. This is the Frankie I knew. I’m sure he was something different to everyone.
We eventually moved to St. George, Utah and soon after Mike and Tina followed suite with the kids in hand. They ended up staying with us off on and. I know Mike and Tina was Frankie and Lynnette’s parents, but I loved those kids as if they were my nieces and nephews and would at times get upset with them like they were my kids. Frankie knew when I was mad at him and he would go a few steps too far and I would get mad. And what would that little burger do? Well! Let me tell you what he would do! He would come up to me and give me a hug, look at me with those big brown eyes and wavy hair and tell me he was sorry and that he loved me. For any of you that have kids around and they bring out the eyes and hugs, you know it is over. How can you be mad at that. So I just tell him that it is OK, just don’t do it again and then tell him I love him while I give him a hug. He knew how to work me big time.
There are so many memories of Frankie and as he got older, he had more problems. For me, when I think about those problems, I think about a person who was lost and didn’t know who he was or what he would or could do in his life. He had many obstacles that he overcame and others he was still dealing with.
I remember one time out in Ivins, he came up to me one night. It was shortly before he went to Job Corp. I was making breakfast at midnight. I know that sounds weird, but it is what it is. Frankie was hungry and he was sitting on the sectional watching TV. He came up behind me and I knew Frankie needed to talk. He rubbed my shoulder and started to cry. I hurried up what I was doing and we sat down and had breakfast.
We sat down and I asked him what was wrong. He was telling me how worthless he is and how he will never amount to anything. He wanted to make people happy, but he couldn’t do that. He told me that he would be better off dead and he didn’t want to ruin anyone’s life because he already ruined his. He swore me to keep this conversation to just him and I. And I told him it was. But now I think that is null and void. I can’t help but think back to how sad and torn up Frankie was. He was very depressed and could see no way out that night. He did make it through the night and after a couple hours he feel asleep. The next morning he was on a plane to Job Corp. He didn’t stay every long and was back in town to stay.
Frankie would pop over and say hey every now and then and I would pick on him about his hair. I would ask him when he was going to cut his hair and he would give me this look and smile, like he was thinking ‘Never”, lol. I told him I loved him with long hair, short hair or no hair and for who he is. He eventually moved to Bullhead City where he feel in love with Anne. Then she became pregnant and they became engaged and moved back to St. George.
The day after they moved back here they came to visit. He introduced me to Anne and she is a very nice person. Eventually they had on of the cutest little baby girl named Elycia.
Frankie has always been his own person with his own views. Him and I didn’t see eye to eye when it comes to our faiths. I’m what you would call very much Christian and Frankie was pagan. I’m not too sure exactly what kind since I don’t know many that are Wicca or Pagan. I told Frankie that no matter what he believed and he has a right to believe what he wants, that I will always love him. I may not agree and I don’t agree with paganism or anything like that. I have no right to tell someone what to believe What I respected and loved about Frankie and Anne is that even though they know our faiths and religion is very much on opposite ends of the spectrum, there is the respect. Frankie had no problem coming over and I really appreciated how he went out of his way to respect my wishes. And in turn I respect his.
The other night I went to a concert that was called Promises of Hope. Sanctus Real was there and they sang a song from their new CD called the Prayer (Video From Concert). During that entire song and the prayer said before the song I thought about Frankie. I do pray for him and his family. I pray for Anne who is hurting because she lost the love of her life and the father to her baby. I pray for his parents that lost a son and a sister who lost a brother. I pray they find the kind of peace that only the love of Christ can offer. I know that even though some may not believe in Christ, that they will see that they are loved and worth so much more.
Frankie decided that his best option was to take his own life. He left his house with his belongings left on the table, his infant daughter was left at home with a friend and he left the house. Eventually they found a suicide note and a missing gun. A couple hours later police notified his parents and fiance that they found Frankie’s body at a local park in Washington, Utah. I can’t even tell you how devastated this news was in so many ways. My heart and mind goes in many directions when I think of Frankie and those he left behind. For me Frankie committing suicide brought back memories of an awesome young man named Brian that took his life and also left behind parents that loved him, a daughter and a brother and sister. He was like a nephew to me to. If this week has been difficult for me, I can’t even imagine what Frankie’s family is going through. But I know that I will be praying for them as are many others.
If you are thinking about suicide, please get help. There are hotlines, hospitals, police and local pastors and clergy that are there to talk to you. If someone is thinking of suicide please take it serious. They could be talking and you just dismiss it as yeah, they say that, but they won’t. You never know. There are many who thought their loved ones wouldn’t do what they say they wanted to do and now they are burying their sons, daughters, spouses, parents, friends and so on because we failed to listen to their cries for help.
From 2007 to 2011, Washington County saw a 44 percent increase in the suicide rate while while Iron County saw a 115 percent increase.
Suicide prevention information- Utah and elsewhere
• Utah Crisis Intervention Team,
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
• National Alliance on Mental Illness,
• Southwest Behavioral Health Center,http://www.swbehavioralhealth.com
• Dixie Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health — (435) 688-4343
• Southwest Behavioral Health Center — (435) 634-5600
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — (800) 273-8255