It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Francis "Frank" "Sonny" Wolfenden, affectionately known as Papou by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, on June 14th, 2023. Born on May 19th, 1940, his 83 years were filled with love, joy, and service.
Frank was a graduate of Dracut H.S., class of 1958, where he was an outstanding player on the football team. A protective patriarch, Frank was passionate about the safety and well-being of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Whether at a holiday gathering or a casual get-together, his watchful eyes were always ensuring that everyone was safe and had eaten enough. His love extended to the kitchen, where his renowned Pita was a much-anticipated staple at every family occasion. Though he passed on the secret of his recipe to his grandchildren—a memory they will always cherish—the consensus remains that no one could make it quite like Papou.
During his 43-year tenure at BAE Systems (formerly known as Sanders Associates), Frank served the United States military and government agencies with dedication and expertise. Managing a team of expeditors and material buyers, he expedited procurement needs, ensuring vital equipment reached the warfighter on time, earning recognition from management and the military customer community.
Frank joined the Hudson, NH Kiwanis Club in 1976 and remained a member until his passing. During those 47 years, he served in a number of leadership roles including that of club president from 1981 – 1982. Frank's portrayal of Santa Claus every Christmas touched the lives of his grandchildren and the wider community. Frank was a major contributor to the club's fundraising projects and also enjoyed participating in the club's community service activities.
Although initially seeming quiet, Frank's infinite wisdom and humor were captivating once you got him talking. Loved for his uncomplaining, go-with-the-flow nature, he was a listener and an observer, always in tune with his surroundings.
Frank is survived by the love of his life and wife, Pauline Wolfenden; his sister, Barbara Souza; and daughters, Lisa Beaton and her husband Brian Beaton, and Kristine Wolfenden Puzzo and husband Tony Puzzo. A doting grandfather to Alexa, Jessica, Demitria, Marcus, Nicholas, and Elizabeth, Frank also cherished his great-grandchildren, Vera and Dominic. Frank also leaves behind his beloved nieces & nephew, Marianne Mullin, Michael Zounes, Em Russell, and Stephanie Russell, who was also his Godchild.
Frank Wolfenden lived a full and honorable life. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be deeply missed.
Rest in peace, Dad, Papou, Sonny, and thank you for the love, laughter, wisdom, and, of course, the Pita, that you shared with us.
Visiting hours will be held on Monday, June 19th from 4pm to 7pm at the Dracut Funeral Home, 2159 Lakeview Ave., Dracut. His Funeral Service and Interment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Frank's favorite charity, St. Jude's, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, a testament to his generous spirit.