The landscape of Pekin changed forever in October 2014 as three patriarchs left this world and took their first steps into greener pastures.
Jim Roll died on Oct. 12, Frank “Buster” Crockett passed away on Oct. 13 and Frank Anderson took his last breath on Oct. 21.
All three were transplants to the Pekin community, but they also adopted the town as their own, and according to Town Manager Gary Nale, they didn’t take kindly to anyone who had an unkind word to say about it.
“None of those guys liked it when anybody said anything bad about Pekin,” Nale said. “They all came here from different areas, but they loved this place and supported just about everything that went on here.”
Roll was a native of Campbellsburg and Crockett was from Salem and even cut hair in Louisville, before settling down in Pekin.
Anderson was the only one of the three who wasn’t a born and bred Hoosier, but after moving here as a young boy he fell in love with Pekin right away.
“Frank told me once that he wasn’t here very long before he knew this was going to be home for the rest of his life,” Nale said.
Anderson was on the town council when he passed and even in his ailing condition, didn’t miss the September meeting.
In fact, he would have been at the October meeting, but that turned out to be the day he passed away.
“He never missed a meeting,” Nale said. “Now we’ve had to speed a few of them up so he could get over to the school to watch a ball game, but he never missed. I am convinced he would have been here for the October meeting if he could of.”
Nale said it’s hard not to think of Anderson’s smile when looking back on him.
As for Crockett, Nale said he grew up just a few houses down from him and said his memories primarily revolve around Halloween.
“All of the kids always got a kick out of going to Buster’s house,” Nale said. “He always decorated and made a big deal about it. It won’t be the same around here without him.”
Anderson wasn’t the only one who got excited about the Musketeer athletic program.
Roll, Crockett and Anderson were all regulars at sporting events, whether or not they had kids or grand-kids playing.
They were also heavily involved in the Pekin Fourth of July Celebration.
Anderson was even the focus of a profile WLKY in Louisville did on the town as part of the 2014 festival.
When one generation passes on, there is always another that will step up and take their place. That’s the law of nature, but just as it is with songs, clothes and automobiles – we are able to say when referring to these men, they don’t make them like they use to.
Anderson’s obituary can be found on page x of this section.
Crockett’s and Roll’s obituaries were in the October 15 issue and all three can be found at www.gbpnews.com.