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Friends, Family Honor Military Museum Founder Frank Flesher

A St. Joseph veteran and longtime advocate for preserving military history is being remembered. Frank Flesher, founder of the National Military Heritage Museum in St. Joseph, passed away over the weekend.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Flesher is remembered as a strong-willed man who dedicated his time to honoring those who served our country.
 
"We're all in an emotional state today, everybody here in this museum, all the volunteers, we're going to miss that man," said Dale Hueske, museum volunteer.

Volunteer Dale Hueske spent the day at the National Military Heritage Museum in St. Joseph, where he's remembering the museum's founder and his friend Frank Flesher.

Flesher passed away over the weekend after suffering from a stroke. He was known for his dedication to preserving military history and education.

"I've known Frank for many, many years, and he was instrumental in the establishment of the Military Museum in 1989," said Bob Waldrop.

Flesher is remembered as a passionate and sometimes stubborn man, who spent most of his days working toward building up his dream at the museum.

"I think he really wanted it to be the Smithsonian of the Midwest," said his wife, Judi Flesher.

Flesher retired as a Lt. Col. from the United States Army after 28 years.

"He loved his military, he loved his job as an army officer, he loved his family, but he was just so focused on the military, he could hardly fit us all in," said Flesher.

He split his time between the museum and his family, a wife of 55 years, four daughters, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Flesher had a masters degree in education, and taught school in Easton, Missouri where they talked him into coaching football.

"He went out for football his freshman year and broke his wrist or ankle on the first day of practice and never got to play. So, he didn't know how to coach football, but he knew how to read, so he went to the library and got a whole bunch of books on coaching. That's the way he ran his life, if the challenge was there he would take it, and if he didn't have all the tools he needed right at that time, he'd go get them," said Flesher.

His wife describes him as someone who always had a project on his mind.

"He never had little dreams, just big ideas for big projects and he tried to get everybody he knew hooked into it," said Flesher.

And, now, he leaves behind his legacy, the museum, one of his biggest dreams of all.

The visitation for Flesher is scheduled for Thursday, January 17, at Meierhoffer Funeral Home from 6-8pm.  The funeral is this Friday at 10 a.m. at Ashland United Methodist Church.

The future of the museum is still in question. A meeting with the board is set for next week to discuss the next step for finding new leadership.
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