In Memoriam: Former Antioch insurance agency owner Frank Saxen passes at 82

FRANK SAXEN:  Born November 10, 1940, and died October 30, 2023, eleven days shy of his 83rd birthday, in Georgetown, Texas after relocating there in October 2021.      

Born to Alfred T. F. Saxen and Henrietta Mae Luke Saxen Mapleton, Iowa, Frank is survived by siblings (Elsie) Kaye Burlingame, CA, Jeanette Saxen, WY and Jerry Saxen, NV and preceeded in death by Katherine Colborn, CA, and Shirley Belleci, CA.

Frank joined the U.S. Navy at age 17, served 9 years as an Electronic Engineer, and was a Vietnam Veteran.

In 1958 he married Donna Cooper (now Olson) of Estherville, IA. They had five children:

Rick Saxen (Georgia Saxen, deceased), Iowa

Robert Saxen (Carman Rivera) Surprise, Arizona

Ron Saxen (Leslie Sosnick) Brentwood, CA

Rebecca Saxen Swanson Garcia, Estherville, Iowa

Robin Saxen (Gace Lan) London, UK

Stepchildren: Kimberlee Baird Fleury, TX, Scott Baird, CA and Tish Baird, CA

Grandson: Ian Swanson, Stockton CA

Frank was an avid hunter and looked forward to his annual hunt in Wyoming every fall. He had a special understanding about all animals and their behavior including a love and knowledge of birds.  Saxen loved the game of golf and at one (younger) time was a scratch player and was proud to have a hole in one.

In 1989 he married Carol Biggam Baird of Santa Barbara and Walnut Creek, CA. They were married for 34 years.

After serving in the Navy, Frank moved to Antioch, CA (for its sunshine) and opened Frank Saxen Insurance Agency. He was a strong community leader and contributed greatly and tirelessly to its growth, economy, and celebrations. He was a great organizer and fundraiser for the Fourth of July parades and fireworks. Saxen took over the Antioch Economic Development Committee and successfully ran the organization for 12 years.  

He was active in the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsburg/Antioch. He also served as President of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce and rose to the rank of Lt. Governor in Kiwanis. Saxen also served two six-year terms on the Contra Costa Council.  

When BART decided to extend service down the (San Francisco) Peninsula before Antioch’s extension (for which Antioch had contributed for 25 years) he fought back, hard. Eventually, BART acquiesced after Saxen started a task force and began legal proceedings for East County to secede from Contra Costa County.  It was a huge win for East County to finally be recognized and soon have a BART extension.   

Frank was also known to be seen around town with his famous pigeon, Samatha, on his shoulder. You see, Dr. Nolan of the San Diego Zoo proved Samatha thought Frank was her lifelong partner. The pair were featured on the TV show “That’s Incredible”. Numerous re-runs of this segment were shown for several years thereafter. Sammy died Thanksgiving Day 1988. She was 11 years old, living six years longer than an average pigeon.

Saxen was a long-time member of the Church of God An International Community and attended services mainly in the greater San Francisco East Bay area. Frank and Carol traveled to various locations in the US and the world to attend the annual Feast of Tabernacles.  He leaves many, many dear friends.

Services will be private, as per family wishes.

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