LACOMBE, La. – It’s always hard to say goodbye. Especially when it comes to someone as vibrant as WWLTV’s very own Frank Davis.
And so, Saturday was bittersweet for friends and family who said their final goodbyes to Frank at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Lacombe.
“It's so hard to imagine a person who loved life so much, to now be gone,” said Fr. Gil Martin, pastor of St. John of the Cross. “Frank truly as a ‘what you see is what you get’ person, and I think that’s why people loved him so much.”
Frank was a staple on WWLTV for more than 30 years before retiring in 2011. He died earlier this week, after a tough fight with a rare auto-immune disease.
But those who gathered to pay their last know the mark Frank made on this city is here to stay.
“Every body, every body felt that they knew Frank, absolutely personal, and he was their friend,” said local musician Benny Grunch, who has been featured on Frank’s Naturally N’awlins reports.
Saturday’s funeral service was just as sincere and unique as Frank himself, featuring music from Benny Grunch and the Bunch, and speeches from those who knew him.
Frank's fish and game reports and Tuesday morning cooking demonstrations didn't just fill our bellies.
“He fed our spirit,” said WWLTV morning anchor Sally-Ann Roberts. “He made us laugh. He made us happy.”
Frank showed us the ingredients for living a full life and enjoying every second.
“Frank could get anybody to do anything, no matter how crazy, how silly. They'd enjoy it, they'd look great, Frank would look great, the whole town would laugh,” said WWLTV reporter Bill Capo. “Frank was truly unique in a unique city.”
Martin fondly imagined Frank’s first week in heaven.
“As God walked away, Frank says, ‘By the way, can I have some of that fire from down below? I want to throw a crawfish boil.’”
And through his reports, Frank reminded us what makes New Orleans so special. He was an original. He was Naturally N'awlins.
And so, it's only fitting that Frank's send off ended with “When the Saints go Marching In.”
It’s an unofficial anthem of New Orleans for a man who embodied everything that makes this city great.
“He's truly changed our lives in so many ways as part of the channel 4 family, and this was one of the toughest weeks in my 33 years there, because we lost a brother. We lost one of the best of us,”
In lieu of flowers, Frank's family asked people to donate to St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital.