Cover photo for J. Frank Candle's Obituary
J. Frank Candle Profile Photo

J. Frank Candle

February 14, 1947 — December 4, 2019

J. Frank Candle

J Frank Candle

1947 – 2019


Born in Salem, OH on February 14th, 1947, as John Earl Matthews Frank Candle, Frank passed away in a single vehicle accident near his home in Devils Lake, ND on December 4th 2019.


Frank lived most of his life very near his birthplace in north east Ohio. He graduated from Western Reserve High School in 1965, and Kent State University in 1970.  Frank worked at Ohio Edison (First Energy Corp) for 35 years before retiring.  He was married for 27 years to Sondra Smith of Berlin Center, OH.  They raised two children together; a son Johnnie and a daughter Julie two years younger.


Frank was a diehard sports fan and never missed the opportunity to take in a game with some friends, or when physically able, take part in a game. He competed very successfully at all levels from High School to college to rec leagues where he played with many friends and family members.


If he had a passion in life, it was fishing. In 1988 Candle established Reeler’s Choice Charters on Lake Erie fishing out of Ashtabula, OH.  The venture was successful and the business ran for 25 years until his health did not allow him to continue.  He never quit fishing though and enjoyed time on the water with his new friends and family in Devils Lake, ND.


His health was declining. In August of 2018 he suffered a stroke that greatly affected his ability to communicate.  In September of 2019 he suffered a heart attack that set him back even more.  All of that considered, he refused to take a back seat and ride it out.  Frank had moved to Devils Lake and made a home there with his son Johnnie Candle and Bobbi Lunday.  Frank was at peace having his morning coffee overlooking the lake from the patio or tinkering in the garage.  Rocking a great grandchild in the EZ chair brought him comfort as well.  He knew he couldn’t do much but he gave all he could helping with the little things around the house.  Frank knew physically that he was half the man he used to be but still tried to be twice the man of most.


All the way to the end of his life, Frank was up for a stiff drink and a spirited conversation in a booming voice that let anyone nearby hear what he had to say. His heart, although it didn’t work so well was big and eager to help a friend or stranger.  If you ever met or knew Frank Candle, you never forgot it.  He will truly be missed by many.


Frank Candle was preceded in death by his mother Mary Oana, his father Johnnie Candle, and his younger brother Johnnie Candle. He is survived by sisters Mary (Pat) King and Jackie Nichols (Guy), his son Johnnie Candle (Bobbi Lunday) of Devils Lake, ND, his daughter Julie Smith (Candle), grandchildren Morgan Smith (Michael) and Mason Smith, step grandchildren that he truly loved as his own Anja, Bailey, Caitlin, and Dru Lunday, and three step great grandchildren that had become his inspiration for life Nevada, Jersey, and Broly Lunday.


A celebration of Frank’s life was held at the Devils Lake Elks Club on Saturday, December 7th, 2019.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of J. Frank Candle, please visit our flower store.


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