Obituary for Frances Sumner Trachok
Frances Sumner Trachok died on July 13, 2017, surrounded by her family, two weeks before her 92nd Birthday.
Fran was born on July 29, 1925 in Alameda, CA to Margo and Charles Sumner, and was raised in rural Northern California. Her family would spend summers at Lake Tahoe in the cabin her father built.
Her University studies took her to the University of Nevada in 1946, majoring in Art and English. She met the man of her dreams on the Manzanita Lake Bridge, the son of an immigrant coal miner from Western Pennsylvania who had come to Reno after serving in WWII, to play football for the University of Nevada. That young man, Dick Trachok, would be her husband, partner, and best friend for the rest of her life. Together they would build a close circuit of friends and family that have endured the 71 years they have been together. Their partnership not only built a family, but the two were key in shaping Nevada Arts and Athletics.
Fran was a true philanthropist. Her life was spent supporting her community. From artist, to art teacher, to being part of the Sierra Arts Foundation, she made her mark. She was appointed to the Nevada Arts Council, by two Governors, and as a member was instrumental in the initial funding of the Cowboy Poetry Festival. She was a long-time supporter of the Catholic Church and Community in Northern Nevada, with donations of time and money. She was a Golden Arrow of Pi Beta Phi. She was a founding and sustaining member of the Junior League of Reno.
She helped forge the Casa da Vida program which helps unwed mothers. She regularly volunteered for every church and school function she could squeeze in, while chasing her 3 children. With her artistic flair, she was the art director for the University of Nevada Governor’s Dinner, started in 1968 by then Governor Paul Laxalt, Senator Bill Raggio and Dick Trachok. Her vision continues today.
Fran moved from teaching art to teaching speed reading. She started with former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich teaching adult classes, then developed her own style and taught at the Reno Police Academy, ending up teaching the judges at the National Judicial College for many years. She also taught speed reading at Truckee Meadows Community College for many years.
Although she was named Distinguished Nevadan in 2013 along with her husband, her most important thing in life was her family: her three children, Rick Trachok, Margo Bertelson, and Cathy Trachok Barnes. She has 9 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. It was the strength she had that has sustained her husband, children, and all her family. Her true opus was the family she built.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Bob and Bill Sumner. She is survived by her husband, Dick Trachok, athletic director emeritus, University of Nevada, son Rick Trachok (Cathy) who is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Regents and an attorney in Reno, her daughter, Margo Bertelson (Bill), a retired RN and the family care giver living in Reno, and daughter, Cathryne Trachok (Russell Barnes) who is an artist living in Napa, CA, and Kris Laxalt (Don Nomura), Fran's 3rd daughter and private duty physician, her nine grandchildren; Jaimie Bertelson Dianda (Chris), Kelly Bertelson (Johnathan Banks), Andy Bertelson (Mandy), Kyle Bertelson, Mathew Trachok living in Boston, Keri Trachok, Sierra Barnes, living in Napa, CA, 1st Lt. Zephyr Barnes (Ellie) serving in the Middle East, Rio Barnes, living in San Diego and her five great-grandchildren, Gianna, Kendall, Reece, and Ryder Dianda and Jake Bertelson, Special thanks to Mom's private Angels Lillian Herrera, Loth Lieberstein and Kris Laxalt and Nora.
Funeral services will be at the Carmelite Monastery in Reno, 3pm on Thursday and a rosary on Wednesday at 7pm.
In lieu of flowers please send love and prayers.
Please share memories or condolence messages in Fran's Book of Memories at www.waltonsfuneralhomes.com.