Floral 15

Elizabeth "Liesa" Frank

September 4, 1956 ~ April 23, 2022 (age 65)


Elizabeth "Liesa" Frank, age 65, died in Sanford, NC April 23, 2022. Liesa was born Sept. 4, 1956 in Mainz, Germany and adopted by Rhuben Frank and Luise Pracht Frank in March 1957. After a raucous (and enviable) teen era spent traipsing across Europe with friends, in Amberg, she married an American GI from Alabama, Roger Rhodes, whom she adored. Like the rebel she often was, Liesa wore a navy and burnt orange pantsuit at their courthouse ceremony. 

Liesa moved to Florence, Alabama in 1977, the same year her only child, Bianka Rhodes Stumpf, was born. After a divorce and decade in Alabama, she and Bianka moved to Sanford, a place neither had ever visited. Liesa’s only brother, Raymond Frank, had come to the U.S., too, and lived there. From a boarding house on Chatham Street when she and her daughter first arrived to Liberty Commons Nursing Center the last year (and at least 15 eclectic and sometimes rowdy places in between), Liesa lived and loved hard in Sanford the rest of her life. 

Liesa could be quiet or outgoing depending on the circumstances. She drove like brakes never failed. Liesa never enforced bedtimes. She wanted Bianka to be a voracious reader. Liesa bought Bianka books like the complete set of Childcraft encyclopedias and The Collected Works of Mark Twain when Bianka had just learned to read. Liesa spent gas money for library trips even when bills were past due. Liesa loved animals--the more vulnerable, the better. On her best days, Liesa appreciated music (especially anything not-disco from the Seventies), sunshine and poolsides, and flowers. 

For 25 years, Liesa lived more comfortably with the devoted help of her son-in-law, Ty Stumpf. She was Oma to her only grandchildren, Jude (age 13) and Cora (age 11) Stumpf. Jude and Cora helped take patient care of Oma their entire memories--delivering meals and meds to her when she lived ten houses away and more recently while in Hospice, entertaining Oma with frequent guitar sets, violin concerts, show tune renditions, and tap numbers. 

There will be no public arrangements in keeping with Liesa’s life of being mostly private and always unconventional. Her remains will be returned to her native Germany. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to Temple Theatre, where she enjoyed watching her grandchildren perform, or the Central Carolina Community College Foundation’s Dreamkeepers Fund, where Liesa once studied to be a CNA and her daughter and son-in-law teach. 


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