Frank R. Heinrich

Frank R. Heinrich

May 30, 1948 - December 22, 2016

Frank R. Heinrich

May 30, 1948 - December 22, 2016


Frank Heinrich was a loving Husband/Partner, Father, Grandfather, and Friend. He passed away at his home on December 22, 2016. He will be dearly missed by all that knew him.

Frank was an engineer’s engineer. He was relentless when it came to solving a problem that seemed unsolvable. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Frank was instrumental in transitioning the internet from an idea with volumes of barely workable specifications, into the workable system that is ubiquitous today.

Frank lived in the hustle and bustle of Southern California, but was more at home in the Sierra’s and the Rocky’s. A telemark skier, no slope was too steep nor too narrow for him to conquer.

Frank would want the problem of diabetes and heart disease, which took him from us, solved. This fund is intended to provide someone just as dedicated as Frank to solving a problem, to do so. You can look at the page online at


Presentation at Frank’s Service
Presented by Keith Page

We join together to take part in funeral service of Frank Richard Heinrich 2nd. And we gather for three important reasons:

1. First, we come to REMEMBER. (to remember FRANK’S story, our times together and the type of person HE is, and was, and always will be.)

2. Second, we come to REFLECT. (to reflect on what FRANK taught us through HIS life and how we are better people because of HIS presence in our lives.)

3. And third, we come to RELEASE. (not to say good bye forever, but to release FRANK into love, into eternity and into rest.)

And as we gather today, we do so with heavy hearts for FRANK’S family: His 2 sons, two grandchildren, his lover and partner Jean and the rest of his friends and family who knew and loved FRANK. It’s our desire to express our condolences and to support them in this time of grief. And sometimes it feels difficult to know what words to say. Be assured, your presence here today speaks loudly to FRANK’S family and offers them the support and encouragement they need. The family would like me to express their gratitude for your presence. The journey of grief is long and those who walk it should not have to walk it alone. In times like these, nothing takes the place of friends. Your presence helps the family realize how special FRANK was to others and reveals the significance of HIS life.”

My friend Doug Manning expressed it this way when he wrote these words, “Please hear of my lost love. Nothing you can do will make it all better. Nothing you can say will make the hurt go away. So just listen while I tell you the significance of a love that left a hole in my heart. Listen, listen, listen.”

So today is our opportunity to listen. Listen to the stories and descriptions of FRANK and embrace HIS memory. Listen to the words of comfort and let them support you in your grief. But most of all listen to your own heart, find a moment or place in time that you shared with DON and let it be a lasting memory of your relationship with HIM.

Frank was born May 30, 1948 in Southern CA to parents Billie Lou and Frank Heinrich (the first). He was the first born child, followed by brother William Randall (Randy) and then lastly came sister Rhonda – the baby of the family.

Frank’s family was raised in the same house all of his childhood and in fact the house remained the family home up until the death of his mom in 2004.

The home was a true gathering spot throughout the generations. Frank’s parents filled the home regularly with friends and neighbors. They large rumpus room was the place where the family Christmas party was held every year. Franks’ parents even opened it up to the community every four years on voting day as a place for people to cast their votes.

Frank was gifted, smart, possessed a sharp mind and was apparently reading cereal boxes at the age of two. He wasn’t just book smart – he had many facets to his intelligence. He was blessed with a marvelous mind in so many ways.

He enjoyed and was good at building furniture. He loved working on cars. In addition to a large garage there was another building on the family property that was an enormous storage room. And there were cars everywhere. Frank, along with his brother and his father, always had more than one or two car projects going at the same time.

Frank graduated from high school in LA and attended UC Irvine where he got his degree in Computer Science. It was while he was in college that his sons Frank III and Jeremy were born. They lived on campus in the married student housing and Frank obviously excelled in school. He went on to do all the work necessary for his Doctorate but when the time came for his completion it seems that he was way to forward thinking for his topic to be accepted. So he did get a Masters Degree from UCI and then continued in his education by taking classes and being parts of degree programs at both USC and UCLA.

He was clearly ahead of his time. He was forward thinking. After his schooling he went to work for System Development Corporation in Santa Monica which was his first job at a major company.

Resume: He has over 20 years experience in the computer field and the last 15 specializing in network system architecture, distributed processing, communication security and computer system security. He was the principal designer on one of the pioneering LAN developments. Since then, his activities have covered a broad technical range including system conceptual design, formal mathematical specification for trusted secure systems, hardware and software design and development, as well as field installation and support for a variety of comm systems.

His in-depth expertise included LAN/WAN system architecture, the TCP/IP protocol suite, LAN system integration, and secure trusted design and development.

He’s been published in the Proceedings International Conference on Computer Communications, the Proceedings IEEE Computer Society International Conference, the Proceeding National Computer Conference and the National Bureau of Standards Special Publication. And while at UCI he authored one of the seminal papers in the area of distributed file systems which was presented at the 1972 International Conference on Computer Communication.

Part of Frank’s work was installing alarm systems in many of the large buildings on Wilshire Blvd between Westwood and Beverly Hills. And still enjoyed his hobby of working on cars. He’d buy cars at the auction with his brother Randy and then they’d work on them all night long. They’d change out motors. They’d sometimes re-sell them at the auction. Other times they’d build custom cars for people who asked for them. One of their favorites was the customized truck they built that had a massive ladder attached to it. Called it the ladder truck.

Frank was the founder of DeskTalk – a computer software company that worked with Lockeade and other similar clients. He went on to consult with Lockeade and Boeing and had the privilege of wiring the entire LA Sheriff’s office building in 1992-93.

Frank seemed to always have his hand in creative things that advanced technology and made life better for people. And not just here, but around the world. From the 70’s through the 90’s he was involved in helping install satellite stations that helped link earth stations to satellites and other earth stations. This was the infancy of the technological world and Frank was involved!

He lived and worked in New Guinea for a few years where he was working in a copper mine in the middle of the jungle. Also in Australia as well as other places.

After his divorce Frank moved to Santa Monica and the boys moved in with him. This was around 1975 when it was highly unusual for the children to live with their dad. But Frank was determined to make it work. He worked full time and also worked hard to be a good father, maintain a bit of a social life and was also so grateful for the help of his mom with the boys in the afternoons.

He was a good dad. A fair dad. A rational dad. He insisted that the boys learn responsibility and so he allowed them to always face the consequences of their actions and decisions… both the good and the bad. he didn’t fix them, rescue them or allow them to make excuses. he had been raised so be a good citizen and was determined to have his boys become responsible, good citizens too. And he had the skill of being able to say the difficult and tough thing in a way that didn’t make it more painful than it had to be.

As a child Frank’s family loved all the various outdoor activities including camping, hiking, exploring, skiing and fishing. But of them all, skiing was probably Frank’s favorite and he was great at it. And since he grew up doing it, it only made sense that Frank would then raise his children doing the same type of things.

And because he grew up doing it since childhood Frank knew some of the very best camping and fishing spots that weren’t even open to the public any longer. But that didn’t stop Frank… he’d grab the boys and they’d drive out, park and hike into some of the best fishing holes imaginable. The boys remember multiple times catching fish, cleaning and cooking them with their father at some of those old forgotten campsites.

Frank was raised in scouting and went on to become an Eagle Scout… which is the highest award given within the incredible scouting community. he had the makeup and passions that helped him to thrive in the scouting world. He was responsible, active, a good citizen, loved knives, compasses, flashlights, tents, the outdoors in general and in doing the right thing.

And was wonderful to discover that his grandson Franky – his son Jeremy’s son – has a similar passion and interest in many of those same things like knives, compasses, flashlights, camping gear, etc. How beautiful for Frank and grandson Franky to share those interests.

Frank thrived in emergency situations. There was a bandsaw accident in which his brother sawed off the tips of a few of his fingers and Frank was on it. He jumped in to gear, rallied without panicking, applied first aid he learned as a Boy Scout and had Randy to the hospital in no time.

His father served in WW2 and was shot in the leg. When he came home from the war it always seem to bother him and about the only thing that helped it feel better was when it was massaged. So what did little Frank do? He learned to massage his dad’s leg and help him deal with the pain. And then years and years later the boys would tell stories of how their dad massaged them when they were little tykes:)

He always wanted to be of service, to be a resource, to help others. And was always doing research and would even do research for you once he knew you were interested in particular topic or had a specific need.

He was quirky too of course. He was google before there was such a thing. He was even known to have a breakdown and list of the best gas stations, most honest mechanics, and probably cheapest and best restaurants of the various towns around the country. He figured you just never knew when you might need it and he was there to provide it for you… he kept the list on a small piece of paper just in case! A true boy scout!:)

Frank didn’t like following instructions however. You might say he carved his own path. He didn’t read manuals. He’d figure it out himself. He found doing it his way more interesting. And on those rare occasions when he’d help the boys complete a model car or something… and there were a few leftover parts that weren’t suppose to be spare or extras… then he’d break out the manual or instructions to figure out what had gone wrong and how to fix it:)

And if he said he was going to do something… you could count on him to do it. Like the time he told the boys he’d take them to Magic Mountain and when they got to the gate of the amusement park they realized they’d left the tickets at home… so they had to turn around and go home but he didn’t take them straight home. Actually ended up the front gate of the LA Zoo were they spent a great day of seeing animals and having a good time despite it not being Magic Mountain. And then to the boys surprise, they woke up the next morning to their dad telling them to get up and get ready because today he would be taking them to Magic Mountain. A true man of his word!

In the earthquake of 1999 Frank got up and made sure everything was ok at the family home and then – realizing there wasn’t much else he could do – grabbed Jeremy and took him skiing to Mammoth for the week.

He also loved horses. And hard to believe – or not- that Frank was an amateur blacksmith! And he could talk to the animals. If he had an interest, he could do it:)

He loved the ocean too. Loved doing scuba but was also happy just going out and swimming in the open ocean. According to his stories, he would go out in the open water and swim for hours!

Frank and the love of his life (JEAN) met at I (Eye) Base T in 1996. It was a new job for both of them and they were hired just a few months apart. She liked and respected him right from the beginning. They worked together on a few projects early on. And even on some projects she was working on alone Frank would offer her suggestions or help in anyway she needed. They became great friends.

After a few years of this friendship a deeper and even more loving relationship developed and they began to date. Jean will tell you she sort of had to pursue Frank. She had a crush on him and so she pursued Frank… and he definitely didn’t discourage it! He was fun to be with. He was sharp, inquisitive, funny and they shared a great love for the outdoors, as well as biking and hiking.

Frank owned a place in Mammoth and they worked on that together. They eventually moved in and were together ever since. They respected one another’s independence and different interests and also found ways to enhance and encourage one another on their common passions. She loved to do interior design and then Frank ended up doing the office design for one of his businesses and so he and Jean got to collaborate together.

They traveled to Mammoth many times. Also had a chance to vacation in Hawaii in 2001 where they saw three different islands, hike the volcano, bike ride and snorkel together. They made a great team… it was like he was the head of the operation and Jean was the heart…

He and Jean loved and supported one another. He was the love of her life and she was the love of his. They packed the hours into each day.

According to his family, however, Frank had one downfall… he was not organized.

He didn’t like attention on himself. Not a fan of the spotlight. So he didn’t care for birthdays. He was a modest man, and didn’t want to be celebrated. Lived a modest life. Was practical and very sacrificial. For Frank life was all about others. And so he was happiest when he was doing something for others. And if it involved personal sacrifice – that was no problem.

He felt very responsible for the company he worked for, especially after the owner died. Even after his most recent surgery he was asking others if they needed anything.

One of the last generous gifts was the gift of a van to his son Jeremy and his family. He hooked up the internet. He was tinkering on the sewing machine with grandson Franky. He would drive himself where he needed to go. Didn’t really want visitors.

He died on December 22 at home on his terms. He had more plans. More hopes. More dreams. More desires. More projects. Never had enough time.

His ashes will eventually be spread at a place he loved to go… Mammoth…

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