Frank Norman Hjelm, Jr.,74, passed away on May 3, 2018. He was born in Chicago, June 7,1943, the son of Frank Norman Hjelm Sr., and Daisy Hjelm (nee Wakefield).
Frank grew up in Northlake, residing in Elgin since 1997. He married his soul mate, Karen (Fargo) Hjelm on October 12,1976, and together they shared 41 wonderful years as they raised three children.
Frank was a registered American Indian of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe from Minnesota. Frank was an amazing little league and pony league baseball player who was scouted out to play professional baseball. Frank was drafted in 1967, serving in Vietnam 1968-1969.
Frank was a certified welder at age 18, a self taught body-frame man and painter in the automotive industry. In his 20’s, he loved drag racing his ’40 ford coupe and ’32 Ford roadster. In later years, he became a vintage GM car lover. In 1983 he purchased Rocky’s Auto Body in Elgin. Frank always took the time to teach aspiring mechanics and bodymen the trade. In 1985 Frank and his wife started A#1 Cab Company.
Frank never stopped giving, caring, and helping others, even complete strangers. He gave jobs to homeless people, and saved many lives by his quick action when auto accidents occurred around him. He loved children and dogs and they loved him. He would plow driveways of his neighbors for free, to prevent anyone having a heart attack.
Frank’s physical presence and enormous energy was magnetic. God knows he wasnt perfect, but he was strong and fearless in all things, a true Warrior. His last venture, Wicked Wrench Company, has awaited municipal approval so long that he did not see it come to fruition, but his children will continue his dream.
Frank raised hell for seven decades, survived 19 surgeries, smoked like a chimney, and endured complications of Agent Orange, and will now join his departed family and friends in a better place. Family was number one with him, and we know he will watch over and guide us through the rest of our lives.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Karen; his children, Frank Glenn (Katy) Hjelm , Jaime Hjelm, and Naomi Hjelm; grandchildren Hunter and Anthony Bertoncini, Cody Watts, Rylee Hjelm, and Maddy Cocciemiglio.
Full military honors will be rendered at a private ceremony. Interment private.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St, Elgin IL 60120. For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadisonfuneralhome.com.
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