News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Frank Conte, February 2, 1929 – July 5, 2021

Frank Philip Conte passed away from natural causes in Eugene on July 5, at the age of 92. Born in Los Angeles on February 2, 1929, to Philip and Rose Conte. He graduated from Huntington Park High School where he played on the basketball team and pole vaulted for the track team. He attended the University of Southern California before transferring and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

After graduating, Frank was drafted into the Air Force during the Korean War. He was stationed stateside at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where he met his future wife, Sue Inez (nee) Angel.

After Frank finished his service, the newlyweds moved back to the West Coast, where Frank pursued his PhD from U.C. Berkeley. After he was awarded his doctorate, Frank taught at Central Oregon Community College, before he accepted a professorship in the zoology department at Oregon State University in 1961. During his professional career, he was extremely proud of his research and publications dealing with the effects of saline environments on various organisms including salmon, hagfish, and brine shrimp. He also took a keen interest in mentoring his many graduate students.

Frank retired from the university in 1994. He and Sue then established and operated a blueberry farm, Oxbow Orchards in Peoria, Oregon. Frank finally retired from his second career in farming in 2007. He built a home and lived his remaining years in Camp Sherman.

Frank is predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Sue (2012). He is survived by his sister, Linda John, and his three children, Craig (Suzie) Conte, Lisa (David) Downing, and Paul(Gwen) Conte. He has five grandchildren, Megan and Brennan Downing; Ian, Lauren, and Nathan Conte; and one great grandchild, Noah Zehner. Upon his request, no memorial services are planned. The family would like to thank all those individuals who have extended their hands in friendship to Frank these many years. Your kindness will always be remembered.


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