Cover photo for Frank E. Apsey's Obituary
Frank E. Apsey Profile Photo

Frank E. Apsey

January 15, 1949 — October 12, 2022

Frank Edward Apsey, 73, passed away Wednesday, October 12 at home. Born January 15, 1949, to Frank Edward and Mary Charlene (Poisson Apsey) in Grand Rapids, MI, he spent his first eleven years on a farm in Hastings, MI before the family returned to Grand Rapids. He served two tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Army. His studies of life sciences in college jettisoned his love and care for nature. As an avid bird watcher, Frank participated in Cornell’s University’s Project Tanager and Birds in Forested Landscapes. During Frank’s membership of the Grand Rapids Audubon Club, he published and produced a monthly newsletter, The Wood Warbler as well as many bird articles in local periodicals. Frank, a devout Catholic, feeling a call and a “Mission for Jesus” left Grand Rapids to Alpena which led him to a service as Inn Keeper at the Emmanuel Mission Homeless Shelter in the AuSable, Oscoda, MI where he served for four and half years. While in Oscoda, Frank surveyed nesting sites of birds in AuSable Township for the Michigan Bird Breeding Atlas II and enjoyed his membership in the AuSable Audubon Club. Frank married Marilyn Gibson on August 18, 2007 and moved to Harrisville, MI. Here, Frank’s care of nature saw him counting frogs in the spring, combing wetlands for endangered species, participating in bird counts and even measuring rain and snow in their backyards, generating data used by scientists worldwide. In searching for endangered species, he was led to educate others about the Monarch Butterfly. For twelve years, Frank gave Monarch migration presentations at the Harrisville State Park where he taught about one of the most famous migrations of the multi-generational round trip of the monarch butterfly making a 4,800-kilometer (3,000-mile) journey from Canada to Mexico. He enjoyed the joy on both the young and old citizen scientists as they learned about conservation of and for the butterflies and how to tag Monarchs. Frank is survived by his wife, Marilyn, step-son John Holmes, brothers Chuck (& wife Vicki) Apsey of Grand Rapids, MI, Tim (& wife Linda) Apsey of Unity, Wisconsin, Sisters Mary Apsey of Edmore, MI and Jeanne Apsey of Kalamazoo, Auntie Alice Cariano of Spring Lake, MI and many cousins, one grandson, 13 nieces and nephews, 22 great nieces and nephews and a great great niece and 3 great great nephews. He was preceded in death by his nephew Michael Apsey. Visitation will be Monday, October 17, 2022 beginning at 10:00 a.m. with a 12:00 p.m. funeral Mass at St. Anne Catholic Church in Harrisville, MI. Rev. John William will officiate. A light luncheon will be served at St. Anne’s Maria Hall. Interment will be in St. Anne Catholic Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Monarch Watch online at or checks payable to Monarch Watch and mail to: Gift Processing Department, KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 or to St. Joseph Indian School, P.O. Box 326, Chamberlain, SD 57326 To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank E. Apsey, please visit our flower store.


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