1928 Frank 2024

Frank Robert Amsler

December 17, 1928 — January 30, 2024


With family by his side, Fritz, 95, quietly passed away Tuesday, January 30, 2024. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Many people in town loved him and called him “Papa”.


While on vacation from their residence in Cripple Creek, CO, Fritz was born 12/17/1928 at Pine Gables Bed and Breakfast in Evanston, Wyoming to Frank and Grace Amsler. The family lived in Colorado until returning to Evanston when Fritz was 5 years old, where he then stayed for the rest of his life.


Fritz was preceded in death by his wife, Melba, his parents, his brother Chuck, and his two sons-in-law Jim McPhee and Dave Christensen, DDS. He is survived by his children: Fran (Jim) McPhee, Peggy (Dave) Christensen and Jim Amsler. He is also survived by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Rick Smith and family of Ames, IA; Kelly McPhee of Las Vegas, NV; Johna Spigel and family of Gilbert, AZ; Amanda Hoekstra and girls of Evanston, WY and Bronson Amsler and family of Falls City, TX.


Fritz held a variety of jobs throughout his life. Beginning at age 10 he sold newspapers on the street corner. At age 13, he worked at Blythe and Fargo stocking shelves until the age of 15 when he went to work at the bakery because he got to drive the bakery’s delivery truck. Fritz especially loved being a traveling auto parts salesman where he could visit with so many different people. He followed in his father's footsteps in a career with the Union Pacific Railroad. Over the years, he worked in many different areas including coal shoot operator, carman helper at the shops, signal gang, fireman, and finally retired as an engineer getting to blow the train whistle (he loved that part).


During World War II, while he was still in high school, he served with the Wyoming State Guard performing duties to keep his hometown safe while the men were deployed overseas. Some of his lifetime accomplishments included: earning the rank of Eagle Scout, serving as President of the Southwest Wyoming Historical Society, and becoming a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus in the Catholic Church.


Fritz met Melba, the love of his life, early in their school years. They began dating in 1944 and they were constant companions for the next 74 years. He considered her his beautiful redhead every day until Melba passed away in 2019. Fritz and Melba spent their years together playing outdoors and raising kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and sometimes the neighborhood kids. They rode snow machines in the winters and motorcycles in the summers (he finally got his Harley when he turned 77). He loved taking his kids hunting for deer, antelope, ducks, rabbits, and bobcats. Generations of Amsler’s learned the family history siting around a wheelbarrow fire listening to stories. Fritz had the best laugh and loved to tell tales that could get everyone to share a good chuckle. Fritz loved spending any amount of time with his family and Yellowstone was always one of his favorite places to experience and share with others.


Fritz loved to make “something from nothing” and built his entire cabin in the Unita Mountains for $75 by dismantling houses, businesses, and churches then reassembling in his cabin. He was an avid gun collector and antique

dealer. Hours upon hours were spent at yard sales searching for the perfect treasure. He found great joy in buying old pieces for refurbishing and then reselling them; Fritz was well known around town for buying junk and selling antiques.


Fritz and Melba dedicated many years to running the foodbank and supplying hungry people with boxes of food. Just before his 95th birthday, his last act of service was to fold over 200 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. He also purchased 800 toothbrushes to be included in the shoeboxes because he didn’t want any child to have to share a toothbrush.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to The Lord’s Storehouse (Foodbank), PO Box 259, Evanston, 82930, to honor all the years of service of Fritz and Melba.


Visitation is Friday, February 9, 6:00-8:00 pm. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 pm, Crandall Funeral Home, 800 Uinta St., Evanston. The funeral will take place Saturday, February 10, 1:30 pm at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 849 Center St., Evanston. Interment will follow in the Evanston City cemetery.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank Robert Amsler, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 9, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm

Evanston - Crandall Funeral Home

800 Uinta St, Evanston, WY 82930

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Saturday, February 10, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm

St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church

837 Center St, Evanston, WY 82930

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