Frank E. (Frog) Hull

1932 – 2018
Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Frank “Frog” Hull, Dillon, MT, passed away on June 29, 2018.

Frank “Frog” Hull, singer of songs, was born in Boise, Idaho, on September 29, 1932, to Melvin and Leona Hull. After his father died, the family moved to Deer Lodge, Montana, where he graduated from high school in 1951. He attended Western Montana College until he enlisted in the Army. He became a paratrooper stationed in Georgia and later Germany. When Frog talked about his time in the service, he said, “I loved the service: it did more for me than I ever did for it.” After his Army career, he returned to Western on the GI Bill and graduated with a B.S. in Education in 1958. He earned an M.S. degree in 1960. Frog often commented on how the GI Bill changed his life. He continued his formal education at the University of Washington, earning a writing endorsement. While at Western, he met and found the love of his life, Yvonne Wenger. They were married in 1956 and had six children.

As a young man, Frog was very active in school activities and athletics. He was involved in music and writing, and was also an athlete, playing sports in high school and college, including football, basketball, and baseball for the Western Bulldogs. Outside of school, he had many jobs from setting pins in a bowling alley to playing music in pool halls. Hard work was part of his life. He credits his success to his family, friends, and all the teachers, coaches, and mentors who cared for him.

Frog had a 25-year teaching career in the Dillon schools. He coached several sports and helped his students publish the school newspaper. He taught English, drama, and journalism, but mostly he taught students how to become good citizens, contribute to their communities, and always use good grammar! American Literature and Shakespeare were his favorite courses to teach. His ability to dissect poetry and prose to help his students understand was truly a gift. Frog used literature to teach life’s lessons and connect the past with the present. He would often break into song or play the harmonica in class to set the tone of what was to come during the lesson. Frog also found such joy in collaborating and joking with his colleagues.

Frog had many other jobs outside of his teaching career. He was the juvenile probation officer, city judge, basketball official, Big Sky Conference football official, Frontier Conference football officials’ supervisor, motivational speaker, Elks club steward, hardware store specialist, and dance band musician in the group “The Generation Gap.” He could come up with a song or a poem for any occasion—whether requested or not!

Frog had the gift of connecting with everyone, from the Governor of Montana to the folks in the pool hall. He made lifelong friends whether he worked with you, taught you, played music with you, refereed with you, or if he’d just met you. He had an uncanny way of remembering events, names, poetry, and songs. He was a great historian for our family and community. Frog is well known for his sense of humor and ability to entertain on the spot.

When he wasn’t volunteering for community events, like the Jaycees, D.A.R.E, Governor’s Task Force, Beaverhead Golf Course, American Legion, Elks, or playing music for fundraisers, he was active in community theatre, playing roles in “The Odd Couple,” “The Fantastiks,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” He also frequented the golf course. He was a good golf coach, helping those with their game whether he was asked for advice or not (Yvonne)! He played golf with a great group of guys almost every day. If he wasn’t playing golf, he was teaching about golf, reading about golf, writing songs about golf, or watching golf. He loved playing golf with Yvonne and with his kids and grandkids. He taught his kids and grandkids many things about golf and life while out on the course. In his last years of his life, he often mentioned how much he missed the game. Even when he was too ill to play, he would ride in the cart with his family to offer tips and pointers as they played a round.

He appreciated and was humbled by many awards and honors—including the Gold Key Award for Journalism, Outstanding Journalism Teacher of the Year, Western Montana College Outstanding Alumni, Montana Officials’ Association Hall of Fame, American Legion 50 Years of Service Award, Jaycee Distinguished Service Award, Western Montana College Athletic Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Award, and White Hat Coalition’s Distinguished Service Award, to name a few—but he was the most proud of his children and grandchildren. He often commented, “How did this Depression kid have such a wonderful wife, kids, and grandkids? All my kids have earned college degrees! I am so proud!” And then he would follow with, “You know, pride is one of the seven deadly sins.”

Frog was preceded in death by his son, Tim Hull; his parents; brothers Bob Hull and Richard “Toad” Hull; in-laws Frank Actis, Bernard Wenger, Marilyn Hull, and Cecilia Hull; and great-granddaughter, Arianna Binns.

Frog is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Yvonne; their children: Jeanette Hood of Boise, Joyce Tonner (Diane Bialek) of Beachville, Ontario, Canada, Arlene Hull of Boise, Vince (Anne) Hull of Tampa, Florida, and David Hull of Bozeman; 12 grandchildren: Melissa (David) Murray of Scotland, Julie (Carmine Iannilice) Tonner, Sarah Tonner, Michael (Jen) Bialek, Katie (Luke) Barrette, Jessie (Devin) Sholdice of Ontario, Canada, Megan (Tom) Simenc of Boise, Eric Hull of Zanzibar, Madison Hull, Nick Hull of Tampa, Florida, Emily Hull, Abby Hull of Bozeman; 8 great-grandchildren: Jamie Zinkgraf of Spokane, Washington, Cameron Murray of Scotland, Ben Bialek, June and Yvette Barrette, Riley and Landon Sholdice, Ocean Iannilice of Ontario, Canada; his brother Larry “Tadpole” Hull of Drummond, Montana; in-laws Fan Hull of Billings, Peggy Actis of Denver, Cleo Wenger of Casa Grande, Arizona, Richard and Rosemary Wenger of Bozeman, and many nieces and nephews.

Frog’s celebration of life will be on Monday, July 9th at 11:00 a.m. in the Lewis and Clark Room at the University of Montana Western. A private graveside service will follow. Brundage Funeral Home will handle the arrangements. Please feel free to leave memories or stories about Frog on the condolence page

Frog’s family wants to express their gratitude to all the individuals who cared for him throughout the years at Barrett Hospital, emergency services, home health, and hospice, and a special thanks to Dr. Ron Loge, who was not only Frog’s doctor, but his friend. The family would also like to thank all the friends and community members who helped during Frog’s illness. Special thanks to his good friends John Wilkerson, who played music with him every week, and Marvin Lundberg and his buddies, who stopped by to keep him posted on the “goingson” about town and to update him on Western Bulldogs’ and Dillon Beavers’ sports.

The family requests that contributions be made to the Frank “Frog” Hull Memorial Scholarship at The University of Montana Western at or to the Dillon YMCA in support of the capital campaign for a new gym.