Someone once said, “Dying is easy, it’s like taking off a tight shoe.” Frank Setter, a kind and gentle soul and a beloved friend and mentor to friends, family and all who ever knew him, has left us. He passed at his winter home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Frank was born in Crary, North Dakota on July 18, 1944 the son of Louis and Loretta Setter, where he received his early education. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in Physics and later with a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Michigan. Frank’s career path took an important change at this juncture as it focused his life’s attention on what he would do in his future. He later completed his Doctoral coursework in Education at the University of Massachusetts. After a brief period working with youth groups in Boston, he moved to Maine, his future home in his beloved town of Stonington. From here, his entire life’s focus was on developing and providing services to children and adults with special needs. In this capacity, he served as a special services regional Maine coordinator at the Community Health and Counseling Center and later, as Assistant Professor of Human Services at the University of Maine’s Bangor Campus. Before active retirement, he was also Assistant Principal at the Lakes Region Middle School in Naples, Maine and worked in New Hampshire for a time. To all who knew Frank, he never really retired. He continued to counsel, suggest, and provide developmental concepts and ideas for peers working in services to those with special needs. He would listen and then he would speak and then it would behoove others to listen to what he had to say. There are few programs and agencies in Maine, providing services to those with special needs, in which Frank Setter did not play a role, either in establishing or providing input. Although spending winters in South Carolina in recent years, his home in Stonington was the center of his life and where his spirit will always remain. Summer was always a destination for his many friends who would come to spend hours or a day or two with Frank, laughing, listening, sharing memories, sharing a glass of cheer. His social life often centered on his book club, The Easy Readers. To one friend, he was like a brother he never had. One could pour out their soul to Frank, seeking his advice with problems, big and small, affecting their life and know that what was shared would be held in confidence. The jokes, the music, the songs he could spontaneously compose, the Fourth of Julys, the Labor Day parties, his love for his golf games (he’d never miss the Master’s), his family history and politics, songs and conversations around a camp fire at the ocean’s edge, family visits, friends old and new, his beautiful gardens and his love for all growing things. The memories keep coming and would easily fill a book. Frank is survived by sisters, Marie Setter Hoien and Audrey Setter Kavanaugh of Wisconsin, brother John and special nephew John Paul Matheson living in Colorado with John, his wife Norma and niece, Marcella Setter. There are many cousins and other relations. He was pre-deceased by brothers, Louis Setter of California and brother, James Setter and sister, Joyce Setter, both of North Dakota. A memorial service will be held this summer at Frank’s home in Stonington at a date to be determined, Those wishing to do so, may make memorial gifts in Frank’s memory to the causes of their choice. Rest in peace dearest friend. You will always live on in our hearts.
Posted online on February 10, 2021