Longtime Calaveras County resident Frank Leonard Gault passed away on Dec. 4, 2017.
He was born Jan. 28, 1951 in Palo Alto and attended Los Altos High School in Los Altos, graduating in 1969.
Spending childhood summers at the family cabin in Pacific Valley, Frank fell in love with the mountains and was a lifelong avid fisherman, camper and outdoorsman. In junior high school he spent a month in Mexico as part of an exchange program and later learned to make authentic Mexican food while working at a popular Mexican restaurant in Los Altos.
Coming from a musical family, Frank was a fine tuba player, and he played for many years in the Calaveras Community Band. He played in the Fanfare Four, a brass quartet originally formed by his grandfather in the 1920s and then recreated in the 1970s by his father, Donald Gault. Frank also played guitar and a mean blues ukulele as well.
An avid reader and book collector, Frank worked for a number of years at the original Stage Stop Bookstore in Murphys. After losing his cabin home in the Old Gulch fire of 1992, he moved to Vallecito where he grew an abundant garden of fruit trees, grapes, vegetables and flowers. He was an excellent cook and prolific canner, pleasing his family and friends with jars of the best salsa, refries and enchilada sauce.
Son of a NASA scientist, Frank was an expert amateur astronomer. His knowledge of the skies was extensive, and he delighted in sharing this with anyone who wanted to look up and learn more about the cosmos. He built many telescopes and held numerous star parties in local schools and throughout the county. He was a founding member of “The Star Geezers,” a local astronomy club.
Frank was known for his quick wit, his highly individual opinions, a keen ability to tell amazing stories, and his knowledge of the starry skies, planets and nebulae.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Mary Gault, of Vallecito.
Frank is survived by his sisters, Kathy Gault, of Bend, Oregon and Jan Hutchison, of Sedgwick, Kansas. He leaves behind many friends.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.