“Around the union hall, Frank was known as ‘Dad,’ a nickname he earned because of his calm demeanor and wise presence,” said Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “He was the kind of person you could count on; well-respected and valued by members and fellow reps alike. He will be sorely missed, but his memory and legacy will live on for years to come.”
Saxsenmeier was initiated into Local 1245 in November of 1959, when he first began working for PG&E. In fall of 1978, he joined the union staff as a Business Rep, and over the years he represented members all across the Bay Area and held a number of different assignments, including PG&E Diablo Division, East Bay Steam, Materials and local GC, as well as Foster Wheeler, AC Transit, City of Alameda, City of Berkeley, City of Oakland and Davey Tree.
“I worked with Frank on the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee for about five years, and he had great historical knowledge of the apprenticeship program. He was a real asset,” said Local 1245 Business Rep Landis Marttila, who knew “Dad” ever since he was a shop steward in San Francisco, when Saxsenmeier was Marttila’s business rep. “He was also really good when it came to handling grievances. He was straightforward with people, always clear and succinct. And he knew all the precedent-setting grievances, which made him really effective when it came to arguing our side of the case in an LIC.”
Saxsenmeier retired in April of 2005, but continued to be an active presence within the union even after his retirement. He played a key role in the birth of the Organizing Steward program, and also worked to develop Local 1245’s Peer Safety Program.
“Frank was a mentor and an advocate for the rights of workers; civil rights, women’s rights and human rights in general. And he was not threatened by women in leadership positions,” recalled former Senior Assistant Business Manager Dorothy Fortier. “He was a person you could count on to keep their word in good or bad times, and he was devoted to his family and his union.”
“On the lighter side, one of the few times I angered him was by postponing lunch when we were working in North Bay,” Fortier continued. “Some of Frank’s stories about the restaurants in SF (from his days as a Serviceman) changed my view of eating out for life.”
At the time of this writing, no funeral or memorial information is available. The union will post service information to the website once it has been announced.