Cover photo for Frank Tesinsky's Obituary
Frank Tesinsky Profile Photo
1942 Frank 2023

Frank Tesinsky

March 20, 1942 — November 9, 2023

Chicago

Musician, teacher, and seeker Frank Tesinsky passed away after months in hospice care, with his beloved wife holding his hand.

Frank started playing trombone in grade school—the band director chose him for his long arms. He went on to an impressive career as a trombonist, writer, and arranger. 

Frank toured with celebrities like Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, and Carol Channing. Played in Broadway musicals, a Grammy telecast, and countless TV commercials. And blew his horn with the Temptations, the Four Tops and Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd. 

His biggest hit as an arranger was “Kind of a Drag.” Frank is credited with creating The Buckinghams’ horn sound. And yes, that familiar trombone opening? One of those horn players was Frank.

Frank relished his second career as a teacher at Lake View High School and North Side Learning Center. He loved running into former students at restaurants and grocery stores, and hearing about the influence he’d had on them.

His deep spiritual practice informed those relationships. You’ll hear people describe Frank as “gentle,” “kind,” and “such a nice man.”

That’s how Catherine Johns felt after they met on a blind date. “Nice,” she said, “but not my type.” He changed her mind, she changed her type, and she’s missing him desperately after their 32-year marriage.

In addition to Catherine, Frank is survived by his son Frank Jr, and grandchildren Frank III and Jenna; his beloved cousin Charlene Kunesh; along with nieces, nephews, and in-laws he adored. He and Catherine were deeply grateful for their support during his illness.

Frank often ended conversations with friends saying, “We’re taking the first ending.” Because, of course, there would always be another verse—the song wasn’t over. So many people will miss him now that he’s taken the second ending.

You may wish to honor Frank with a donation to the Interlochen Center for the Arts or The People’s Music School.

Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois.

 
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