Sad news of passing of Frank Gage, Hero, Vet for Peace, Activist Extraordinaire

Dear Friends,

Sad news of passing of Frank Gage, Hero, Vet for Peace, Activist Extraordinaire

Our deepest condolences go out with the sad news that our dear Frank Gage, Co-Chair of the WNY Peace Center’s Environmental Justice Taskforce, Veterans for Peace #128 Vice President, dear dear friend and generous deeply committed and devoted activist and WNY Peace Center stellar Member Frank Gage passed away on August 8 from medical complications/relapse after emergency surgery.

Our hearts go out to his family and the many many friends and co-workers of Frank. We will all miss him so very much! No one can fill the gap that Frank leaves. We will work all the harder and love each other all the better in and with his memory.

Frank earned honors everywhere he went. His deep love and compassion, strong truth-telling, selfless dedication to others and to a world of justice and peace, fairless and love, were a great boon to all everywhere he went. We were so blessed to have Frank as a stalwart, active, and amazing friend. He was love in action for his family, friends, and all the the community:

– as a tireless Bomb Train spotter and investigator (he and Charley Bowman were the dynamic and groundbreaking duo on that issue!);

– as a champion of the Fracking Ban; – as a true-blue Veteran for Peace, always ready to help young people understand that money drives the wars, and not to be fooled into thinking of military service;

– as a supporter of others in so many ways, supporting the great work done by the superb readers of the Lonely Soldier Monologues and bringing them to the WNY Peace Center dinner;

– driving the 15-seater van to transport children to Camp Peaceprints, bringing his wonderfully kind and connecting grand-daughter (s 😉  Justina – and Devon – as well!;

– bringing pizza at the drop of a hat;

– standing out in front of Buffalo General Hospital in a bathrobe to protest the US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan.

The memories of Frank and his goodness, his service, and his love are endless. Thankfully endless. We can remember some of them at Lombardo’s, and will continue on ever after. You can also go to share on his facebook page – Frank J. Gage – and read his obituary there.

There will be a service, including a military honors service and calling hours, on Monday August 13, 4-7pm at Lombardo’s Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd (near Eggert/Sheridan). See below for more info -. (The obituary will also run in the Sunday Buffalo News.)

We will all miss Frank more than tongue can tell. He will live on in the love he leaves in each of us. Deepest condolences to his dear family. Please see Charley’s wonderful tribute below.

Peace, Thanks, Blessings, and Love.            Vicki


Tribute by Charley Bowman, Co-Chair (BFF)


On Wednesday, August 8, my dear friend, colleague and Co-Chair of both the WNY Drilling Defense and Environmental Justice Task Force of the WNY Peace Center — passed away.

I met Frank years ago at a WNY Peace Center gathering when the Peace Center’s home was on Bailey Ave….not far from Frank’s home on the East Side. Unlike many, many, many….Frank never left. Two years ago, he told me about a gun battle on his street (rival gangs) and showed me the bullet holes in his front porch. Frank had no desire to leave.

During a car ride to the Southern Tier (to view the tankers holding Bakken crude oil/tar sand oil near Olean NY — they are gone now), Frank told me the story about a rescue he was involved in during the Vietnam War. He provided cover for another soldier who went back into the fire fight to rescue several wounded soldiers. Making several trips into harms way, that person successfully rescued the wounded warriors — and appropriately received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Frank never said anything more about that. Today I learned that he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, perhaps for his part in the rescue….I dunno….Frank never told. That’s Frank!

Frank was wounded in another night time battle, in which he lost his best buddy and exec. Frank forwarded radio message to headquarters. During the battle he directed shells to be placed at some location, but headquarters refused Frank’s request, because Frank did not hold high-enough rank to issue the request. Frank explained to headquarters his CO was dead, and he was next in line…but that did not make a difference to headquarters. Finally, Frank yelled at his senior command….and the shelling began. But Frank concluded that lives were lost during the unnecessary delay. In that battle, Frank took a blast near his face and suffered a concussion. Frank hated war and sometimes complained about his war buddies still glorifying battle and war at annual gatherings. Frank’s email address contained “snowbird”….that was his CO’s call sign in Vietnam.

In 2010, Frank introduced me to environmental issues while I was Interim Director of the Peace Center. He said “Pay attention to Rita Yelda — she’s good — and the fracking issue is really bad.” I said, “Who’s Rita and what’s fracking?” Frank always had excellent judgement. Rita and Frank were trying to ban fracking in NY State, and successfully lobbied local governments to ban fracking in their jurisdictions….all this during a time when other environmental organizations were promoting “safe fracking”. A few years later those organizations saw the light (a long story) and finally adopted the position held by Rita and Frank at WNY Drilling Defense: ban fracking entirely. Rita and Frank were years ahead of the curve.

Over a period of a year and a half, Frank got 1,500 to 2,000 signatures on a fracking ban petition. He did this by frequently visiting shopping centers. Frank’s petition signatures must be a record in Upstate NY.

Whatever event the Peace Center organized— Frank showed up…I believe he was the most active peace activist in Upstate NY….and he was active in the Clean Air Coalition too.

There are lots of Frank stories to remember and tell.

R.I.P. Frank, and keep an eye peeled for bomb trains.

A gathering in Frank’s memory will be held 4 PM – 7 PM, Monday, August 13, at the Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd. (near Eggert Rd and Sheridan Dr).

Frank’s family requested donations be made in Frank’s honor to the WNY Peace Center. (; or snail mail to 1272 Delaware Ave, Buffalo NY 14209).