Frank Lamping and his wife Andrea watch a parade in his honor Saturday in Union Grove. Lamping, a member of the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame, lost his battle with prostate cancer Thursday. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Packers super fan Frank Lamping dies just days after parade in his honor

 

      Editor’s note: Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame member Frank Lamping – arguably Union Grove’s biggest celebrity – lost his battle with prostate cancer Thursday at the age of 63. Five days earlier the community threw a parade in his honor that provided a fitting green and gold send off for the Packers’ super fan.

      The following is a story written about that event prior to Lamping’s death.

 

By Mike Ramczyk

Correspondent

Highway 11 in the village of Union Grove looked like the scene from a Hollywood movie Saturday evening.

A parade of cars, including trucks, tractors and law enforcement vehicles came out in droves, more than 100 in total, to honor a man who would, and has, done just about anything for them over the years.

Frank Lamping, a Green Bay Packers super fan who became one of only 19 fans to enter the Packers Fan Hall of Fame in 2017, is 63 years old and dying from cancer.

Friends, family and community members gathered around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Racine County Fairgrounds, and the procession started in front of Lamping’s house at 5:30 p.m., as Racine County Sheriff’s squad cars blocked off the road.

Lamping was escorted to the roadside in a wheelchair, covered in Packers blankets and wearing a Packers construction hard hat. A family contingent of roughly 25 people set up lawn chairs in his front yard.

“We love you, Frank!” yelled one lady out of an SUV, as her children held signs to honor Lamping, who has been battling prostate cancer for seven years and recently was told he may only have days to live.

“I can’t believe it,” Lamping said after Saturday’s parade. “I’m overjoyed and I’m blessed. Look at the people that came out here today for me.”

“It’s a parade for me. My friends and family put it together. Isn’t that crazy?”

“Just to let him know how much they love him,” added Frank’s wife Andrea.

Worn out, but blessed

Frank choked back tears as he answered questions.

With Stage 4 cancer taking Lamping’s strength, he said he is staying positive and feeling OK.

“Today, I’m feeling pretty good, I’m just getting worn out,” Frank said. “We’ll make it go day by day. I’ll go as long as I can. Every day, I wake up in the morning. I thank God I got another day.”

Frank said his father gave him a deep passion for the Green Bay Packers. He grew up on a farm one mile south of his current home.

The ultimate super fan, Frank is up on the current times, as the Packers drafted a quarterback in the first round back in April, though the team has a franchise quarterback under contract, Aaron Rodgers.

“I’m kind of scared,” Frank joked about what’s going to happen with the QB drama. “We’ll see. I didn’t understand it. Hopefully, maybe they could trade Love for a linebacker or receiver. That’s a good thought.”

“I’m hoping we get to play at least.”

Frank wants those battling cancer to know they’re not alone.

“I want them to know I love them,” he said. “If you’re sick, just keep fighting it day by day, it’s all you can do. Thank you, God, for giving me another day. And thank you for all these wonderful people. There’s about 10 percent family here today and the (are) rest friends. I’m very blessed.”

“Thank you to everybody. I love them all. They’re such nice people. They make me cry. Union Grove is a great community.”

Parade a community effort

Andrea said Saturday’s parade was a big surprise.

“My sister said somebody she works with thought about doing a parade,” Andrea said. “They called another friend, Dave Moyer, from town and they just threw it together Wednesday or Thursday. He really is a celebrity.”

Frank and Andrea have been married 37 years.

“Seven years ago, they gave Frank two years to live,” Andrea said. “He made it this long. We’re on hospice right now. We were going to start this last treatment, and things fell apart.”

“Today was wonderful. He’s one of those people that helps everybody out, no questions asked. He’s just an all-around good person.”

Surely, Andrea had to be a Packers fan to hit it off with Frank, right?

Wrong.

Frank turned her into a fan.

“He converted me,” Andrea said. “I didn’t even know the sport that well. Our nephews did RYS (Racine Youth) football, and that’s where it got more fun and I learned the game. We got our tickets in 1996, and he tries to go to every single Packers home game, every year.”

Andrea said Frank went to all eight regular season games and the playoff game at Lambeau Field in 2019.

“Frank is one of the most kind and generous people I’ve ever met, and he’d give you the shirt off his back, no questions asked,” said Andrea, who fought back tears. “He is really, he is one of a kind, that’s for sure.”

      See the June 19 edition of the Westine Report for additional photos from the event.