WARSAW — Family and traditions are important to Reily Frankum and her husband Chris, and they are working toward passing those important traits to their sons, Barrett, 5 and Clayton, 2 ½. “We’re family oriented and that includes our close friends.”
Every night it’s dinner as a family and an evening spent watching movies or a family activity. They travel to Peru on a regular basis to visit Chris Frankum’s grandparents and spend time with Reily’s parents just up the road at Winona Lake. Even their involvement in sports is family time. Her husband plays competitive softball playing in tournaments throughout the state and in a local league. It’s a family event to attend the games. It’s even a family event to attend Cubs and Colts games.
But she is not always the spectator. She is on a volleyball team and plays in various tournaments through the state. Additionally, Barrett is now active in sports, playing tee-ball, basketball, soccer and jujitsu. “We’re a big sports family and enjoy going to games.”
Reily is also sharing the love of gardening, animals and preserving fruits and vegetables with her family. She grew up going to her grandparents collecting eggs from the chicken barn, eating fresh fruits and garden vegetables and home canned goods. “It’s something I’ve always loved,” she said. She admitted to inheriting her love for chickens from her grandparents and because of her desire and love for preserving vegetables and fruits, she inherited all her grandmother’s canning equipment. The enjoyment of fresh vegetables and fruit year around and the love of animals is something she wants to pass on to her children.
Each year she has plants one-half acre of fruits and vegetables. These include green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, peppers, onions, corn, strawberries blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and grapes. She also has a small orchard with apple, cheery, peach, plum and pear trees. Just recently she discovered four mature mulberry trees behind the home, which are harvested as well. All these products are preserved through canning and/or turned into jams.
Reily admitted it takes a lot of time and effort to do all the gardening, weeding, picking and canning. But it is still an enjoyment. Barrett has begun to come out and help with the picking of vegetables. The boys have already learned home canned applesauce is much better than store bought.
Reily grew up in the North Manchester and Wabash areas on a farm. Besides the common farm animals they also had all sorts of random animals for a wildlife rehabilitation. These animals included raccoons, skunks, squirrels and at one point a black bear.
Reily graduated from Northfield High School, Wabash, and went on to Manchester College. It was at Manchester she met her husband and who, you could say, was responsible for part of her college degree. Starting out with a psychology major, she soon learned that wasn’t for her. With his encouragement, she went into accounting. She then decided to have a double major and added marketing. “Marketing was that thing that interested me … math has just always been my area that I’ve understood … marketing is very interesting to me … it’s gray area so that interested me. She graduated in 2012 with majors in accounting and marketing.
She started working at Biomet in the surgical skills lab. Her husband, who graduated in 2009, worked at Zimmer-Biomet. Both their jobs required travel and with a newborn child in 2010, it was not feasible. “I decided to leave Biomet and seek a part time position,” Reily stated.
That started her career working for foundations. She found a part-time position as marketing and communications director with the Community Foundation of Wabash County where shes pent just over five years. “I didn’t know a single thing about community foundations,” she said when she started her position. But she learned.
Today she is the communications director at the Kosciusko County Community Foundation where her role focuses on marketing, communications, publications and maintaining the foundation’s social media and web page.
When Reily isn’t working, tending to the garden, preserving fresh fruits and vegetables, spending time with family or involved in sports. She enjoys reading. “I just pick up a book, any type and read it if it interests me,” she said and is known to buy books at garage sale to add to their home library. “Both Chris and I love to read and hope that our children get that too.”