Softball player profile: Frank Rouse

Larry Wolfe

A “farm boy” from Dickens, Iowa, Frank Rouse graduated from nearby Terril High where he was a member of the Tigers’ baseball, basketball and track teams. He was also in the school band and chorus. Guys down at the field might be surprised to learn that Frank was a distance runner rather than a sprinter, since he’s considered “really fast” compared to most of us! In fact, he placed sixth in the state in the mile run.

Frank earned a degree in history in the University of Northern Iowa’s teaching program. He taught history and geography and coached the basketball team at Southeast Polk Junior High, then taught history, geography and social studies and coached junior and senior high baseball and junior high basketball at Ayrshire. After 10 years in education, Frank switched gears and went to work in the Drainage Department of the Clay County Engineers Office. An odd transition one might think, but Frank had a long-term interest in drainage issues on the family farm and had actually written a term paper on the subject. When he interviewed for the job, they thought he was an expert!

That led to a 30-year career in the County Engineers Office where, in addition to positions in the Drainage Department, he did zoning work and was in charge of right-of-way negotiations and contracts. Frank also did part-time farming while working for the County. The family farm specialized in growing corn and soybeans and raising livestock.

Frank and Pat, his bride of 47 years, moved to Sun Lakes four years ago. Their son and his family live in Scottsdale, and two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandsons are back in Iowa. They basically sold everything in Iowa when they retired here, including most of the farmland and a Christian bookstore that Pat operated. They now spend summers at a condo they purchased in Kalona, near where their daughters live. Frank says it’s a near perfect situation having family and grandkids both here and there.

Golf was supposed to be Frank’s main activity after moving to Arizona, but softball has now pretty much taken over. He had played on softball teams all the way back to his teaching days before “retiring” in the mid-1990s. He’s now thrilled to be back at it. He’s also playing summer softball in Iowa.

The Rouses don’t do a lot of traveling, but they did take a major trip to China to celebrate their 40th anniversary. They toured Beijing, Nanking, Shanghai, the Great Wall and Xi’an, home of the terracotta warriors. They’re now trying to plan another very special trip for their big 5-0!

Pat and Frank enjoy team trivia nights and are both members of the Chandler First Baptist Church Choir. Frank says that Pat is the “really good” singer while he’s “adequate.” Pat’s also a member of the Sun Lakes Chorale.

“Life’s been great,” said Frank. “But returning to playing softball has made it even better!”