Frank Reynolds Blossom was at his core a story teller, coach, teacher, and mentor whose gift to the world was helping others bring out the best in themselves. He was a true creative who loved finding new ways to express ideas and solve problems.
His career took him into advertising, where he turned his gift for storytelling into memorable campaigns to help brands find their voice. Frank’s storied career as Creative Director at Leo Burnett, D’Arcy, Noble & Associates and Felder Communications Group propelled top brands like Heinz Ketchup, Maytag and Lay’s Potato Chips into mainstays of American culture. In 2010, Frank was awarded The Silver Medal, the American Advertising Federation’s highest honor to professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the advertising and marketing industry and who have been active in furthering creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.
He developed his coaching voice on the soccer field, using his skills honed as an All-American player at Ohio Wesleyan to coach neighborhood kids and eventually his own daughters in the beautiful game. His coaching turned to teaching when he became a professor of Advertising at Grand Valley State University where he used his experience in the advertising world to create programs and opportunities to help students practice their skills like Yardsticks, Creative Smackdown, GrandPR, and the Bloom Group. He took pride in using his networks to help students land their first internships and jobs, and was always generous with his advice and recommendations. In 2018, following his retirement from GVSU, the Frank Fund Endowment was established as a way to help defray the costs of “non-traditional educational experiences” including creative professional development, conferences, and interviews for cross country opportunities. The endowment was created for creative community members to “give back, so others can move forward” as a way of funding “extra mile” costs for students.
Coming from a family of strong women, including his mother, wife, two daughters and four sisters, he also found ways to contribute outside the classroom, focusing on opportunities for women and girls. He lent his time, energy and creative talents to the Women’s Resource Center, an organization working to empower women in the workplace, served on the Board of ANSWER, an organization supporting girls education in Nepal, and worked with the Pediatric Oncology Resource Team, serving West Michigan families with children battling cancer.
He found joy in helping others, though he was most happy on the porch of the family cottage in Castle Park, carefully selecting an appropriate soundtrack, and regaling visitors over bocce and cocktails with new (and many old) stories.
He had a quirky sense of humor, expressed in his colorful socks and hats, constantly changing flags, and favorite pranks on friends and family. His passion for life and loyalty was only tested by the Chicago sports teams he loved, who taught him lifelong lessons about disappointment and hope for better days.
Frank lives on in the hearts of his wife Sam, daughters Jessin and Kellyn, and sisters Carol, Amy, Mary, Joy and their families. He will be joining his brother Bill, and his parents Rennie and Bebe, for cocktail hour and story time in the sky. And while Frank may have played his last inning, for the Cubs there is always next year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Frank Fund Endowment at Grand Valley State University.
A memorial gathering for Frank will be held on April 23, 2022. Please contact Sam at 616-446-1309 for information about location and time of service.
University Development Grand Valley State University
P.O. Box 1945, Grand Rapids MI 49501