Cover photo for Frank L. Challis's Obituary
Frank L. Challis Profile Photo

Frank L. Challis

August 29, 1946 — January 29, 2022

Frank L. Challis

In loving memory of Frank L. Challis, 75, who passed away on Saturday, January 29, 2022 as a result of Covid, at his home in Liberal. He was born on August 29, 1946 in Geary, OK, the son of Oran and Betty (Smith) Challis. His biological father was Frank “Swede” Henderson; Oran Challis adopted Frank at a young age. While Frank became a Challis through and through, he remained fond of his birth family as well.  Frank graduated from Geary High School, class of 1965. He then went on to obtain a BA in English and a Masters of Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Frank started his professional career by teaching high school in Weleetka, OK and then Henryetta, OK.  Next, he moved on to the university level teaching college classes at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. In 1976, Frank became employed as an instructor for Seward County Community College in Liberal, KS, where he remained for the rest of his career. During his tenure at SCCC, he was a speech instructor and director of drama/theater. After 38 years in education, 33 years at SCCC, Frank retired in 2009 but continued working part time through the SCCC Business & Industry programs until 2016.

Frank had a love for theater, especially musical productions, and enjoyed designing sets and stage costumes. For many years he had a side business providing costumes for stage productions and holiday parties which was well known regionally. Frank cared deeply for his mother. He shared a home with her, where she lived for many years until her death in 2007. In retirement, Frank loved decorating his home for the holidays and would invite friends over to view his creations. He treasured seeing his many former students and had many lifelong friends around town in Liberal and among his coworkers at SCCC. Frank enjoyed morning coffee and lively discussions with friends at McDonalds, Burger King and lately at Braum's.

Frank is survived by his brother, Michael Challis and wife Beth, of Oklahoma City, OK; nephew, Samuel Oran Challis of Oklahoma City, OK; niece, Claire Elaine Boyd of Norman, OK; grandniece, Lucy Jo Boyd; grandnephew, Bennett Ray Boyd; and Frank’s two beloved dogs, Zander and BZ Bee.

He was preceded in death by his parents Oran and Betty Challis and nephew, Berkeley Elliott Challis.

There will be no viewing, as cremation has taken place.

A Celebration of his wonderful flamboyant life and personality will be announced for a later date in spring.

Friends may send condolences to the family through Frank's tribute web page at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank L. Challis, please visit our flower store.


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