Brenda Frank Septic Service carries on family tradition

By 
Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Outlook photo by Kathleen Gilluly.  Trevor Jellison and Brenda Frank have started up a new family-run septic-pumping business - Brenda Frank Septic Tank Service.

Outlook photo by Kathleen Gilluly.

Trevor Jellison and Brenda Frank have started up a new family-run septic-pumping business - Brenda Frank Septic Tank Service.

For Brenda Frank and her son, Trevor Jellison, starting a new family-run septic-pumping business, was a way to keep the memory of her father, R.L. “Bob” Frank alive, after his March death. 

“I grew up in this business,” Frank said. “I helped my dad when I was in high school and my kids helped me when they were in high school.” Jellison has worked in the business for his grandfather for the past eight years and took over operations three years ago.

“The business was our connection,” Frank said. “I felt that I had made a commitment to my dad and his customers, and to my son because he stuck around for the job.”

After the family patriarch died, there were issues that prevented Frank and Jellison from outright purchasing the business. “I was worried it was going to be sold to a stranger,” Frank said. “So, I started looking for a truck to buy.”

Frank admitted pumping septic systems isn’t a business she would have sought out on her own.

“It isn’t glamorous and it doesn’t pay especially well,” she said. “For me, the business was always a family thing. I went with my dad, even before I worked for him, just to enjoy his company.”

It helps that Jellison, who is running the business, enjoys the work which entails pumping out septic systems, vacuuming drain fields, cleaning filters and educating customers on the proper maintenance of their system. He, like his mom, learned every aspect of the business from his grandfather.

“I don’t mind it at all,” he said. “Most of our customers have become friends and they know we are very careful and clean. Just like our customers, we don’t want to see or smell it. And, I like working independently and alone.”

Unfortunately, Frank said she had about given up on finding a truck and was ready to throw in the towel.

“It was tough,” she said. “I was grieving the loss of my dad and didn’t think I was going to be able to continue the business. It was really hard. But, then I just happened upon an ad for a truck that was exact same as my dad’s, but it was in New Jersey,” Frank said. The truck was exact down to the year and model, a 2001 Freightliner. “I took that as a sign that it needed to be done and bought the truck.”

Fast forward a few, the truck was polished up and shipped here, and has “run like a top since we got it,” she said.

Jellison has been attending to the business full-time while Frank works at High Plains Brewery. Her sister, Niki Fox also plays an important role in the septic business. Frank’s daughter, Kaylee Jellison, helps with the business’ bookkeeping.

“She was always a part of the team,” Frank said. “She is our tech person and does all the computer work. So, now we have the entire crew again. We are just missing the boss.”

For information or to have your septic cleaned, contact Brenda Frank Septic Tank Service at 406-860-1800.

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