Francis X. “Frank” Langlois

FALMOUTH – Francis X. “Frank” Langlois, 89, passed away at his home on Saturday, September 12, 2020. He was born in Boston on February 7, 1931 to Albert H and Elsie (McNeil) Langlois.

Frank graduated from Deering High School and Boston University. He then headed to Sun Valley, Idaho to pursue his passion for skiing, a decision that directed the course of his life.

Frank married Eleanor “Ellie” Etter in June of 1959. Together they borrowed $600 from Frank’s mother and they opened the Chalet Ski Shop in Portland’s Golden Triangle. They later made the move to South Portland, the second store built in what has become the Maine Mall area. After 35 years as one of the top ski retailers in the East, they sold the business to Eastern Mountain Sports.

While Frank and Ellie were growing the retail business Frank was also developing his wholesale ski business. A pioneer in the industry, he traveled to Europe importing equipment and merchandise not available in the U.S. He began with lace up Reiker Ski Boots, and from there represented many lines of skis, ski clothing and accessories, bicycles, tennis gear and competitive swimwear.

He was the first to represent Gatorade, helped with the development of Alpine Designs Skiwear and camping gear. He was especially proud of his involvement in the growth of Smith Sport Optics. Frank Langlois Associates had representatives traveling the eastern seaboard and as far west as Chicago.

An athlete all his life, Frank skied until his late 70s. He was “Sugarloafer”, skied all over the US and Europe and helicopter skied the Bugaboos, but his heart remained in Sun Valley and he returned every chance he got.

Frank was an excellent golfer. He was a member of the Portland Country Club and the Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach. He loved a good tournament, winning many. He played the Maine Seniors continually shooting less than his age until his health sidelined his game in 2018.

Franks greatest success was his many friendships. He never met a stranger, never forgot a name and genuinely liked people. He saw people’s strengths, encouraging them and offering whatever opportunities he could to help them achieve success. He & Ellie housed many in their apartment to help financially or to provide respite. They quietly helped young people they met with money for education. In his last week’s his friends came to see him daily. They told funny stories, talked golf and let him know that he meant as much to them as they did to him. He was a lucky man.

Frank is survived by his daughter, Marianne, of who resides at CASA in Scarborough, as well as his sister, Marlene McGovern and her husband Greg of Auburn, Ellie’s sisters, Suzanne Lyford and Nancy Supiro, and his brother-in-law, Ken Higgins. He has many nieces and nephews. He was cared for at the end of his life by his “guardian angel” Kelly McGovern Shaw and her husband Bob, his “adopted son” Andrew Cloutier and his partner Jody Arsenault, his dear friend Kristin Verault and his much loved cat, Howie. Frank was predeceased by his wife Ellie and his sister Helen (Langlois) Higgins.

Frank requested no ceremonies. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of Portland. To view Frank’s Memorial Page or to share online condolence, please visit

Memorial contributions can be made in Frank’s memory to the Maine State Golf Association, Frank Langlois Scholarship Fund.

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