In Remembrance: William H. Frank ’32 Died on September 19 2013

William Henry (Bill) Frank passed away on September 19, 2013, just a week after his 104th birthday.

Bill was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, on September 11, 1909, and raised in Manhattan. He graduated from Phillips Andover in 1928, spent his freshman college year at the U. of Wisconsin, and transferred as a sophomore to Yale, from which he graduated in 1932. 

His first job was with the Wall Street firm of L. F. Rothschild at a starting salary of $15 per week. In 1936 he became the New York Stock Exchange floor broker for Smith, Frank and Co. On July 7, 1936, Bill married Ruth Patricia Brown of Sloatsburgh, New York.

In 1942 he volunteered for Army Air Corp officer training, at the conclusion of which he was assigned to the Door Field, Florida, Primary Flying School, and then to AAFPOA (Army Air Forces Pacific Ocean Area), stationed at Hickam Field, Hawaii. Bill ended his military career as a major on the staff of the US Army Strategic Air Force (USASTAF) stationed in Guam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. This was the command that dropped the atom bomb.

On separation from the service on January 1946, he resigned from Smith, Frank and started Countywide Gas Corp, an installer of natural gas heating equipment and a distributor of propane gas. The company was subsequently bought out by Suburban Propane in 1976.

In 1952, Bill and his very good friend, M. H. Laundon, were awarded the Bryant Heater distributorship for the state of Connecticut and Westchester County in New York. Finding two jobs too onerous, Bill resigned from Bryant Equipment Co. in 1962. In 1965 he was appointed a director of Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, later becoming its vice president until his retirement in 1995.

A resident of Armonk, New York, for 37 years, he and his wife, Ruth, were alternately involved in numerous activities such as chairman of town recreation and trustees of the North Castle Library. Bill was also a past president of the Lions Club and a 50-year member of the North Castle American Legion Post 1097, and is still an associate member of the Armonk Independent Fire Co.

Active in Yale alumni affairs, he was chairman of several of his class's reunions and at his 50th in 1982 was elected class secretary and remained so to this day; he jokingly complained that the nominating committee had failed to provide an exit plan. He was appointed an associate fellow of Yale's Berkeley College.

In Bill's later life he enjoyed writing poetry and letters to the editor of the Times-Union; the letters have been published in two pamphlets.

His son, William Timothy Frank, predeceased him in 1975, as did Ruth, his dear wife of 74 years. Surviving are a daughter, Mary Ellen Ball, of Morristown, New Jersey; a grandson, Wm. Edward (Ted) Frank and wife, Lisa, of Ponte Vedra, Florida, and granddaughters Amy L. Frank of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Diane F. Bartley and husband Jay of Bellaire, Texas, and Laura Ball Mayo and husband Marc of Colorado; and great-grandchildren Heather and William T. Frank, Alexis and Jenna Bartley, and Skyler and River Mayo.

—submitted by the family

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