Frank Joseph Roan was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 2, 1925. The Roan family sent three of their sons to Amherst starting in the late 1930s when James entered with the Class of 1940. Gordon (better known as Gordie) matriculated with the Class of 1944. Our classmate, Frank Roan, followed suit after graduating from the Hill School in Pottsville, PA, in 1942. He spent one year on campus before enlisting in 1943 in the US Navy where he served for slightly more than a year with the fleet as a machinist mate. Frank next accepted an appointment to the Navy V-12 program, which successively sent him for studies at Westminster College in Missouri, Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo, and Northwestern Univ., where he completed his naval service.
After returning to civilian ranks, Frank had earned sufficient college credits to enter the St. Louis Univ. School of Law from which he graduated in 1948. He practiced law in Illinois from 1949 until retirement in 1989 as a partner with the 300-lawyer Chicago firm of Kech, Mahin, and Cate. After retirement, he continued to practice law as a freelancer in Sarasota, FL, where his clientele generated substantially from fellow members of the Bent Tree Golf and Country Club. He whimsically substantiated this claim on occasion by saying he played golf “solely” for business purposes. I am certain many of our classmates, when appropriate, have walked, or ridden in a cart, “solely” in these same shoes.
During Frank’s Chicago tenure, he was a member of or volunteer at a number of civic and charitable organizations including Bishop Anderson House; Law Club of Chicago; the Illinois, Florida, and American Bar Associations; Trinity Church Vestry; St. Mark’s Church; and the Illinois Advertising Council.
Frank Roan and Fleda Gillespie were married in 1945. They were favored with two daughters. Cathy (the oldest and now deceased) and Beverly in turn married and each added two grandchildren to the family rolls. Frank married second wife, Carrie, after a divorce in the middle 1980s. He was seldom reluctant to confirm they produced a little girl, Lindsey, in 1986 when our hero was over sixty years of age! He was known to venture a suspicion that this might be a ’46er record which is worthy of etching into our Class archives.
Last, but not least, Frank Roan endorsed and appreciated with passion the pleasures of retirement in Sarasota!
—J. Wells Steinwart ’46