Deceased March 16, 2017
Frank died March 16 in Cary, N.C. Born in New York City in 1924, he grew up in Lexington, Va., where his father was a professor at VMI.
He joined the U.S. Army infantry after high school and participated in heavy combat in Germany and Belgium. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for valorous service and retained a lifelong interest in World War II and military history.
After graduating from Amherst, where he was president of Chi Psi, Frank settled in Raleigh, N.C., and worked for the Standard Oil Co. before starting the Welles Co., an agricultural dehydration plant in Wake County, with his brother Paul, that lasted more than 20 years.
He was later involved in auto parts and insurance businesses and became a keen personal investor and stock market expert. He was a member of the Raleigh Kiwanis, treasurer of Meals on Wheels and chairman of the Ravenscroft school board. Frank was a strong supporter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Frank was interested in economics and politics and was conservative in both. He also maintained a strong concern for the conservation of natural resources. Although an avid runner, his passion was sailing—cruising and racing—which he had learned as a boy off Buzzard’s Bay, Mass., where his family had a summer home. As an adult, he sailed for 40 years from Oriental, N.C.
Predeceased by his first wife, he is survived by his loving wife and companion of 33 years, four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He was known for his kindness, practicality, faith in God and devotion to his family, all of which were noted in the celebration of his life last March in Cary, N.C. Our class had a number of gentlemen of whom we can justly be proud.
Gerry Reilly ’49