January 15, 1923 – September 19, 2020
Ernest (“Ernie”) Frankel, 97, passed away after a brief illness, at his home in Los Angeles on September 19, 2020.
Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Charlotte, NC to Beatrice and Irving Frankel, he attended the University of North Carolina, where he was president of his fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi and the editor of the college newspaper The Daily Tarheel. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Marines, married the love of his life, Louise Lazarus Frankel, and was stationed in the Pacific Theatre of World War II as a platoon commander in the invasion of Okinawa.
He returned to active service during the Korean conflict, recruiting and training troops for combat. While living in Hendersonville, NC In the years following the War, he wrote two novels: Band of Brothers — published in 1958, the story of the battle for the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean Conflict and Tongue of Fire , published in 1960, after being suppressed in the heat of the McCarthy Era.
In 1960, he moved with his wife and two daughters to Southern California where he wrote and produced films about the Apollo Project at North American Aviation. After a fortuitous meeting with his neighbor, Arthur Marks, a director on the Perry Mason Show, he entered the world of network television, subsequently writing, and later producing such shows as I Spy, Mannix, Mod Squad and Movin’ On.
During this time he remained in the Marine Reserves and in 1969 he was ordered to Vietnam for a special assignment producing a film for the Marine Corps. He was later awarded the Legion of Merit by President Gerald Ford and retired as a full Colonel in 1982.
Upon his retirement from the television industry, he served on the board of the Evan M. Frankel Foundation, which endowed a Chair at the UCLA English Department and was instrumental in the establishment of the UCLA School of Law's Evan M. Frankel Environmental Law & Policy Program. He also served as chairman of security in his hilltop community, Mountain Gate, where he earned the love and respect of his neighbors, local politicians and the security personnel in his charge.
While in his nineties, he researched, wrote and published his final novel Gateway to Everywhere, and at the time of his death he was considering starting a new novel.
Predeceased by his wife of seventy years, Louise, and his brothers Jerry and Earl, he is survived by his daughters Sherry Musika and Elin Schwartz (Steven). Also by grandchildren Michael, Allyson (Brendan), Jennifer (Yair), Rachel (Edoardo), Sarah (Aaron) and Abigail as well as seven great grandchildren. He was loved and cared for through his last days by his devoted friends and caregivers, Linda and Tacito Reyes.
Ernie was an ardent Democrat and cared deeply for his country. His pride in serving this country as a United States Marine, his commitment to the less fortunate, his unwavering devotion to his family , exemplified a life of accomplishment, purpose and service.
Contributions in his memory may be made to semperfifund.org or votefwd.org
Linda & Tacito Reyes
October 3, 2020
I really miss you Colonel Frankel. You called us your best friends and we became family. You were extremely special to us!
Over the last 12 years and the many memories we made it is hard to pinpoint our favorite one. We've had so many special moments. We enjoyed spending time with you and making Ms. Frankel's meals for you from her cookbook.
You were extremely special to us! You will always live in our hearts.
I Love You Forever 🇺🇸❤🤍💙