Ludwig Mathias Frank MD
April 16, 1920 – May 15, 2015
South Lyme- Ludwig Mathias Frank, M.D., a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, passed away on May 15, 2015 at the age of 95. A brilliant reader who had a quick and witty sense of humor, he had among his many interests a love of opera, art, nature, birds, music, books, current events, and politics. A devout Catholic, he attended regular services at Christ The King Catholic Church in Old Lyme. He was also a member of the Men’s Club and Knights of Columbus. As a Boy Scout he achieved Eagle Scout level. As a scout, he cultivated a great love of the outdoors. A faithful fan of UCONN basketball, he rarely missed a Lady Huskies game on TV. He also loved his monthly poker games with "the guys.” Born in Philadelphia on April 16, 1920 to Ludwig and Eleanor, he graduated from both LaSalle High School and LaSalle College and from there he went on to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. After graduation he completed an internship with the U.S. Army and was stationed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He became the first Psychiatry resident at The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and then joined the staff of The Institute of Living. He then established a private practice in West Hartford and continued to see patients until his death.
He married his first wife, Marie Johnson, in Philadelphia, in 1946 and had 3 children, Ludwig Matthew, Marie Therese, and Mary Ellen. Marie passed away at age 55 in 1977. Almost 60 years ago he built a home at Hatchetts Point and eventually with his second wife, Hallie Moore, M.D., moved from West Hartford to the South Lyme shore permanently. For the next 36 years they continued to share their love of gardening, bird watching, and simply being outdoors at Hatchetts.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Hallie, his three children, Matt and his wife Betty of Norfolk, VA, Terri Terni of Houston TX, and Mel and Phil Tulin of Estes Park, CO. He leaves grandchildren, Laura and David Hoff and their children, Averie, Alexa and Adley; Elizabeth and Marc Sully and their children, Matthew and RJ; Stephen and Rebecca Terni and their children, Asher, Levi and Ben; and Lisa Dion and her daughter, Avery, and the remaining grandchildren Greg Willsey, Jennifer Frank, and Timothy Frank. His curiosity about life never waned. He is missed by all of his family, friends and colleagues. When you meet him in heaven, be careful if he asks if you want to play cards. He was winning until the end. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 10:00am in Christ the King Church, Old Lyme. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Calling Hours were held on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 2:00 until 4:00pm and again from 7:00 until 9:00pm in Fulton-Theroux Funeral home, 13 Beckwith Ln., Old Lyme, CT 06371.
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone," there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...
Eulogy Ludwig Mathias Frank my father 4/16/20 – 5/15/15 Church of Christ The King, Old Lyme CT May 23, 2015
Such a somber day and such wonderful memories.
Thank you Hallie for this honor and opportunity to reflect on the life and times of Dad - Lud- Grandpa - PaPa – Great Grandpa
Dad died sooner than we all expected. Sure, he was 95.... Could we all be so lucky??
Ninety-five and sharp as a tack! We knew that at 95 his days were becoming numbered, but none of us expected his particular number to be up on the day that it happened.
It seemed like it would be another brief hospitalization for a minor “tuneup,” and then he would come home, and we would resume our long range plans for his 100th birthday.
But Life and the Lord had other plans. Thankfully these plans were gentle and painless.
We should all be confident he is in heaven - probably watching to see what I decided to include in his story- and if he has problem with the stories I share, I'm sure he'll tell me later- hopefully much later.
Hallie, Terri, Mel and I took great joy in his 95th Birthday Party last month. Despite his failing vision and hearing, he loved the day trips with us, dining out whenever possible, and the Birthday Party at On The Rocks, during which various family members Face Timed him on an iPad. As you know, he talked about it for days.
He dealt with his vision and hearing loss as best he could. We watched him getting injections into his eyes, fumbling with those diabolically small hearing aid batteries, quitting his ever-present pipe and cigar the day the doctor told him to stop. None of that was easy. Yet rather than withdrawing and complaining about the unfairness of life, he kept going, kept living...
He joined The Knights of Columbus, the Church Men's group, and Golden Horizons Elder Care..... all in his 90's and all while legally blind. His participation in these groups took him to museums, beaches, restaurants, and anyplace else that sounded like fun.
Just days before his death, he went to the Fine arts Museum of Boston and then had to return because he simply couldn't take it all in on the first trip. He said he loved chatting with the younger drivers, although in Lud's case what he meant by "younger" was never entirely clear.
At Christ The King, he became close friends with Father Joe and also with Tom Yuell. Imagine, making new "best friends" at 95 years old. That was Lud.
He caught the news on TV every night, never missed 60 Minutes or a Lady Huskies basketball. He devoured books on CD to the point that he befriended the local librarian to be sure his supply of fresh reading - listening in his case- was up to date.
When he recently fell out of bed and couldn't get up, he laughed about it with me the next day on the phone. ... as a worried son I only hoped he wasn't calling me from the floor......
Ninety-five may have been a great feat but let's look at another: At the time he passed away Lud had been married to Hallie for 36 years. Before Hallie, he'd been married to Marie for 30 years. Not many men can count themselves so fortunate as to find such wonderful caring wives.
Lud leaves quite an extended family behind: 3 children - me and my 2 sisters along with 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, in addition to Hallie's family including her brother and sister-in-law, Walter and Ulie, and their son Alexander here with us, from Vienna, today and Daniel and Ann Marie still in Austria. Thank you for so much for being here.
So many family members have made it a point to tell me how much Lud meant to them- as a role model, a summer beach host, and often as a sage advisor. He was recognized as a very smart man. ---but he still could be a bit peculiar, Joe Johnson recalled being on his boat with his wife and children and Lud and Marie when the boat caught fire. As the fire spread consuming the boat, the situation was clearly hopeless. Only then did Lud carefully fold his towel, place his glasses and pipe on the towel, and finally jump overboard. Some things had to be just so.
On another occasion he accidentally cut off the tip and pad of his thumb. He retrieved the piece of tissue, taped it back on, and then spent 2 days in bed keeping his obviously painful digit up in the air. To the end he laughed at his finger print for where you and I have "O's", Lud had a "U."
I had the opportunity to play with Lud's poker group one night. The group had evolved, so that most of the original gang were dealing cards from high above. The younger fellows, many my age, had already learned that this ancient man, blind and partially deaf was still a shark to be reckoned with. No one bluffs better than someone who pretends he can't see his cards very well or hear what's going on around the table. Lud played well; he knew the odds and played with the best of them. As mentioned in his obituary, Lud was winning until the end.
In fact. it was only a month ago that Lud had the poker group to Hatchetts to celebrate his 95th. He talked about the German Chocolate Cake that Hallie provided for them for days afterward. However limited his physical abilities, his life was full to the end.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Dad attended Saint Henry's Grade School and reminisced that he was a proud member of the Safety Patrol in the 6th grade. In those days, a safety patroller could notify the police of an offense, and the police officer would issue a ticket. Maybe we could learn something from those police-community relationships.
As an Eagle Scout at age 14, he was given the responsibility of taking groups of 8, 9, and 10 year olds camping. Their parents would drop them off on a Friday, send them off into the woods with Lud, and then pick them up on Sunday afternoon. And, can you imagine, with no cell phones.
Another of his fond memories was travelling all over Philadelphia with his tokens and never fearing for his safety.
When in the 8th grade one of the nuns, recognizing his scholastic abilities, sent him to LaSalle High to take the entrance exam. LaSalle was considered one of the top High Schools, then and now. Dad did so well he was awarded a scholarship. He graduated LaSalle High at the top of his class and received a full scholarship to LaSalle College from which he also graduated at the top of his class with degrees in Education, Philosophy, and Science.
Our uncle, Joe Johnson recalls while attending LaSalle himself, speaking with one of the professors who, on learning that Lud was his brother-in-law, commented that Lud was the smartest Science Major he had ever encountered at LaSalle.
Medical School was at UPenn. He received his MD and after that he joined the Army and was stationed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as a general medical officer.
This is the time frame when things get interesting for Lud. He met Dr. Frank Braceland, a person who was to have a major impact on his life, in Philadelphia.
Lud had started to date Marie. Marie's father Sam (who, by the way, lived to 98 years of age) had been on Vaudeville playing with Frank Braceland before their real professional careers got underway. Frank met Lud, and they obviously hit it off. One thing led to another and when Frank, then the President of the American Psychiatric Association. was invited to be the Chair of Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic and to start their psychiatry training program, it was Lud who was invited to be his first resident.
Marie's much younger brothers, Joe and Bobby, recall Lud playing the violin with Grandpa Johnson playing the piano, while he was courting Marie. He placed his violin straight in a fashion that blocked the hall. He then collected a kiss as a bridge toll from Marie as she passed under, grossing out the boys in the process. Sounds like they had a good time.
After Mayo, our Dr. Frank moved to the Institute of Llving in Hartford, where all I can remember is that he had a cool office. He then went into private practice in West Hartford a few blocks from home. He walked to work everyday for as long as he lived in West Hartford.
Living on Walbridge Road led to my friendship with John Sargent and an invitation to build at Hatchetts an enormous piece of pristine shore property with beaches, forests, ponds and very few human beings which is now co-owned with Nature Conservancy.
At many a Hatchetts homeowners' meeting Lud could be counted upon to recall what actually happened in the past, what decisions were made, why they were made, who was solicited for advice, and to understand the nuances of the politics that come with such groups. Hatchetts was his home. I doubt anyone that has ever visited will ever forget it.
Hatchetts family memories deserve a mention as they add color to this exceptional man: searching for moonstones on the beach, lobstering with us, the likely smirks on the striper fish when they saw Lud heading to the beach with his casting rod, knowing they were safe for another day, tennis, bocce and croquet with the grandchildren, his pride at Hallie's culinary expertise, a home full of stuffed bears and the instantly recognizable "woo-woo" as Lud and Hallie looked for one another.
Although most of his recent life was at Hatchetts, he was a man of relatively few homes. When he moved from the Mayo Clinic, he and Marie bought the house on Walbridge Road and lived there, as their children grew up, and then Hallie came into his life. Memories abound from the fruit crates we used as furniture when we moved in to the white siding that later covered the old but classic stucco, the Elizabeth Park rose garden -pond- jungle gym & ice skating, the "no girls allowed" signs on my garage clubhouse, catching frogs, playing on “the Mount,” huge piles of snow in the driveway, the always freezing back pantry, basement ping pong, walking to St. Thomas School, Northwest Catholic, and a parade of overpowered Chryslers that frequently had to be floored to "clean out the carburetor" much to the delight of his children.
And then there is his love of nature- Eagle Scout, Hatchetts, the reservoir, Echo Lake, vacations with Marie and later with Hallie to the islands and mountains. I need to make a comment here, after going through and copying thousands of Lud's 35mm slides I came away impressed that Lud's biggest smiles were when he was on vacation with Hallie or Marie. Certainly his kids and grandkids got some pretty large grins, but those island and travel pictures showed that he know how to relax and have a good time.
One can't mention Lud without mentioning his faith- such a deep, moving and personal experience for him. Yet, despite the clarity of his own beliefs , he allowed the rest of us to grow and develop and make our own decisions. He tried to never miss Mass and, as he got older, the Church became a second home to him.
With his career in full swing, his children settled, and grandchildren on the way, he embarked on new adventures with Hallie: visiting the West Coast, meeting Hallie's extended family, befriending her cousin Tim Murphy of Murphy-Goode Vineyards, reconnecting with the Germanic culture and music of his youth through vacations in Vienna and Switzerland. What a full life!
It seems that his story shouldn't have an ending, but yet it clearly does.
When saying grace at a family meal, he would always admonish us to "love one another." That's how I'd like to end this tribute.
Love one another.
(All stories, dates, facts, etc. are presented as the best recollections of Dad and multiple family members, filtered, of course, through my perspective as his son. Please pardon any unintentional errors or omissions.)
Friday, May 22, 2015
Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Ludwig Mathias Frank MD
Sandy Campo Clay
May 29, 2015
Terri and family,
May you receive all the comfort you and your family need in this time of loss. Your loving kindness, confidence and deep compassion are a testament to him, though I never knew him. May angels rise to greet him and may he have eternal peace and rest.
All my sincere prayers and sympathy,
your longtime officemate, sandy
May 21, 2015
A kind and good man. I remember his patience, his erudition AND his pipe.
He has often been in my thoughts and now my prayers for him, Hallie and their children.