It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Richard Francis Frankeny, Oct. 25, 2023, at the age of 81. He departed this world surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born July 10, 1942, in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, to his parents, Julius Nicholas Frankeny and Hilda Alvera (Krause) Frankeny.
At the age of 8, he embarked on a journey to Brazoria County with his parents and four siblings. There, he attended high school in West Columbia. His passion for learning led him to The University of Houston, where he earned a BS in electrical engineering in 1964. His dedication and talents were extraordinary, and he was honored as the top engineering student, an achievement commemorated on a plaque at the university. During his time at U of H, he also had the privilege of working as an intern at NASA, collaborating with accomplished astronauts who shared his passion for science.
In 1961, Richard met his sweetheart, Diana Boodell, at a local bowling alley in Brazoria. Their love story unfolded, leading to their marriage in 1964 in Sweeny. Richard and Diana ventured to New York, where he began his career with IBM and where they began their family.
His 30-year career with IBM led to various relocations, including Boulder, Colorado, and Austin, before he retired in 1994.
Richard’s passion for innovation and invention never wavered and he is named as inventor and co-inventor on many design patents. Post-retirement, he continued to share his knowledge and expertise, working as an inventor at CD3 and as a licensed patent agent for Winstead, Sechrest, & Minick, and Matheson, Keys and Kordzik. He continued as a consultant doing patent reviews until 2018, when he decided to retire for good.
He served on the Thrall Independent School District school board, and had the honor of presenting his children with their diplomas from high school.
Richard was a man of many talents and passions. He found solace in the mountains and the art of fly fishing. He was an avid tennis player, a skilled golfer, and a passionate bridge player. He possessed a voracious appetite for knowledge, always with a book in hand. He carried on his father’s legacy and enjoyed grafting pecan trees, tending to cattle, and immersing himself in the tranquil beauty of country life. Among his many talents, he was also an artist and painter.
Above all, Richard was a devoted family man, treasuring every moment spent with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family during gatherings filled with love and over delicious, homecooked meals.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Nancy Ashley; brother, Julius Frankeny; mother- in-law, Zella Smith; father-in-law, Albert Boodell; sister-in-law, Nelda Brahm; niece, Debbie Foster; and nephew, Troy Jason Boodell.
His enduring legacy is one of love and cherished memories, carried forward by his beloved wife of 59 years, Diana; and their children, Lisa Brown of Cedar Park, and Richard Frankeny, alongside his wife Julie, of Elgin.
His six grandchildren, Rebecca Brown and her fiancé Cody McCord of Liberty Hill, Karoline Frankeny of Austin, Abbigail Brown of Cedar Park, Colton Frankeny and wife Erin of Northlake, Garrick Frankeny of South Korea, and Connor Brown of Austin, will forever remember him for his warm, loving demeanor and quick wit. Richard took immense pride in witnessing all six grandchildren graduate from college.
Richard was also blessed to meet his great-grandchildren, Noah Boone, Beckett Frankeny and Hudson Frankeny of Northlake, and Amelia McCord of Liberty Hill.
In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by his brother, Jerry Frankeny and wife Rebecca of Beyersville; his sister, Karen Warren and husband Steve of Royce City; and an extensive extended family of brothers and sisters-in-laws, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, all of whom were touched by his enduring love and warm spirit.
The family would like to express their gratitude to his long-time caregivers who have become like family, Misty, Grace and Rosy, as well as the hospice nurses who provided comfort and care during his final journey on this Earth.
May the memory of Richard Francis Frankeny be a source of comfort and strength, and may his legacy of love and cherished moments live on in our hearts forever.
A memorial service to celebrate Richard’s life will be held Friday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. at Providence-Jones Funeral Home located at 604 Highway 95 North in Elgin.
Arrangements entrusted to Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home.