Person:Morris Werthan Frank

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Morris Werthan Frank

 Civic and Real Estate Leader

Nickname:Buster
Born:February 5, 1941, Huntsville, Alabama
Died:December 2, 1998, Morgan County, Alabama
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama
Son of:Milton Frank
Son of:Zimmie Wise Frank


Notes:

•  President of Temple B'nai Sholom - Goldsmith

•  Played football for Alabama under Bear Bryant. - Record

•  Morris W. Frank
     "Morris W. 'Buster' Frank, 57, of Huntsville died recently in Morgan County. Laughlin Service Funeral Home will announce funeral arrangements.
     Mr. Frank was president of Frank & Stevenson Realty and was a former chairman of Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from Huntsville High School in 1959 and the University of Alabama in 1963.
     Survivors include his wife, Sara Ann Frank of Huntsville; one son, Mark Frank of Atlanta; one daughter, Missy Frank of Atlanta; his mother, Mrs. Zimmic Frank of Atlanta; one brother, Butch Frank of Atlanta; two stepsons, Robbie Robinson of Huntsville and Chris Robinson of Atlanta; one stepdaughter, Betsy Lahone of Huntsville; and three grandchildren and one uncle.
     Memorial donations may be made to Huntsville/Madison County Boys Club or to American Cancer Society." - The Huntsville Times, 1

•  Frank Morris
Buster Frank Dies; Made Mark in Sports and Business
By Chris Bell, Mike Saunero and Mike Marshall
     "Longtime Huntsville business leader Morris W. "Buster Frank, 57, was found dead from a gunshot wound Wednesday evening in Decatur.
     Laughlin Service Funeral Home will announce funeral arrangements.
     Morgan County Coroner Gene Shelton said a pistol was found nearby and that the gunshot wound apparently was self-inflicted. He declined to say where Frank had been wounded. No note was found, the coroner said.
     Frank had been dead less than an hour when two teen-agers, walking to a duck blind off Poole Road in southeast Decatur, discovered the body about 6 p.m., the coroner said. Frank's car was parked at the end of a rural dirt road between two duck ponds.
     Shelton ordered an autopsy by the state Department of Forensic Sciences.
     Frank owned Frank and Stevenson Realty Co. He was chairman of the board of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce in 1989.
     More recently, Frank was a member of the Huntsville Committee of 100, a group of business and professional leaders in Huntsville involved in various promotional and improvement projects.
     Frank was born in Huntsville. He attended Huntsville High School, where his father, Milton W. Frank, had been football coach. A city stadium is named after Milton Frank.
     Buster Frank starred in football in high school where he was a three-year starter, an offensive guard and defensive tackle, according to Clem Gryska, his high school coach and now an employee of the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa.
     "He was a very hard worker and a dedicated young man," Gryska said. "His daddy (Milton) was a football player at Tennessee and coach there and demanded a lot of him and Butch (his brother).
     "He was a 110-percenter on (bottom of newspaper clip is cut off)
     Frank went to the University of Alabama on a football scholarship where he played under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
     Frank was hurt in his sophomore year, but Bryant cared about the youth and allowed him to stay on the team, according to Frank's stepson, Robbie Robinson.
     Frank's claim to fame during those years, however, was as roommate, some might say nursemaid, to All-America quarterback Joe Namath. Robinson tells the story like this:
     The senior football players were sitting at the dinner table when a gawky looking character walked in wearing a purple fedora hat with a purple feather.
     Shortly after the meal was over, Bryant walked out and told Frank he wanted to see him in the coach's office.
     "Everybody was going ooohhh," Robinson said, "because when he called you into his office, that means you messed up bad or he wanted you to do something."
     Frank walked into the office and a smiling Bryant was waiting for him, his feet on the desk and a smoking Chesterfield in his hand.
     "He said, 'Buster, remember that fella that walked in a while ago? He's the best quarterback we've seen around here for a while. And I want you to be his roommate.'"
     Namath reportedly called Frank "mother," and gave him credit for tutoring him and keeping him in school.
     (bottom of the newspaper clip is cut off) business. He and partner Frank Stevenson started the Frank and Stevenson Realty Co. in 1965. Frank bought the business in 1977.
     Longtime friend Barry Berman remembers Frank as hardworking, bright and always looking for a business opportunity. Berman remembers the time Frank tried to turn his passion for collecting antique bottles into a pot of gold.
     "He had this bright idea to take the bottles to First Monday in Scottsboro and sell them on the square and make a fortune," Berman said. "We get up at 2 a.m. and head over there to get first place on the square."
     The two men got to Scottsboro about 2:45 a.m. and noticed that there were no parking places available.
     "We couldn't get within two miles of the square," Berman said with a laugh. "We thought we were city slickers who thought we had a gold mine. But those people had been there for days. By 4:15 we were back home and in bed."
     Friends say that in addition to business, Frank's main passions were his children, hunting and fishing, and Alabama football.
     "He attended just about every Alabama game played in the state in 30 years," said David Johnston, who served with Frank on the Committee of 100.
     Robinson said the last time he was with Frank was at the Alabama-Auburn game this year. "There's probably not a person in this town who can say a bad thing about him," Robinson said. "He was my best friend."
     (bottom of newspaper clip is cut off) bringing the Kroger shopping center to Madison.
     "That was a major real estate effort to bring a retail shopping center into the heart of Madison," Johnston said. "I think he would be noted as one of the original real estate developers who saw the potential of Madison and proved to the business community that Madison deserved a growing retail effort."
     He also donated the five-acre site for the new Madison Library.
     Frank served as a board member of the Huntsville Boys Club, American Cancer Society and Visitors of the University of Alabama Commerce School.
     He also was a member of the Education and Athletic Scholarship program of the University of Alabama, and had done volunteer work for United Way and the Tennessee Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
     He was a member of the Huntsville Board of Realtors and had served on the board of governors of the Heritage Club." - The Huntsville Times, 2


Related Links:
•  Berry - Coach Ben Berry's Huntsville Jr. High School 1955 Football Team (includes Buster).
•  Find A Grave - Page created by Heather
•  GenealogyBuff.com - Obituary
•  Goldsmith - Article titled "The Spirits of My Ancestros Are in Loving Hands" by Margaret Anne Goldsmith Hanaw for The Historic Huntsville Quarterly of Local Architecture and Preservation published by The Historic Huntsville Foundation, Winter 1994 - XX:4, Elise H Stephens, Editor, Index Issue, page 206.
•  Record - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Volume II, by James Record, 1978, page 560.
•  Sesquicentennial - Commemorative Album, Celebrating our City's Sesquicentennial of Progress, Huntsville, Alabama, by James E. Taylor, General Chairman, 1955, page 279.
•  The Huntsville Times, 1 - The Huntsville Times Obituary Thursday, December 3, 1998
•  The Huntsville Times, 2 - The Huntsville Times Obituary Thursday, December 3, 1998


The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Milton Frank
•  Zimmie Wise Frank



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