Frank Jameson Wallis III, 79, of 500 Lenoir Rd, Apt. 439, passed away Wednesday, September 30, 2009. He is survived by his wife Mildred Steele Wallis; his son, Frank Shue and wife, Pam and their sons, Will and Jamie of Sidney, OH; his daughter, Melissa and her daughters, Skye and Erin of Raleigh, NC; his son, Charles of Brevard, NC; his son, Tom and partner, Maria Pramaggiore of Raleigh, NC; and his sisters, Jeanne Wallis Kirker of Harrisburg, PA and Virginia Wallis Klaer of Atlanta, GA, and their families.Frank was born on October 20, 1929 in Harrisburg PA, to the late Frank J. "Pinky" Wallis and Rosanna McConnell "Rosie" Wallis. After spending a few years of his childhood moving about the country while his father served in the military, Frank and his family settled permanently in Harrisburg. Frank earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State College in 1951 and his Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1956. In the midst of pursuing his education, Frank answered the call of his country, then embroiled in the Korean War, and volunteered to be drafted into the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, where he served as a Corporal from 1951-53.As a civilian, Frank pursued a career in chemical engineering spanning 31 years, starting in 1954 with Sun Oil in Marcus Hook, PA. In 1962, Frank’s career brought him to Morganton NC, where he worked for Great Lakes Carbon as a Process Engineer, Technical Superintendent, Production Superintendent, and finally as Plant Manager. In 1985, he retired from industry and let his heart lead him down another career path in education. From 1985-1994, Frank taught Industrial Engineering and Chemistry at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton.Though Frank’s work took him well into upper management, his first priority was always his commitment to loved ones. During his 54 years as a dedicated family man, he always balanced his profession with his true calling as doting husband and father of four. Frank and Millie were married on September 24, 1955 and were inseparable thereafter. They celebrated, sang, shopped, volunteered, cooked, dined, studied, traveled, prayed, played, jitterbugged and even tried to disco together. As a father, Frank always supported his children’s passions, and the result was a close-knit family that gave Frank S., Melissa, Charles, and Tom enough space to settle into their own identities. The diversity of their vocations is a testament to the way Frank nurtured their individual talents: Frank S. is an engineer, Melissa is an artist, Charles teaches mathematics, and Tom teaches English and film studies.Frank also worked tirelessly supporting the community that had given so much to him. He served on the Executive Board of the Morganton Chamber of Commerce; was a member of Burke County’s "Friends of the Library" committee; served as Campaign Chairman for the Burke County United Way; acted as the Secretary and President of the Morganton Kiwanis Club; sat on the board for the Western Piedmont Community College Foundation; and served the Burke County Industrial Bond Authority. Frank was also an active member of Morganton’s First United Methodist Church, where he worked on countless committees and regularly taught Sunday school for the Aldersgate class.Frank’s commitment to community service is perhaps most apparent in his sustained dedication to the Boy Scouts. As a boy, Frank joined Harrisburg Troop 14 in 1941 and earned his Eagle—the highest rank in scouting—in 1943. He returned in 1955 when he served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for a troop in Swarthmore, PA and, later, in Media, PA. In Morganton, Frank was the Scoutmaster of Troop 189 from 1967 to 1982 and eventually served as District Chairman. Under his guidance, 17 boys in Troop 189 earned their Eagle Scout; 9 attended the Philmont high adventure camp in New Mexico; 5 attended national jamborees; and 2 attended world jamborees. To honor his nearly three decades of exceptional adult leadership, the Piedmont Council awarded him the prestigious Silver Beaver Award in 1982.Friends and family will also remember his inquisitive nature, which led him to pursue an eclectic assortment of hobbies and pastimes. He was an avid weekend landscaper who always made time to tear himself away from his impeccable flowerbeds to catch the Carolina Panthers playing on Sundays; after a hard day of labor, he might relax by perfecting the fine art of napping, or perhaps by painting a vibrant landscape; he eagerly consumed both science and technology magazines, as well as literature and history books; his love of hiking new trails and scoping out new campsites taught him to respect the ground beneath his feet, and the airplanes he flew helped him experience the wonder of the skies above; and nothing pleased him more than sorting out a tricky mathematical formula, except perhaps listening to a soothing opera or some raucous Dixieland jazz.A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 3, 2009 at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson officiating. Following the service, the family will receive friends at the church.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his memory be sent to The Piedmont Council, BSA [Boy Scouts of America], P.O. Box 1059, Gastonia, NC 28053, or to The First United Methodist Church Discretionary Fund, 200 N. King Street, Morganton, NC 28655.
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