Frank Wright ’50 died on August 4th at the age of 91. Frank worked at Carleton for 38 years, beginning as Assistant Treasurer in 1955 and rising through the ranks to Vice President and Treasurer. He retired as Treasurer Emeritus in 1990, and continued for three years as the Secretary to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
A 1990 Voice article about Frank called him “Carleton’s own Rock of Gibraltar,” serving as “advisor, confidant, and mentor to six presidents and to countless students, faculty members, and trustees.” Former President Bob Edwards wrote then: “Frank has also been the conscience of the College, defending its highest values. He taught me an important truth for a college president to absorb. It is that academic freedom is dependent upon sound financial management. Faculty are intellectually constrained if they cannot constantly improve the quality of their instrumentation, journals, and library collections. They cannot be open-hearted and generous teachers if their personal financial situations are insecure.” Much of Carleton’s success then and now can be credited to Frank’s dedicated work of building a secure financial foundation for teaching and learning.
A memorial service is planned for November 4, 2017, at 2 pm in Skinner Memorial Chapel, with a reception to follow in Severance Great Hall. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Frank may be made to Carleton College or to a charity of your choice. A more complete obituary is below.
Please keep Ann and all of Frank’s family, friends, and former colleagues in your thoughts and prayers.
“Fireball” Frank Irving Wright passed away peacefully in Northfield, Minnesota on August 3, 2017, surrounded by family. He was born in Austin, Minnesota on January 14, 1926, to Art and Florence Wright and was the youngest of four siblings, Sylvia, Bill and Steve, all of whom preceded him in death.
Frank was a blessed man who liked to say he had “four loves of his life.” His first love was his mother, Florence. She raised her four children as a single mother after the death of her husband in a biplane accident. His second love was his wife, Louise. They married in 1950 and had seven children: David (Deborah Smith-Wright), Martha Winston (John), Clifford, Catherine Kromer (Todd), Gregory (Jeanne), Douglas Lochner-Wright (Cheryl), Stephen (Paula), 15 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. After Louise passed away in 1989, he met and married the third love of his life, Ann McElroy Follansbee. For a quarter of a century, they traveled the world together and treasured their large and extended families.
Carleton College was not only Frank’s alma mater and lifetime employer, but also the fourth love of his life. Returning from the navy after World War II, he entered Carleton’s class of 1950. During college, Frank lettered in three sports, formed lifelong friendships, and proposed to Louise. Three years after graduation, he returned to help build Larry Gould’s vision of Carleton as a “Cathedral of Learning.” He worked at the college for 38 years, beginning as Assistant Treasurer and rising through the ranks to Vice President and Treasurer. He retired as Treasurer Emeritus in 1990, and continued for three years as the Secretary to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
A memorial service is planned for November 4, 2017, at 2 pm in the Carleton College Chapel, with a reception to follow in Great Hall. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Frank Wright may be made to Carleton College, Gift Accounting, One N. College St, Northfield, MN 55057, or to a charity of your choice.