Obituary of H. David Frank, MD
H. David Frank, MD, 94, of Essex Connecticut died June 30 of pneumonia at Essex Meadows Health Center. Dr. Frank was born on December 8, 1924 in Burlington, Vermont, the son of Michael and Miriam (Greer) Frank. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Vermont in 1947 and, in 1950, from Harvard Medical School. From 1943 to 1946 Dr. Frank served in the U.S. Army Air Force stationed primarily in Mission, Texas. Dr. Frank was in private practice in Connecticut specializing in gastroenterology from 1954 until his retirement in December of 1992. He was also, for 38 years, on the staff of Bridgeport Hospital, much of that time as chief of the gastroenterology section. He had been Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine since l959. Dr. Frank was a Clinical Instructor, then Assistant and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine from l966 until his retirement. He co-authored a number of papers on problems in gastroenterology for medical journals, among them the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and the Archives of Internal Medicine. In retirement, Dr. Frank was a runner and an avid golfer until arthritis made both too challenging. The arthritis also made it impossible for him to continue his lifelong hobbies of carpentry and construction. At one time, he built an addition onto a house doing not only the framing and the carpentry, but even the plumbing and electrical work. He travelled extensively visiting Europe many times, as well as visits to Australia, the Soviet Union, China, Africa and South America. He particularly enjoyed a multi-generational trip to Alaska with his then two13-year-old grandsons. Dr. Frank was a man of charm, intellect, and effervescent humor, even if the joke was on him. He loved puns and word play and lost no opportunity to inject a humorous phrase into his conversation. He loved to tell a good story and even more to listen to someone else tell one. He had studied Spanish in college and then while in practice took private lessons so he could communicate with hospital patients more effectively. When he retired, he went back to studying Spanish, again taking private lessons. He loved to read adventure stories, thrillers, and books on current events. He looked forward to the weekly arrival of his copy of the New Yorker magazine. He delighted in the subtleties of grammar and vocabulary, and of thinking about what words and phrases best expressed his ideas. Dr. Frank was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan; seldom missing a game on television. In his last years, Dr. Frank delighted in playing the saxophone in the New Horizons Band of the Community Music School. New Horizons is a national organization for senior citizens who want either to learn an instrument or return to one that they played earlier in life, as was the case with Dr. Frank. Dr. Frank’s first marriage to Lenore Sesser ended in divorce. He married Joan Bilgore in 1977 and they were a joyous couple until her death in 2001. In 2004, he married Rita Christopher, who survives him. He is also survived by his three daughters, Susan Frank of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey as well as her husband Paul Nelson; Amy and Elisha Frank, both of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and four stepsons, Bradley Bilgore of London, England; Jeffrey Bilgore of North Salem, New York; Alistair Christopher of Trumbull, Connecticut; and Gordon Christopher of Lubbock, Texas. In addition, Dr. Frank is survived by 11 grandchildren and one great grandson. He was predeceased by his beloved brother, Lester Frank, M.D. Funeral services will take place at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway, in Chester on Wednesday, July 3rd at 11AM. In memory of Dr. Frank’s long and productive life, contributions may be made to: New Horizons Band of the Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT 06409. To share a memory of Dr. Frank or send a condolence to his family, please visit www.rwwfh.com. Arrangements by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.