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Frank M. Masters Jr. – W3ABF
January 23, 1926 – March 1, 2018
Frank M. Masters, Jr., 92, passed away on March 1, at his home, surrounded by his family.
He was the son of Frank M. Masters Sr. and Margaret Wilson Masters and followed his father, a founder the firm of Modjeski and Masters, into the profession of engineering.
He attended the Harrisburg Academy and graduated from the Mercersburg Academy. Subsequently he attended Cornell University, graduating from Lehigh University, in civil engineering.
Frank worked with the Commonwealth’s Department of Transportation prior to beginning practice with Modjeski and Masters, where he became a partner. His interests took him from engineering into business. He worked with Newbold and Son before purchasing a small swimming pool company which he rebranded, and expanded as Aqua Specialists. During these years he retained his interest in engineering, serving as an expert witness in litigation and arbitration and served on the Board of the Harrisburg branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Frank sold his business and began an extraordinary second career in community service and philanthropy. His approach to community service was hands on. He served on the Boards of the Harrisburg Symphony, The Harrisburg Community Theater, The Harrisburg Branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, The Harrisburg Art Association, WITF, Music at Gretna, The Friends of Jazz, The Harrisburg Academy, The Mercersburg Alumni Counsel, The Country Club of Harrisburg and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
His lifelong interests included aviation, music, photography, ornithology, scuba diving, ham radio and mineralogy. He earned his pilot’s license in 1951 and flew throughout the country.
He considered ham radio to be the precursor of the internet and earned his Ham license, W3ABF, in 1954. He served as the president of the Harrisburg Amateur Radio Club and was the first president of the Central Pennsylvania Repeater Club. He received a special award from the City of Johnstown for the communication system that he set up and operated during the 1977 flood.
Following his interests with generosity, Frank funded the Masters Center for Science Mathematics and Engineering as well as The Masters Mineral Gallery at Elizabethtown College. The Gallery is open daily and contains mineral specimens that Frank collected from five continents.
He also endowed the Concert Master’s chair for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
Frank is survived by Elizabeth Gault, Christian and Jennifer Masters, parents of Carson and Griffin; Deborah Masters and Geoffrey Wilcox; William and Tina Masters; John Gault father of James and Tyler; and Allison and Marshall Wilensky, parents of Jeramie Summers, Genevieve Grissom and James Peacock.
A private service will be held at the convenience of the family at the Hershey Cemetery.
A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at noon on March 23. Please contact Christian Masters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529