In Memoriam: David H. Frantz, Jr.


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree David H. Frantz, Jr., on January 19, in Tiverton, RI.  He was 91.

David was born September 19, 1922 in Lancaster, PA. He was the son of David Herr Frantz and Edna Bachman Frantz.  David attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before joining the Naval Air Force in World War II. He was stationed in the Phillipines and flew as a copilot and navigator with a patrol bombing squadron (VPB-119) from 1944 to 1945. Later he enrolled at MIT and received his B.S. in 1947 and M.S. in 1948 in mechanical engineering.

In 1944, David married his first wife, Margaret Tebbetts.  They moved to Woods Hole in 1952 when he began his career at WHOI as a research engineer.  In 1958, he became a research associate.  He retired from WHOI in 1961.

In 1961, David co-founded Ocean Research Equipment (ORE) in Falmouth with Albert S. Wilson.  ORE was one of the first spin-offs from WHOI and specialized in the design and manufacture of oceanographic instrumentation that was used throughout the world.  With more than 50 employees, the company became the world leader in underwater tracking systems and water flow measurement systems.

In 1965 he married Beatrice Bensaude.  They lived on Martha’s Vineyard, where he was active in the Vineyard Sinfonietta as a violinist. He was an avid sailor, cruising with his wife to Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia on their boat, Nashawena.  They were frequent travelers to Europe, and in recent years, he traveled to Iceland, Alaska, and Lake Baikal, Russia, and to Turkey in 2006 for the solar eclipse.  He had a lifelong passion for trains.

He leaves his wife Beatrice Frantz of Tiverton; two daughters, Heidi Frantz-Dale of Madison, NH, and Katherine Frantz of Wayne, PA; two grandsons, Ben Frantz-Dale of Shrewsbury, Mass, and Christopher Dale of Valley Center, CA.  He also leaves two great-grandaughters and two step-sons.

His ashes will be scattered at sea from his boat, Tracker.

Donations in his memory may be made to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Information for the obituary was taken from the Falmouth Enterprise.


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