In Memoriam: Frank E. Mann


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death April 25, 2007 of Honorary Trustee and Honorary Member, Frank E. Mann., at his home in Alexandria, Virginia.

Frank and his wife, Anita, became WHOI Associates in 1991.  Frank was elected an Honorary Member of the Corporation in 1994, and was elected Honorary Trustee in 1998.  He became a member of the Access to the Sea (formerly Ships) Committee in 2003.  Frank was also a member of the Paul M. Fye Society.  

Frank was a tireless and loyal advocate for WHOI, faithfully attending meetings and always challenging the Institution to be better, do more, and work for recognition of our exceptional science, technology, and marine operations.

Born in 1920, Frank received his AB degree in political science from George Washington University in 1941, and later received an honorary degree from Southeastern University.  During World War II, Frank served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, receiving the Bronze Star for his actions during the invasion of the Mariana Islands.  He was the son of the founders in 1932 of Mann’s Potato Chip Co., a small snack food company which Frank grew into the largest company of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region until he sold it in 1957 to Sunshine Biscuit Co.  Frank remained with the company as President of Mann’s Potato Chip Co. of the DC area, and Vice President of the Snack Foods Division of Sunshine Biscuit Co.   He also served as Chairman of the Board of the First Commonwealth Savings and Loan in Alexandria, Virginia, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southeastern University.  

Frank, a strong believer in giving back, was also active in local politics, serving as Mayor of the City of Alexandria from 1961 to 1967 and again from 1976 to 1979.  He also served in the Virginia State Legislature from 1970 to 1976, and as a member of the Alexandria City Council from 1951 to 1957.  He was the driving force behind saving and revitalizing Old Town Alexandria, now a major tourist attraction, and to the end was called Mr. Mayor by his fellow town citizens.  He did a huge service for WHOI by securing a downtown berth in Alexandria for R/V Atlantis when it visited Washington D.C. as a new ship in 1997, a port call that brought hundreds of dignitaries and Federal officials to visit and tour the ship.

Frank was a Trustee of the Frank E. Mann Municipal Employees Educational Foundation, and former board member of the American Logistics Association, PepCom, Inc., Alexandria Boys Club, and the Anne Lee Memorial Home.  He also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission (1970-81); Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (1976-79); and the Council of Governments (1961-67).

Frank is survived by his wife Anita, two stepchildren, Erik Izo and Amy (Izo-Mann) Fang, and several grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service at 3:00 on Tuesday, May 1, at Christ Church, 118 North Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 124 Park St. S.E., P.O. Box 699, Vienna, VA 22180; or Autism Society of America, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814-3067.


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