BURBANK, CALIFORNIA (WiredPRNews.com)
Long time Burbank resident Richard T. “Dick” Frankian, beloved husband, father and grandfather and an innovative geotechnical engineer who helped build several local communities, died of a heart ailment near his home in Port Alberni, British Columbia on Saturday, May 22nd. He was 81.
Most of the residents of Southern California and the Bay Area likely live in a development, drive over bridges or work in a setting that had Mr. Frankian’s engineering touch related to it. A world-class leader in the area of slope stability, he was the primary geotechnical consultant for three of the largest development projects in the history of Los Angeles county: Albertson Ranch/Calabasas, Valencia/Santa Clarita and Newhall Ranch. Before that, he had conducted research on projects in several other communities including San Pedro, Glendale, Pasadena, Catalina Island and Portugese Bend in Rolling Hills.
Having top secret clearance, he was responsible for identifying the soil characteristics for the Atlas Missile sites in the United States, making presentations directly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was also a geotechnical consultant to the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, and had worked for the State of California Division of Bridges.
Mr. Frankian’s early career was spent with the firms of Dames & Moore, the Bechtel Co. and the Parsons Co., all worldwide leaders in the engineering field. He then founded his own firm, R.T. Frankian & Associates, in 1963, which has served clients in 38 states and six countries.
Mr. Frankian was a co-founder of the Sigma Phi Delta Engineering Fraternity at both UCLA and UC Berkeley, and a founding member of the Soil and Foundation Engineers Association (SAFEA), now called California Geotechnical Engineering Association (CalGeo). He was also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee responsible for developing the inaugural California Geotechnical Engineering registration exam. He was lecturer at UCLA for ten years in the fields of soil mechanics and engineering until handing that off to another member of his firm.
Mr. Frankian was the only child of Sooren and Eunice Tibbetts Frankian and is preceded in death by his beloved Joeann, his wife of 35 years who died in 1985. He is survived by Rosemary, his wife of 17 years; his children, Mary L. and Greg Chambers of Roseville, California; Virginia S. Frankian of Vancouver, BC; Nancy J. and Mark Pierce of Burbank, California; Dorothy J. and Gabe Margve of Burbank, California; Mark R. and Nanette Frankian of Saugus, California; and James A. and Suzy Frankian of Burbank; his grandchildren Timothy and Elizabeth Chambers, Mathew and Steven Pierce, Nicholas and Angelique Margve, Micayla, Karis Gwen and Abigail Frankian, and Jacqueline, Clayton, Hope and J. William Frankian.
His step-children Thomas and Janet Wineland; Robert and Kim Wineland; Jennifer Wineland Shelton; and J’Amy and Russel Babb; and step-grandchildren Brad Wineland, Kate Wonser, Molly, Hanna, and Emma Wineland, Lyndsey Rickabaugh, Leah Paul, Lanette Shelton; and Thomas, James, Em’Lee and Robert Babb; and step- great-grandchildren Carter and Cannon Rickabaugh and Alison Wineland.
His friends, clients, colleagues and work associates will miss his tremendous intellect, friendly smile, excellent sense of humor as well as the care and attention that he was always willing to give to those he worked and shared time with. Dick was a generous and kind boss that made his employees feel like they were part of the family.
His family is blessed with an abundance of memories of times spent sharing holidays, playing numerous games of cribbage, hearts and Parcheesi. As well as an unlimited number of hours fishing and swimming in the lakes and streams surrounding the family cabin located near Huntington Lake, California. The time spent with his grandchildren and step-grandchildren at his vacation home in Port Alberni, British Columbia, a.k.a. “CAMP GRAMP”, are among the most cherished and will be the times most missed.
A service of celebration will be held on Sunday, June 6th at the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank, 521 East Olive Ave in Burbank at 3:00 PM with a reception immediately following in the church’s Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers donations can be mailed c/o R. T. Frankian & Associates, 1329 Scott Rd, Burbank 91504. Please indicate donations for the R. T. Frankian Memorial Scholarship fund on the memo line.