Franklin K. Moore
Franklin Kingston Moore, Cornell University emeritus engineering professor, died November 21, 2016, in Ithaca, where he and his wife Anne ("Nancy"), who survives him, have lived since 1965. Frank and Nancy recently celebrated their 70th anniversary.
Born August 24, 1922, in Milton, Mass., Frank grew up in Glen Rock, New Jersey. After graduating from Ridgewood High School, he enrolled at Cornell, beginning a close relationship with the university that lasted the rest of his life. After earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering at Cornell in 1944, he served two years in the U.S. Army.
In 1946, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Smyth. They had met at an Elks Club dance when they were in ninth grade. The young couple moved to Ithaca, where they both took classes at Cornell on the GI bill. In 1948, the first of their six children, David, was born. In 1949 Frank earned his doctorate in aeronautical engineering. He went to work at NASA in Cleveland, where three daughters were born: Cathy, Leslie, and Susan. Next they moved to Buffalo, where Jeffrey and Jennifer were born. There, Frank was director of the aero-sciences division at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory.
In 1965 Frank and Nancy returned to Ithaca and Cornell when he was appointed to a newly established chair as the Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering. He taught at Cornell's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for 28 years, until his retirement in 1992. His research included the fundamentals and application of parameters of laminar flow boundary layers, an invaluable contribution to NASA's rockets, general aeronautic wing design, and failure issues in turbine design. In 1984 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and a year later he was awarded NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his "numerous scientific contributions to the understanding of the fluid mechanics of aeronautics and space propulsion systems."
Always interested in politics, Frank was a faithful Democrat from Adlai Stevenson on, and he walked door to door for Barrack Obama in 2008. He was a member of the Ithaca Police Commission, served on Ithaca's zoning appeals board, and was a Lansing village trustee.
After seeing his father's poor health due to smoking, Frank quit his two pack a day habit in the early 1960s and soon turned to running, rekindling a passion for competitive running he found as a member of the Cornell cross-country team. He enjoyed many friendships with fellow members of the Finger Lakes Running Club. He finished the Boston Marathon three times, in 1971, 1972, and 1977. In 2002 he wryly noted that at age 80 he was finally nationally ranked, as the second-fastest runner in the United States in his age group, 80-84. He also cycled competitively and in 1979 won the USCF National Championship Time Trial race in the Grand Master age group.
Frank loved music and country dancing with Nancy and friends. He could remember the words of songs and poems, quoting Yeats or Willie Nelson at the drop of a hat. He was a painter, sculptor, and stained-glass artist. He was an avid reader. For years he and Nancy joined friends at Big Red football games and Hangar Theater productions. They enjoyed traveling to Europe, the Caribbean, and Ireland, and especially loved small-ship cruises to Alaska, on the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence, and to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.
Raised a Methodist, in time he gravitated to the Episcopal church. He and Nancy attended St. John's in Ithaca and, in the last decade, the Church of the Epiphany in Trumansburg, where he served on the outreach committee.
Five years ago Frank and Nancy moved to Kendal at Ithaca. Frank took great interest in the woodworking shop and the weekly poetry group. He enjoyed giving talks on the Boston Marathon and President James Garfield.
Frank is survived by his wife, Nancy, and their children David Moore (Barbara Peck), Cathy Moore-Jansen (Peer), Leslie Connors (Jonathan Zisk), Susan Moore (Peter Woodman), Jeffrey Moore (Kathleen), and Jennifer Cibelli (Steven); six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His brother Stanley, his wife Elizabeth, and their children also survive Frank.
The Moore family offers heartfelt thanks to the Kendal nursing and dining staffs for their care and attention in the last weeks of Frank's life.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 26, at the Church of the Epiphany in Trumansburg. Burial will follow at 1 p.m. at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, 293 Irish Hill Rd. in Newfield, a 40-minute drive from the church. (Please do not use GPS to find Greensprings; it gives false directions.) Burial arrangements are by Lansing Funeral Home. Also, a memorial service is planned for a later date at Kendal at Ithaca, to be announced in advance.
In lieu of flowers, friends of Frank's are invited to give to the Salvation Army this Christmas.