Published Assembly Mar '95
Robert Lewis Frantz No.15456 Class of 1946
Died 16 March 1993 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, aged 67 years.
Interment: West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York.
Bob always excelled in everything he did, and he
made an extraordinary number of contributions. With wisdom, good
humor, thoughtful preparation, and concern for others; his life
was truly dedicated to service--to his country, family, friends,
clients, community and church. He was born near Pittsburgh on
24 August 1925, the son of Charton Christopher and Gladys Baird
Frantz. From grade school in Pittsburgh he entered Valley Forge
Military Academy from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude, winning
their Honor Military School appointment to West Point in 1943.
Cadet life during our three year course was challenging
but not overwhelming. Both roommates had also come to USMA via
Honor Military Schools, thus the wall of locker displays, close
order drill, polished brass, shoe shines, etc. did not present
quite the trauma that it did to many. The relationship quickly
developed into one of mutual respect, an unspoken but clear spirit
of competition, a prevailing sense of humor, and support to each
other in every way. Besides a fine academic record, he participated
in plebe track, cross country and basketball. For all three years
he was a Corps Squad boxer and on the Class Ring Committee. Bob's
quiet conquest of "the system" may be illustrated by
one of many stories of cadet life. Yearling year we lived on
the top rear floor of "the forgotten 50's" of New North
Barracks (distinguished then from all others in that it had real
inside plumbing on each floor). We had jointly installed a system
to warn of the nocturnal approach of the tactical officer. It
consisted of an alarm clock on the outside window ledge with
an activating string that dangled down to the window of a confederate
on the first floor. It worked flawlessly until one night, without
warning, the TAC burst into our room, and, picking out Bob, told
him to pull up the string. Surprisingly, there was something
quite heavy on the end. Retrieval revealed a large potato sized
rock; and the TAC dutifully, reported Bob for "installing
a device to warn of the inspection of the tactical officer".
But Bob remembered that a cadet had one inviolate place in his
room, his personal articles shelf of the wall locker. Thus the
rock became prominently displayed there, always carefully dusted.
Some weeks later, the TAC, having faced the rock every day, suggested
with a hint of humor, that the incident might best be considered
Upon graduation Bob chose Cavalry (read Armor).
Following Basic at Fort Knox, he served in the 18th Cavalry in
Puerto Rico from l947-1950. In November 1948, Bob and Suzanne
Holton Allen from Louisville, Kentucky were married. Three children
blessed this devoted and close union: Charton Christopher II,
Rodgers Allen and Ruth Patterson.
A year after his return to Fort Knox, Bob was selected
to attend the Harvard Law School where he graduated L.L.B., cum
laude in 1954. He subsequently served in the Judge Advocate General
Corps in the Pentagon in 1954-1955, the 24th Infantry Division
(Korea) in 1955-1956, and the Judge Advocate General's School
in Charlottesville, Virginia in l956-l958. In 1958 Bob resigned
from active duty and returned to Pittsburgh to continue a distinguished
career in both the legal and military profession. In addition
he established a legacy as a civic and church leader; all within
the role of a loving, dedicated husband and father. He joined
the firm of Buchanan-Ingersoll, first as an associate, later
becoming one of the partners. He handled a broad range of litigation
in both State and Federal Courts. These ranged from individual
cases to many of the major corporations in our country. Every
account of his actions during this time attest to his skill,
fairness and integrity. Though a senior and highly respected
attorney in a major firm, he would see to it that the probate
of a private will that he had drawn decades ago was handled promptly
and compassionately. In 1991, after 30 years, Bob retired from
Buchanan Ingersoll and joined another distinguished firm, Raphael,
Ramsden, Behers, which then added Frantz.
Despite this full life in the legal profession
Bob found, or rather made, time to carry out his commitment to
military service. Since leaving active duty, he graduated from
the Command and General Staff School and took a leading role
in Army Reserve activities. He retired from his "civil"
military career in 1980, as a major general, having commanded
the 99th Army Reserve Command for some four years. For this service
he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. His command contained
over a hundred individual units located in half of Pennsylvania,
most of West Virginia and some of Ohio. His colleagues who served
with him during his 22 years of reserve service are universal
in their opinion that he established a foundation of excellence
in this command which made them ready and willing to contribute
in full measure when called upon. Bob was the highest ranking
reserve officer in the Class of 1946.
Despite two erstwhile full time careers, Bob was
always a supportive and proud husband and father to his family.
In addition, a few of the community and church activities in
which he made large contributions are: Director of the Eye and
Ear Institute of Pittsburgh; the Allegheny Heart Institute; a
trustee of the Valley Forge Military Academy; the Boy Scouts;
vestryman of the Fox Chapel Episcopal Church and later the Calvary
In March 1993 Bob succumbed to a heart attack.
The several memorial services for Bob poignantly reflected the
respect of the community and his professional colleges. Well
over a 1,000 mourners filled Calvary Episcopal Church for his
funeral. The dignity and performance of an Honor Guard from Valley
Forge Military Academy, and the contingent from the 99th Reserve
Command could not have been exceeded by the "Old Guard"
at Arlington. Sometime later the entire legal community of Pittsburgh
conducted a court day memorial session to Bob Frantz. The tributes
from the judges, numerous attorney colleagues, fellow former
Rules Committee members and others were both universal and overwhelming.
In the stirring and recurring words of his minister's
funeral homily as he reflected on the wide ranging elements of
Bob's life-- "Bob was all that, and much more."