Frank H. Weller Jr., lawyer and golf course consultant

October 03, 1995|By James Bock | James Bock,SUN STAFF

Frank H. Weller Jr., an attorney turned golf course consultant who was active in Baltimore's cultural life, died Saturday of cancer at his Monkton home. He was 56.

Born in Washington, he was educated at the Landon School in Bethesda, Yale University and the University of Virginia law school.

As a child, he spent summers in Panama with his mother's family and learned to speak Spanish fluently. His maternal grandfather, Ricardo Joaquin Alfaro, was a former president of Panama.

Mr. Weller came to Baltimore in the mid-1960s to clerk for U.S. District Judge Edward S. Northrop. He later took a position with a downtown law firm.

While renting a house in Green Spring Valley, he met his future wife, Eleanor, on a blind date.

"We just fell in love instantly. We found out we both loved rock 'n' roll music," Mrs. Weller said.

The Wellers, who were married in 1966, shared an interest in fox hunting ("until we were both too badly injured to keep it up," she said), antiques, gardens, the arts and their summer home on Nantucket island.

Their Monkton home, Foxgloves, has been featured four times in House and Garden magazine. Built around a prefabricated, World War II-era tenant house, it incorporates architectural features that the Wellers salvaged from historic buildings, such as an 18th-century stone mill from Bucks County, Pa. The gardens are inspired by ones they admired in their travels.

"Frank was a very engaging person. He had so many different interests," said Chief Judge Alexander Harvey II of U.S. District Court.

In the 1980s, Mr. Weller left the law and entered golf course consultancy. He helped Robert Trent Jones negotiate the agreement to build Valderrama, a course on Spain's Gold Coast that has been called the "Augusta of Europe," among other international projects.

A pianist and music lover, he was board president of Concert Artists of Baltimore, a professional chamber orchestra and chorus.

"Frank's real inner passion was music," said Edward Polochick, the group's artistic director. "He gave of himself so freely that we are totally indebted to him. Frank will be sorely missed in this community. He had a soul of gold."

Mr. Weller formerly was board president of the Maryland Ballet, the Maryland Historical Society and the Elkridge Harford Hunt Club.

"He just passionately supported the arts, more than he could probably afford," Mrs. Weller said.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., with burial at St. James Episcopal Church in Monkton.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Eleanor W. Weller of Monkton; a stepson, Peter D. Keyser of Glyndon; a stepdaughter, Marjorie Keyser Rossi of New York; his mother, Amelita Alfaro Weller of Chevy Chase; a brother, Richard A. Weller of Darnestown; a sister, Victoria Crawford of Boyds; and a granddaughter.

Memorial contributions may be made to Concert Artists of Baltimore, 2720 Cheswolde Road, Baltimore 21209, or the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore 21201.

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