John Frankenfield, 82

WBAL-TV executive

April 01, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

John Palmer Frankenfield, a retired WBAL-TV executive and former Severna Park resident, died March 25 of pulmonary artery disease at Lakewood Ranch Hospital in Bradenton, Fla. He was 82.

Mr. Frankenfield was born and raised in Towson and was a 1943 graduate of Towson High School.

He was 17 when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being seriously wounded by shrapnel during the Okinawa campaign.

After graduating from the University of Baltimore in 1949, where he earned a degree in advertising, he went to work for WBAL-TV in the prop department.

Mr. Frankenfield was subsequently a cameraman, director and news director.

For the last 15 years of his career, until retiring in 1979, he was program director and assistant general manager.

"His career spanned what has been called the Brent Gunts era," said a son, Dick Frankenfield of Timonium.

In retirement, Mr. Frankenfield enjoyed boating, golf and occasionally sitting at his easel with his watercolors.

The former Lutherville resident, who moved to Severna Park in 1973, had lived in Bradenton since 1998.

He was a member of Towson United Methodist Church.

Services were held Friday in Bradenton and yesterday at Ruck Towson Funeral Home.

Also surviving are his wife of 3 1/2 years, the former Barbara DeRoseau; another son, Jay Frankenfield of Cookeville, Tenn.; and four grandchildren. His first wife, the former Beverly Burgess, died in 1991; a second wife, the former Myrna Steir, died in 1996.

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