Frank Halsey Topping Jr. – Villages-News.com
Frank Halsey Topping, Jr., 85, passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2021.
Born in East Orange, New Jersey, he graduated in 1959 from Rutgers University with a Pi Kappa Alpha degree with a BA in political science. Soon after, he enlisted in the Army Reserves as a medic serving six months of active duty in Texas and the remainder of his six years in New Jersey. He began his career at Western Electric’s New York headquarters as a purchasing staff intern. From there he transferred to Baltimore Works, Hawthorne Works in Naperville, IL, Western Electric Southwestern Region Installation in Oklahoma City, and finally to Southwestern Region Headquarters in Ballwin, MO, all subsidiaries of AT&T. During his 35-year career he has held various leadership roles with increasing responsibilities in manufacturing, installation, purchasing, customer service, accounting, asset management, contract negotiation and planning. assignments. He retired as director of engineering in 1994.
While living in Baltimore, he received his three degrees of masonry from Mt. Moriah Lodge # 116 in 1965. He was later elevated to the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite at Moolah Temple in St. Louis. In May of this year, he was presented with his 55-year-old pin by The Villages Masonic Lodge No. 394.
Outside of work, Frank was an active public servant who always wanted to give back to his community wherever he lived. He has served on the planning and zoning boards of Franklin Township, NJ, Baltimore, MD, and St. Charles County, MO. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors (Mayor) of Bel-Nor, MO. He said his favorite moment in life was living at Lake Saint Louis, where he was simultaneously chairman of the board of directors of the Lake Saint Louis Homeowners Association, radio assistant for St. Charles Co., MO Emergency Preparedness and sheriff. special assistant for St. Charles Cie.
Frank moved to The Villages in May 1995, where he continued to hold public office. He was president of the Villages Homeowners Association, director of the board of directors of United Way of Lake and Sumter counties, member of the board of directors of Village Center Community Development District # 1, the first villager appointed to the planning board. and Sumter County Zoning and Board Member of the Sumter County Education Foundation and the Thomas Langley Medical Clinic.
During his tenure as president of VHA, Frank led the letter-writing campaign to establish a full-service hospital for The Villages. More than 1,500 letters from individuals in favor of the factory. He also traveled with the developer to the state capital of Tallahassee to speak with officials responsible for approving hospital beds. The hospital has been approved, with the agency citing the overwhelming number of letters as one of the main factors in its decision to allow construction of the Villages Hospital. He also persuaded the Jacksonville Postmaster to allow the Villages to be officially identified in ZIP code 32159 with Lady Lake. His third contribution as president of VHA was to get Rand McNally to add The Villages to the maps of the region.
In his personal life he was an avid water ski and golf enthusiast, sometimes a bowler, a dedicated softball umpire and a master bridge player. He enjoyed playing charades, cards and board games with his family where it was everyone for themselves. He loved to travel, visiting all 50 states and over 30 countries.
Frank was predeceased by his father Francis, Sr., his mother Ethel (Hartell) and his son Ross (widow Julie). He is survived by his beloved wife, Christine Heaton, and his beloved family: his son Robert, his daughter Leslie (Michael) Robertson, three grandchildren Stephen (Kayla), Catherine and James Robertson, Vivienne ( mother of Stephen) and his first wife Sandra (Danzig).
Visits will be at 10 a.m. on July 7, 2021, followed by a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. at the Hiers-Baxley Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Ln., The Villages, FL 32162. In lieu of flowers, please consider the memorial donations to the Sumter Schools Enhancement Foundation, 2680 West County Road, Bushnell, FL 33513 or Cornerstone Hospice Foundation, 2445 Lane Park Rd., Tavares, FL 32778.