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Francis (Frank) Southon
(October 18, 1918 - August 27, 2014)

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Francis (Frank) Southon

U.S. Veteran

Southon, Francis (Frank) Southon of Kalamazoo, passed away at his home on August 27, 2014. Mr. Southon was born October 18, 1918 in Kalamazoo, the son of Alfred and Emily (Shortis) Southon. He was a lifelong resident of Parchment and Kalamazoo, attending Kalamazoo Central High School. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Kalamazoo College. Frank volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1940, attended Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1941. He was discharged from active service in 1946 with the rank of Captain; and from the Army Reserves in 1952 with the rank of Major. Frank married the love of his life, Muriel (Peg) Hess, on February 10, 1942. She survives. He was employed by Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company beginning in 1945, serving in personnel and labor relations. At the time he left the Brown Company in 1967 he was Vice President of Personnel and Manufacturing Operations. In 1967, he purchased the Kalamazoo Plastics Company, and continued as its President until his retirement in 1985. Frank was involved in many civic activities, serving on the boards of the Kalamazoo Community Chest, Kalamazoo County Legal Aid Bureau, Red Cross, Family Services Center and professional paper industry organizations. He was a past member of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and Kiwanis Clubs. He was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Kalamazoo County Club and the Gull Lake Country Club. Frank and Muriel spent retirement traveling the world, having great adventures. In addition to his wife, Frank is survived by a sister, Helen Taffel (Vermont); two daughters: Susan Southon of Bloomfield Hills, MI and Melissa (Ted) Hartridge of Kalamazoo; four grandchildren Steven (Lisa) Wolfram (New Orleans, LA), Christine (Jonathon) Wolfram Taylor (Hartford, CT), Kristin “Bunny” Hartridge (Kalamazoo, MI) and T.J. Hartridge (Avon, CO). Also surviving are four great grandchildren: Lily Wolfram, William Wolfram, Isabella Taylor and Christopher Taylor; and loving caregivers Amber, Stephanie, Cristina, Erica and Anna. At his request a private service will be held. Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.


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