ITE Journal - April 2021 - 8

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PEOPLE IN THE PROFESSION
Obituaries
ITE recently learned of the passing of the following members. We recognize them for their
contributions to ITE and the profession, and
send condolences to their families.

Photo by M.D. Francois.

Honorary ITE member Francis B. Francois
( " Frank " ), who served as executive director
of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
for nearly 20 years, passed away on
February 17 , 2021 in Chicago, IL, USA. He
was 87 years old.
Frank began his career in 1956 as a Patent
Examiner in the U.S. Patent Office upon
graduating in engineering from Iowa State
University, and entered politics in Prince
George's County, MD in 1962, eventually
serving for 10 years as a member of the City
Council. In 1980, Frank resigned from the
County Council to become executive direc-

tor of AASHTO, where he remained until his
retirement in 1999.
Frank supported the transportation profession in myriad ways, including serving on the
Executive Committee of the Transportation
Research Board (TRB) and on many TRB committees, including the Task Force on Critical
Transportation Infrastructure and the Committee for Study of a Future Strategic Highway
Research Program. He was instrumental in
establishing the original Strategic Highway
Research Program and was one of the incorporators of ITS America where he served a
term as chair and was named an honorary life
member of its Board. In 1989 he received TRB's
W.N. Carey Jr. Award for his leadership in supporting transportation research. In 2007, TRB
awarded him the Frank Turner medal, which
recognizes lifetime in achievement in transportation. He was also elected to the National
Academy of Engineering in 1999. Frank's ability to see both sides of an issue-and to issue
a verdict that withstands scrutiny-made
him a treasured leader.
Frank was the recipient of the ITE Theodore
M. Matson Memorial Award in 1993. He was
named an ITE Honorary Member in 2002, the
highest recognition of notable and outstanding professional achievement presented
by ITE. Since 1933 when the first Honorary
Member was selected, only 83 individuals
have achieved the recognition.
AASHTO established the Francis B. Francois
award in his honor, an award bestowed
annually to state departments of transportation that have developed innovative projects,
according to his obituary in AASHTO Journal.
Frank is preceded in death by his wife of
43 years, Mary, and is survived by his five
children-Joseph, Marie, Michael, Monica,
and Susan, who is formally known as Sister
Susan of the Congregation of the Sisters of
St. Joseph of Peace.

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April 2021

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ITE Journal - April 2021

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