Frank De Vries Jr. of Glen Mills

Frank De Vries Jr., 95, of Glen Mills, died Sunday, May 3. He was born in Passaic, N.J. in 1925. He was the last of three children to Mr. Frank De Vries and his wife, Cornelia (nee Sweetman).

Frank received the sacrament of Holy Baptism at the Dutch Reformed Church in Passaic. Later affirmed it through confirmation at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Philadelphia in 1947.

Frank attended school in Garfield through fifth grade, then moved to Glen Rock, N.J. where he completed ninth grade. He received both the Citizenship and the Athletic awards. After one year at Ridgewood High School, Frank moved to Hamptonburgh, N.Y. and graduated from Washingtonville High School. Frank was very active in school sports and was senior class president.

Upon graduation, Frank was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He attended Boot Camp and Electrical School at Sampson Naval Training Center in upstate NY. The next step was being sent to the south Pacific via San Francisco, Brisbane, Australia, and New Guinea, Borneo, and the Philippine Islands. When the war ended Frank attended the then Philadelphia Textile Institute, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in textile engineering. He also met his future wife Frances Arkebauer in Philadelphia and was married on July 20, 1949, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The marriage was blessed with four children: Holly, Janet, Nancy, Peter, and nine grandchildren.

He was called back to active duty in the Navy and spent 18 months on a carrier, U.S.S. Essex during the Korean conflict. Frank was employed after graduation at Samuel Hird and Son’s in Garfield, N.J. He worked his way up to plant superintendent in Garfield.

In the fall of 1959, Hird’s purchased a plant in Cornelius, North Carolina and Frank became plant Manager. However, in 1962, the Hird family decided to sell the business. Frank and Ralph Quackenbush decided to stay in Cornelius and start Cornelius Enterprises, which included a Tastee Freez store with two ice cream trucks, North Mecklenberg Realty Co. and a little later a sundry shop near Davidson College in Davidson, N.C. Frank had obtained both a realty license and a broker’s license during this time.

Early in 1962, Frank had an opportunity to get an interview with the du Pont Company in Martinsville, Va. He was hired there and within a few months was interviewed in Wilmington, Del. for a position in the Fabric Development Group in the Fibers Division. The family was still in Cornelius so only one move was needed. Frank remained in the development area working at first in the apparel section and then in home furnishings until his retirement.

In 1986, Frank and Frances moved from their five-bedroom house to a smaller three-bedroom home in Chadds Ford. The children were all gone from home, so this seemed like a smart move. However, Frances died on March 8, 1987, from a heart attack. Frank remarried Ruth Scherb, a friend from junior high school days, on Sept. 9, 1988.

Frank was a member of the Concordia Lutheran Church in Wilmington and was a long time active member of the property committee. He volunteered as a medical driver for Luther Community Services for 13 years and at the Life Pantry at St. Stephen Lutheran Church. After retirement, Frank and Ruth did extensive traveling. Both enjoyed living in Ringfield with a garden and being active in the community. Frank worked on the mechanical facilities, roads, sewerage, and wells which kept him busy and Ruth was active with her bank of Iris and other flowers. In April of 2007, Frank and Ruth moved to Maris Grove Retirement Community. For online condolences, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

About CFLive Staff

See Contributors Page



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.