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Dr. Francis Charles "Frank" McMains

Obituary
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He always liked to make an early start. Frank McMains passed from this world to the next at 5:30 a.m., Thursday, June 6, 2013, one month and a day after his 91st birthday. Frank died of natural causes, at home as he wished, surrounded by loving family and friends. Dr. Francis Charles McMains, Sr., known as "Frank" to his wife and friends, "Francis" to his mom, "Dad" to his sons, "Pete" to his brother and grandchildren, and "Doc" to so many others whom he touched in his medical practice and life, was born above his grandparents' store in Dexter, New Mexico on May 5, 1922. His father Orion was a farmer and his mother Pearl a school teacher. At the age of 12 his parents moved his beloved brother Orion, Jr. (Bud) and him north to Grants in search of greener pastures. Frank excelled as a top student and leader, graduating high school May 24, 1939. He went on to study pre-med at the University of New Mexico (UNM), completing his B.S. while continuing his daily hand milking duties morning and night on the family farm. He became a proud member of Sigma Chi during his years as a Lobo. Upon graduation from UNM he was accepted into Tulane Medical School courtesy of a U.S. Naval program training doctors for the war. This fortuitous placement gave him not only the preparation for his 41-year career as an Orthopedic Surgeon but most importantly led him to meet the love of his life. Ann Greer was persuaded to accompany a close friend to New Orleans from Baton Rouge for a blind date with the young medical student. He was so taken with her looks and intelligence that he asked her to marry him on the first date. She thought a bit of courtship would perhaps be practical. The ever slight, ever poor country boy financed their dates by giving more than the usual amount of blood each week at the blood bank. He ran the blood bank and found his relatively rare type was worth a premium to Mr. Fenner of Merrill Lynch Fenner. The downside is that Ann found him rather pale and constantly worried he would faint. Nevertheless, he won her heart and in 1947, 7 years to the date from his high school graduation, they began a marriage that would carry them through 66 years of shared growth, adventure, comfort and delight. During his career in the Navy, Ann and Frank lived in New Orleans,Pensacola, Washington D.C. and Virginia Beach. After the Navy, Frank completed his residency at Duke Hospital in Durham and then moved to the Shiners' Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, where he began his career-long work with disabled children. Upon the death of Ann's mother, the couple, now with two sons, moved back to settle in Baton Rouge. Dr. Willard Dowell then asked him to be his partner and they co-founded the Orthopedic Clinic which soon grew by adding colleagues Dr. Bill Smith, Dr. Charles Kennon and Dr. Barry Rills. When time allowed, he enjoyed training residents at Tulane Medical School and in 1964 was Chief of Staff at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. His proudest work was the volunteer time he spent every Thursday for 33 years at the Cerebral Palsy Center providing medical services for disabled kids. In 2000, the center honored that work by changing its name to the Dr. Frank McMains Children's Development Center. He also served as the volunteer team doctor for football and basketball teams at University and Episcopal High while their five sons were in attendance. Throughout his medical career he was proudly affiliated with Phi Chi medical fraternity, Alpha Omega Alpha medical honorary society and the Piedmont Orthopedic Association. He also lent his hand as medical director of Union National Life Insurance. In 1976 he was named an Honorary Citizen of San Salvador, El Salvador, for his voluntary medical work in that country in collaboration with George Lambert. When not working, he enjoyed the company of his friends the Pettys, Greers, Hills, Prossers and O'Conners in their Bridge, Supper and Rebel Dance clubs, though his sons never saw him dance once. He loved to take his 5 sons fishing at Old River and hunting at Pecan Island, primarily for the laughter and less for the outcome. For many years he raised pedigree collies, winning a closet full of ribbons, but mostly because he loved dogs. In retirement he delighted in traveling with his adored Ann in the pursuit of genealogical research, watching his grandchildren grow into healthy youngsters and strong adults, and completing small projects, particularly woodworking, at his barn, always supported by valued neighbor Don Craft and through thick and thin, his dear trusted friend, Jim Middleton. He particularly looked forward to his early morning excursions around Louisiana with Pastor Chris Andrews and Dr. Charles Prosser. In his final years, as his memory began to fail him, he still demonstrated a remarkable ability to make people laugh and to laugh at himself. He delighted to the end in picking on the 13 remarkable women who through their work made his last years a comfort: Lynette, Carol, Kathy, Jeanne, Terri, Tina, Tabitha, Erma, Jesse, Keisha, Ashley, Doris and Edna Mae. The family does not have words to express our gratitude to them and Hospice of Baton Rouge. He will be deeply missed. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, by his third son Rick and by son Jay's wife, Thyre. He is survived by his wife Ann; son Jay, son Chuck (wife Mary), son Tim (partner Toni), son Ty (wife Tracey); 13 delightful grandchildren: Frank, Emily (husband Matt), Daniel (wife-to-be Christie), Jake, Will, Cooper (wife Sarah), Tess, Ross, Kaplan, Parker, Reed, Parks and Brooks and 2 great grandchildren: Annie and Julia. A visitation will be held Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St. from 1 p.m. until the memorial service at 3 p.m. His grandsons will serve as pallbearers. The service will be followed by a private family burial. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Dr. Frank McMains Children's Development Center, 1805 College Drive, 70808 or a . Please feel free to share memories and condolences online at www.rabenhorst.com.
Published in The Advocate from June 6 to June 8, 2013
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