Frank Sheffield
1946 - 2021
Frank Sheffield
February 14, 1946 - June 26, 2021
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Frank Hornor Sheffield Jr., age 75, of Chapel Hill, NC, died on June 26, 2021 from Parkinson's disease. He was born in Dallas, TX on February 14, 1946 to Frank Sr. and Josephine Sheffield. He graduated from Sunset High School (Dallas) in 1964 and received both his undergraduate degree (1968) and law degree (1974) from the University of Texas at Austin. Frank was married to Roxanne Arnold on February 22, 1975. They were married for 46 years and had two sons.
Throughout his life Frank was an avid golfer, tennis player, and Texas Longhorn fan. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana from 1968-1971. After returning from Botswana, Frank began his environmental legal career working for TX State Senator Max Sherman. In 1980, he and his family moved to North Carolina, where Frank worked several years as in-house counsel. Always interested in politics, he was Mayor of Hillsborough, NC from 1983-1987, where he successfully fought to preserve Hillsborough's history, such as the Margaret Lane Cemetery, as well as prepare for its future in many practical ways. When asked how he wanted to be remembered as Mayor, he replied, "I would like to have my four years remembered more than anything else for building a strong foundation."
After being admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1989, he moved into private law practice. In 1995 he joined the law firm of Ward & Smith in New Bern, NC where he practiced environmental law for 19 years. He led both the Environmental Practice Group at Ward & Smith and the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Section of the NC Bar Association. He was awarded many honors and distinctions including The Best Lawyers of America (1995-2014). Despite not being a litigator, he won a unanimous NC Supreme Court decision. In recognition of Frank's important contributions to the EENR, he was conferred membership in the Legacy Society in 2015.
In retirement, he enjoyed his grandchildren and learning to fly fish at his home away from home, Bozeman, MT. In 2011, he and his wife returned to Botswana where he was able to reconnect with several friends from his time in the Peace Corps.
For his entire life he was surrounded by love and friendship, universally thought of as someone that truly cared and connected with those around him.
Frank is survived by his wife, Roxanne Sheffield; son Wesley Sheffield and wife Kristin of Durham, NC; son John Sheffield of Austin, TX; sister Betty Jo Hardy and husband Murray of Prescott Valley, AZ; and two grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday July 1st at 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Hillsborough. In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank's honor may be directed to the Peace Corps (

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Published by The News & Observer on Jun. 29, 2021.
Graveside service
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
, Hillsborough, NC
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7 Entries
I am so sorry to read of Frank's passing. He was a true delight to speak with -- and we spoke many times -- when I was a reporter. Smart, funny, and intent on making his community better.
Ruth Sheehan
July 1, 2021
Frank and I were opposing counsel on several coastal law matters in the 2000's. He was always a pleasure to work with- even on opposite sides of an issue. A real gentleman. My condolences to his friends and family
Christy Goebel
June 30, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of Frank's passing. I practiced law with him for awhile, and he was a pleasant, kind, and interesting man. We talked about his time in the Peace Corps, and I remember the great stories of his adventures. Despite precautions, sometimes he woke up to an adventure when he opened his eyes and found something poisonous crawling directly above him. He loved it. He was a man of many interests, and a fine person.
Margie Case
June 30, 2021
I got to know Frank because of our common field -- environmental law -- and was fortunate in having that opportunity. Frank was a lovely man. My condolences to his family.
Robin Smith
June 29, 2021
Koren Lee
June 29, 2021
Bell Arthur Water Corporation
June 29, 2021
Thanks for living such a wonderful life of unselfish service. It is a honor to have known you briefly at Sunset and now to know of your accomplishments.
Ron Talkington
June 29, 2021
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