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 (peacecorps.gov/donate
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Published by The News & Observer on Jun. 29, 2021.