Frank J. Heymann

BRUNSWICK – Frank J. Heymann, 95, passed away on March 29, 2023 at Mere Point Long-Term Care.

Born in 1927 in Frankfurt Germany to Frederick G. Heymann and Edith E. Auerbach, who were Jewish, but non-observant, Frank moved with his parents and younger sister to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1932. The family was very fortunate to be enabled to move to England after the Nazi occupation of Prague in 1939.

During World War II, Frank attended schools in England, and in 1943 began work in a manufacturing plant as machine operator and later draftsman. He took weekend courses in Aeronautical engineering.

In 1946 the family emigrated to the United States, where Frank attended CCNY, graduating magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. At CCNY he was active in its chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality).

After earning a master’s degree at MIT in 1953, in 1954 he was hired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in their Steam Turbine Division in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. At MIT he founded a “Motor Sports Enthusiasts’ Club” that organized rallies and closed-course sports car races in conjunction with other motor clubs.

During his years at Westinghouse (1954-1990) Frank was active in the Sports Car Club of America, Philadelphia Region, served on the staff of its magazine, and competed in rallies, speed hill climbs, and closed-course races with an MGA sports car. He was also active in the Buck Ridge Ski Club, an outing club that organized skiing, hiking, sailing and river canoeing activities. His other interests included travel, concerts and theater, and writing.

At Westinghouse he worked on projects related to steam turbines, with special interests in moisture erosion of turbine blades and noise and vibration problems.

In 1969 Frank married Irene Sharkey, and subsequently adopted her three children from a previous marriage. The family lived in the village of Arden, near Wilmington, Del. Both Irene (a chemist who worked in industry and later teaching) and Frank were very active in community affairs.

In 1983 Westinghouse moved the Steam Turbine Division to Orlando, Fla., and Frank and Irene had to move there. In 1985, Irene had brain surgery that left her with serious deficits, and she could no longer work professionally. She did continue writing stories. Frank was active in their local HOA, and helped in AARP with the Tax Aide and Driver Safety Classes programs.

In 2001 Frank and Irene moved to Thornton Oaks Retirement Community in Brunswick. They loved Maine, especially Acadia National Park, and had happy years filled with writing, travel and volunteering. Once again Frank helped with AARP programs, and also at the Maine Maritime Museum. He and Irene were active in the Thornton Oaks Writers Group and the Welcome Committee.

Irene died suddenly in January 2011. In 2012, Frank published a book of Irene’s stories, titled “Fanciful Tales and Poems for Grandchildren of Any Age”, and in 2014 a memoir of his eventful life, titled “Saved from the Holocaust and other sketches from Life in Four Countries”.

Frank moved to assisted living in Thornton Hall in 2018, and later to Mere Point Long-Term Care. He kept up his interests in politics and car racing for as long as he was able.

Frank is survived by his daughter, Leslie Sharkey (Jeff Knaack) of Castleton, N.Y.; grandchildren Laurie Knaack and Jeffrey Knaack (Kaitlyn Berkery); great-grandchildren Ari Goldstein and Montgomery Knaack; sons Christopher Sharkey of Arden, Del. and Robert Heymann of Ardentown, Del.; also survived by niece, Elizabeth Bean of Arden Del., nephews Dave Bean, Bethel and Dr. Jonathan Bean, Needham, Mass., their children; and his close friend, Dorothy Ault, of Brunswick.

A life celebration will take place later this year, and Frank’s ashes will be interred with those of his wife, Irene, in the Memorial Garden in Arden, Del.

Frank asked that

contributions be made to

Doctors Without

Borders or

Feeding America.

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