Feb. 27, 1925 – April 15, 2014
LOCKPORT – Frank M. Stout Jr., of Lockport, a retired paper industry executive who was the godson of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 89.
Mr. Stout was born in Fort Myers, Fla., and his family was friends with the Edisons, who lived nearby.
He swam in the Edisons’ pool and went deep-sea fishing on their yacht .
“He ignored me most of the time,” Mr. Stout told The Buffalo News in 2010.
“He was busy inventing, working on generators and all kinds of electrical equipment. I would play with the phonographs. He probably had 15 or 20 different models in his laboratory.”
Following Edison’s death in 1931, his wife remained close to the Stouts, and she attended his graduation from high school in 1943.
He was drafted into the Army after high school, served in Europe in the 11th Armored Division under Gen. George Patton and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.
He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, and attained the rank of first sergeant.
After the war, he was aide- de-camp to the commander of the New Jersey National Guard.
Mr. Stout worked for Thomas A. Edison Industries in West Orange while attending Rutgers University, then went into the paper industry.
He was sales manager for C.G. Winans Co. in Newark, N.J., from 1947 to 1958, then moved to Glens Falls to become a sales representative for Norcross Eldridge Paper Co.
Joining United Board and Carton Corp., he was promoted to manager of its Lockport paper mill in 1960.
When the plant closed in 1963, Mr. Stout joined Buffalo Paper Stock Co., later Consolidated Fibers Inc., which became the nation’s largest independent supplier of paper-making fiber.
He was director of sales for the Northeast and served in that post until the company was acquired by Stone-Smurfit Corp. He retired in 1997.
Mr. Stout was a member of the Lockport Lions Club and Lions Clubs International for more than 50 years, serving as club president, treasurer and director. He also was Lions District 20-N deputy district governor.
He received the Melvin Jones Award, the highest award given by Lions International for service to the club and his community.
He also was the recipient of the New York State Lions’ Robert Uplinger Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Stout also served as president of the 11th Armored Division Association.
A longtime member of First Presbyterian Church of Lockport, he served as an elder and trustee.
He was committee chairman for Boy Scout Troop 78.
He also served on the committee to build the Kenan Center and preserve the Kenan home.
His wife of 63 years, Esther Howard Stout, died in 2009.
Survivors include a son, William; two daughters, Deborah Francescutti and Laura Schessl; four grandchildren; and three great-grandsons.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in First Presbyterian Church, 21 Church St.