Franklin Kenney Southworth
Second generation native Denverite Frank Southworth was born at Denver’s Mercy Hospital where his grandfather, Dr. Franklin Kenney, was chief of staff in 1925.
In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps the day before his 18th birthday. He served overseas in Okinawa and the Philippines and was honorably discharged three years later. After serving in the military, he entered the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in economics in 1950.
He married his wife of 66 years, Doris, while in college and was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. After graduation, he joined Gulf Oil Corp. in Boston, Massachusetts. Their first child, Glenn, was born in 1952. In 1955, he and his wife were transferred to Denver as Gulf’s resident manager of marketing and real estate. Their son, Glenn, passed away from leukemia in 1957.
Frank left Gulf Oil in 1958 to start Horizon’s Inc., a commercial construction company with two partners. In 1960, he was appointed Manager of Revenue for the City and County of Denver by then Mayor Richard Batterton. At 34 years of age, he was the youngest to hold that position in the city’s history, at that time. That same year, his daughter, Nancy (Puckett), was born. During that period he was also a member of the first Board of Directors of the Denver Metro Sanitation District 1 (’61-’63). In 1963 his son Scott was born. That same year, Frank joined OK Tire & Rubber Co. Inc. in Littleton and became their general sales manager. He was part of the ownership syndicate, which eventually sold to Ashland Oil Co. in 1966. After the sale, Frank formed his own Real Estate Co, Southworth & Co.
In 1967, Frank was chairman of the Colorado Reagan for President Committee through the Republican National Convention in Miami to which he was the alternate delegate from Colorado (1968). In a citywide election in 1969, Frank was elected to the Denver Board of Education for a six-year term with 76,000 votes, the largest in history to that time. He served as president of the Denver School Board from 73-74. In 1972, Frank was elected to two terms to the Colorado House of Representatives. In 1974, he received the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Congressional seat in District 1. In 1975, Frank was the founding director and the first president of the National Association for Neighborhood Schools Inc.
He continued his public service by serving on the boards of the Denver Art Museum, Centennial Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Foundation for State Parks, the Quick Foundation and the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation. Frank was also a member of the Metro Capital improvement District, Municipal Finance Officers Assoc., National Association of Realtors and the National Rifle Assoc., a Kentucky Colonel and attended Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church.
Frank is survived by his wife Doris, daughter Nancy, son Scott, daughter-in-law Suzie, son-in law Jeff Puckett and only grandchild, Chase.
Services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m., at Greenwood Community Church with a reception at 4 p.m. at Cherry Hills Country Club, 4125 S. University Blvd., Cherry Hills Village.
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