Frank E. Mann, Jr. D.V.M. passed away peacefully at his home on March 13, 2020 at the age of 85 in Wharton. He was born in Houston at St. Joseph’s hospital on Aug. 12, 1934. He grew up in the Woodland Heights and graduated from Jeff Davis High School in 1952. He loved playing basketball, having 4-H projects and was President of his Senior Class. He married his high school sweetheart Ima Lee Smith on Aug. 27, 1955. They were married for over 57 years until her passing in 2013.
Frank leaves behind a legacy of leadership, generosity, commitment and love of his family and many friends. He loved his community, the state of Texas, his profession and his many personal relationships. He was proud of being a Texas Aggie and a Mayflower descendant of John Alden.
Frank graduated from Texas A&M University in 1956 and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1958. Frank had a small and large animal veterinary practice for over 50 years at Wharton Veterinary Clinic in Wharton. He was a leader and visionary in the field of veterinary medicine. He constantly strove to remain on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine and ranch management. Frank traveled all over the world and visited veterinary practices to learn the state-of-the-art design, technology and ranch management. He fulfilled a lifelong dream when he built the current veterinary clinic that was completed in 1996. His surgical room had lights from Houston heart surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey’s surgical suite. He invented the first bull testing prototype unit ever used in the area to check the fertility of bulls. He practiced veterinary medicine many years with Dr. Vic Driscoll and Dr. Carlos Bonnot. His practice was named a Heritage Veterinary practice by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).
Frank served as an adjunct professor of veterinary medicine in surgery at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and wrote many scientific articles and obtained grants to conduct research on cattle diseases. In 1979, he was honored for leading the effort to pass laws that successfully eliminated the cattle disease brucellosis in the state of Texas. He was president of the TVMA in 1980 and was named the Food and Animal Practitioner of the Year in 1984. Frank served 12 years as chairman of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. He was appointed by two Texas governors, Democrat Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and Republican William P. (Bill) Clements, Jr. He also led the first building program to house the TVMA since its inception in 1903.
He cared for some of the largest Brahman herds in the nation, including J.D. Hudgins Inc. and V8 Ranch. His ranch consulting assignments took him to Belize, Guatemala, Lebanon, Syria and Israel.
In 1980, he took a leave of absence from his veterinary practice to fulfill another lifelong dream of managing a large Texas ranch. He became the seventh general manager of the Pierce Ranch, a ranch founded in the 1800s by Shanghai Pierce.
Frank was an entrepreneur in many businesses. He was a co-owner of Wharton Development Company with Bolton Outlar, Jr. and Gordon Koonce. He developed numerous subdivisions and apartments in Wharton.
He was active in Texas Republican Party politics. As Wharton County Republican chairman, he supported John Tower who was the first Republican U.S. senator in Texas since Reconstruction. He was director of the Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Colorado River Water Development Association, a Wharton City Councilman, president of the United Way, Wharton Lions Club, Wharton Jaycees, Wharton County Youth Fair, Wharton A&M Club and Mid-Coastal Veterinary Medical Association. Frank was chairman of a program that eliminated polio in Wharton County in the early 1960s.
Frank was an avid wade fisherman and hunter. He enjoyed spending time at his home in Rockport, making lasting memories with family and friends. He was a deacon of First Baptist Church of Wharton for over 50 years and was chairman of the Building Committee that raised funds that built the current church sanctuary.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents Frank E. Mann and Leonita Roberts, and his wife Ima Lee Mann.
He is survived by son Frank E. Mann, III and wife Jackie of Houston; grandson Stephen C. Mann of Houston; son Garland R. Mann and wife Jennifer of Wharton; granddaughter Hannah Mann Kelly and her husband Matthew of Richmond; and great-grandson Cooper Mann Kelly.
He is also survived by his sister Donna K. Thornhill and husband Addison of Pearland, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended families.
With grateful hearts, the family wishes to thank Norma Carranco for her love and dedication as his caregiver in his final years and to Jimmy Sansing for his devotion to making it possible for Frank to be able to continue his ranching operation in his final years. The family would also like to thank Frank’s many friends who visited and supported him during his lengthy illness. Thanks also to Dora Campos, Mariann Campos and Jackie Green for their caregiving in previous years.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 19 at First Baptist Church, 507 N. Fulton Street, Wharton. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 507 N. Fulton Street, Wharton where Pastor Tony Wishert will be officiating. Friends are cordially invited to a reception to follow at the adjacent Fellowship Hall. Prior to the memorial service, the family will have gathered for a private interment at Evergreen Memorial Park in Wharton. Pallbearers are Stephen Mann, Matthew Kelly, David Voulgaris, Kip Attaway, Mark Wakefield, Jon Joines, Shannon Moore, Dan Peveto and Matthew Peveto. Honorary pallbearers are Bill Hubenak, Carlos Bonnot, Wayne Mann, Sam Burkett, Charles Peveto, Addison Thornhill and Jimmy Sansing.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in honor of Frank E. Mann, Jr. to First Baptist Church of Wharton, 507 North Fulton Street, Wharton, 77488. Condolences may be made at www.WhartonFuneralHome.com.