Frank Hain, Jr.


9:30 am
Saturday, October 28, 2023
St. Dominic's Church
90 Anstice Street
Oyster Bay, New York, United States

Obituary of Frank Leslie Hain, Jr.

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Frank Leslie Hain Jr. died on September 22, 2023. He was born in Oakland, California, in 1937, the son of Marjorie Cable Hain and Frank Leslie Hain Sr.

Frank’s father, an attorney, died when Frank was just two years old. His mother worked throughout his childhood, including in the Douglas Aircraft Factory in Santa Monica, California, during World War II, and in the home of radio announcer and actor Bill Goodwin, a close friend of Frank Sinatra’s. Nancy Sinatra was Frank’s best friend in early childhood, and Frank loved explaining how Frank Sinatra treated him like a son. His mother later led the United Service Organizations (USO) in Oceanside, California, where Frank attended high school. Frank ran on the high school track team at Oceanside-Carlsbad High School and was one of the fastest half-mile runners in California. Throughout high school, Frank worked at the MiraMar Restaurant in Oceanside. His high school classmates voted him “Most Likely to Succeed.” Frank graduated as the Oceanside-Carlsbad Class of 1955 valedictorian.

Frank attended Occidental College (Oxy) in Los Angeles as an undergraduate. He ran track and worked throughout college at the Oxy Student Union, as a laboratory teaching assistant, and as an usher at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Frank graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Oxy in 1959. He enrolled at Columbia University in New York for graduate school, studying physics and electrical engineering. Frank was the head teaching assistant in Columbia’s Physics Department. While in graduate school, Frank fell in love with the East Coast’s changing seasons—a contrast from the Southern Californian climate in which he grew up—and he was captivated by Manhattan’s arts and cultural institutions, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After graduate school, Frank was recruited to work as an aerospace engineer; from 1961 to 1972, he was employed by Hughes Aircraft Company and NASA in California and Australia. He worked at the Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla Tracking Stations (Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex). Frank was the design engineer for the Surveyor lunar soft landing spacecraft power control system and managed the computer, video, and telemetry ground support for the Apollo lunar landings. He was at Honeysuckle Creek in Australia when the station received and relayed the world’s first televised footage of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Frank loved sharing the story of the surprising chain of events that led to Honeysuckle Creek’s primary role in broadcasting this historic moment.

Following Apollo, Frank traveled throughout Southeast Asia and Africa, and hiked in the Himalayas. For the next five years, until 1977, he worked for RCA Global Communications in San Francisco, New York City, and Tehran, Iran. Under contract to the Iranian Shah, he worked as hardware manager for 20 computer-controlled switching systems implemented in all of Iran’s major cities. While working at RCA in New York, Frank met Alison Weigel on a Sierra Club hike at Bear Mountain in Harriman State Park. Frank and Alison were married at Union Church in Pocantico Hills, New York, in 1974. In the early years of their marriage, Frank and Alison lived in Iran; they returned to the United States shortly before the Iranian Revolution.

Frank worked as an information technology (IT) engineering and maintenance professional in the New York banking industry for the next quarter century. From 1977 to 1985, he worked for European American Bank (EAB) in New York City and Long Island. Between 1985 and 2001, he was Vice President of Network Communications at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), where he was responsible for design, implementation, and day-to-day operations of the computer networks at CSFB’s 5 World Trade Center (WTC) offices. Frank loved exercising at the Cardio-Fitness Center in Manhattan, jogging in Central Park, and running marathons with his friends; his favorite race was the Rhode Island Marathon in Newport. During these years, Frank and Alison raised their two daughters, Alexia (Lexie) and Jocelyn, in the New York City suburbs of Westchester County and Long Island, New York, as well as Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Frank was a 9/11 survivor and worked at the WTC during the 1993 bombing. After the ’93 bombing, he was responsible for setting up a disaster recovery site for CSFB in Princeton, New Jersey, which proved essential in keeping the bank’s operations running after 9/11. On the morning of September 11, 2001, he was exercising in the health club on the top floor of the Marriott, situated between the Twin Towers, when a plane struck the first tower. The plane’s landing gear fell 10 feet from where Frank was exercising; he raced down the stairs and boarded a ferry moments before a plane struck the second tower. 

Frank and Alison retired to Essex and Westport, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains overlooking Lake Champlain. In 2002, Frank opened two businesses: the Essex Professional Center and Essex Fitness Center. He served as a decennial U.S. Census worker in 2010 and 2020, and as a rural postal carrier in Westport until his early 80s. Frank learned to sail while in his 70s and took great pleasure in sailing on Lake Champlain.

From 2018 to 2022, Frank and Alison lived in Trumansburg, New York, near their daughter Lexie and her family. From early 2022 until his death in September 2023, Frank and Alison lived at Christian Fellowship House in Syosset, New York, close to their daughter Jocelyn and her family.

Throughout his life, Frank retained a strong connection to his California roots. One of the greatest joys of his later years was learning more about his uncle, Schuyler Hain, who traveled west from Michigan to California as a homesteader in 1891 and founded Pinnacles National Park. Today, more than 80 percent of the park is designated as the Hain Wilderness.

Frank died of pneumonia at a Long Island hospital, after a battle with recurrent cancer. He was predeceased by his older sister, Margaret Lucile Hain Schloming. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Alison; his daughter Lexie Hain, her spouse Marguerite Wells, and his granddaughters Phoebe and Petra, who reside on their farm near Ithaca, New York; and his daughter Jocelyn Wenk, her spouse Christian Wenk, and his grandson Alexander and granddaughter Charlotte, who live in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Frank was especially proud of his grandchildren and always excited to hear about their latest interests; he was fond of proclaiming, “Through my grandchildren, I have eternal life!” Frank genuinely delighted in the accomplishments and joys of others, and will forever be remembered for his boundless energy, enthusiasm, gratitude, cheerfulness, and love.

Frank will be interred in the Weigel family plot at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. A memorial mass will be held for Frank at the Church of Saint Dominic chapel in Oyster Bay, New York, at 9:30 a.m. on October 28, 2023. Kindly consider a donation to the Sierra Club in Frank’s honor. 


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