Obituary: Franklin E. Ulf III

Frank Ulf
Frank Ulf

Franklin E. Ulf III — a devoted husband, loving father, adored grandfather, true friend and one of the most respected community leaders in Los Angeles — died Oct. 20 of cardiac arrest with his beloved son, Brian, by his side.
Frank was born in Pittsburg and, at 12 years of age, moved with his parents to Beverly Hills. They came to join his mother’s family, who lived within blocks of each other. His uncle, Dr. James K. Stewart, founded the first Presbyterian Church in Beverly Hills.
It was in this church — when they were both 12 — that he met his wife, Betsy. They lived only a block away from each other and their parents were closest of friends. Their lives became connected through their church and carried them through their Beverly Hills High School and college days. Married on Valentine’s Day 1953, they were half of the whole of one another and shared 63 years of everything — together. Their pictures are on the Hall of Fame at Beverly Hills High School.
Frank’s deep sense of public service started when his leadership skills began in high school. In his senior year, he was elected student body president. He went on to Pomona College and later served on the board of trustees for more than 20 years, as well as on the board of the Claremont University Consortium.
When Betsy and Frank were 16, they were poster kids who helped raise money to build the first YMCA in Beverly Hills. Frank served for more than 20 years as a director of the Metropolitan Los Angeles YMCA and was recently honored with the Golden Book Award for distinguished service, which is the highest honor the YMCA bestows.
In 1982, Frank became president of the Los Angeles 5 Rotary Club. The podium of that platform provided skills that enabled Frank to become one of the outstanding community leaders of Los Angeles. “Service Above Self” is its motto. He lived those words to the very core of his soul.
Until his death, Frank continued to serve on the following boards: the Autry Museum of the American West; the Music Center, where he served as vice chairman; the California Science Center; the USC Marshall School of Business and past chairman of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. He was appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson and served four years as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
He was very successful in the financial business world. After three years in the U.S. Navy, Frank earned his MBA at the USC Marshall School of Business. He founded two financial advisory firms: American Investment Counseling Co. and Summit Management Co., which was purchased in 1988 by U.S. Trust of New York. Frank was named Chairman/CEO of its West Coast offices. In 2004, Frank started his final business, Covington Capital Management, where he recently was named chairman emeritus.
Frank was a proud member of the Los Angeles Country Club, the California Club, Jonathan Club, San Gabriel Country Club and the Reserve in Indian Wells. He was past chairman of the 100 Club of Los Angeles as well as the Twenty One Fund. He was also a member of the Valley Club of San Marino.
In his early 20s, he became an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He served many terms as a trustee and elder at the San Marino Community Church. Frank and Betsy moved to San Marino in 1962, where they raised their daughter, Bonnie, and son, Brian. They moved to Pasadena in 1978.
In addition to his loving children, he leaves seven grandchildren: Dane Sandborg, Connor Ulf, Abby and Amanda Ulf, Derek Sandborg, David Sandborg, Lukas Rodriguez and daughter-in- law Nely Galan. He also leaves his brother-in-law Arnold Bockstruck of St. Paul, Minn., and family Betsy, Rob, Duey and Jane.
Letters to Betsy these past weeks have reflected who Frank was and what he meant to everyone who met and knew him. He was a great man, a genuine gentleman. His was a calm voice, imparting great advice and caring. He was a servant of the Lord and lived his life as a warrior for the good of all.
A celebration of Frank’s life will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virginia Road. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice, requesting that you keep all of Frank’s charities in mind. Cabot and Sons is handling arrangements.

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