Franklin Edward Rader died peacefully at his home in Mooresville Monday, May 18, 2015. Born in Newton Jan. 7, 1949, Frank was the eldest son of the late William Woodrow Rader and Lura Abernethy Rader.
A loving and supportive husband and father, Frank is survived by his wife, Liz Boyd Rader; and daughter, Lura Elizabeth “Ellie” Rader. Frank is also survived by his brother, Charles Whitener Rader (Becky) of Cornelius; and sisters, Susan Rader Poole (Fred) of Greensboro and Frances Rader Lena (Manuel) of Dallas, Texas.
Frank was a devoted uncle to his nephews, John and David Rader and Charles and Robert Lena; and his niece, Mary Frances Lena. A 1967 graduate of Mooresville High School, Frank received his BA degree in history from Davidson College in 1971.
He taught history and coached football and wrestling at high schools in Raleigh and Canton for several years before joining Smith Barney as a stockbroker, retiring early to dedicate his time in service to the organizations and institutions he loved most: USA Wrestling, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, the Boy Scouts of America, the Town of Mooresville, the Mooresville Graded School District, and First Presbyterian Church. Always grateful to the people and the community that shaped him, Frank never hesitated to give generously his time, resources and unique talents.
He was a creative visionary who constantly sought to leave the world a little better than he found it. Not only was he at home in the board room, he also enjoyed tutoring elementary school children in arithmetic, serving in the church nursery and preparing tailgate suppers before home football games.
He loved engaging in debates on many topics and was famous for answering a question with a question, thereby moving the discussion to a deeper level. Frank’s character and convictions were a reflection of his Christian faith. He viewed his life and family as a blessing and always tried to live a life honoring his Creator.
A state champion wrestler in high school, Frank served in numerous key roles with USA Wrestling, both on a national and state level. The organization describes Frank as epitomizing someone who lived with a servant’s heart, always willing to pitch in and help others and helping to build the sport on the local, regional, national and international levels. He was an inductee to the North Carolina Wrestling Hall of Fame and held leadership positions on the wrestling staff in the 1996 and 1984 Olympic Games.
Frank was recipient of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity’s highest honor, the Order of the Golden Heart, given by the national board of directors in recognition of his constant, faithful and distinguished service to his brothers and the fraternity. He enjoyed serving as the alumni advisor for the Davidson College chapter for many years. Frank was unflagging in his efforts to promote the highest academic, moral and ethical standards within this organization.
Frank was elected to one term as town commissioner in 2005. Following his term of office, his interest in local government remained keen, and he often attended town and county board meetings and budget sessions.
In addition to his passion for Mooresville, Frank was also a staunch advocate of the public schools, volunteering in the Mooresville Graded School District and helping to lead last year’s successful countywide campaign for $131 million in education bonds.
A funeral service will be held Friday, May 22, at 1 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 249 West McLelland Avenue in Mooresville, followed by the burial at Glenwood Cemetery. Pastor David Rockness will officiate.
The family will receive friends Thursday, May 21, frp, 6 to 8 p.m., at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, 494 East Plaza Dr. in Mooresville.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Mooresville Foundation for Excellence in Education, 305 N. Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115, Camp Grier, P.O. Box 490, Old Fort, NC 28762 (www.campgrier.org), and to First Presbyterian Church, 249 W. McLelland Ave., Mooresville, NC 28115.
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