Dr. Frank W. Oldham, Jr. of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Boerne, Texas passed away on January 22, 2013 at the age of 67. He is survived by his mother, Nettie Oldham of Jonesboro, Arkansas; his wife, partner, and best friend of 43 years, Donna Leonard Oldham of the home; son, Chad R. Oldham (Tiffany) of Jonesboro, Arkansas and daughter Whitney Miller of Little Rock, Arkansas; grandchildren Franklin “Wyatt”, Nicole, and Ava Oldham of Jonesboro; and Jayden Miller of Little Rock; a sister, Diane Oldham Seymore (Curt) and brother, Shane Oldham, all of Jonesboro. Additionally, he is survived by his cherished extended family, Bud Leonard (Linda), Judy Smith (Dennis) of Corning, Arkansas, and Charlotte (Ron) Rahm of San Antonio, Texas; nephews, Grant Smith, Todd Smith, and Eric Leonard; nieces, Daya Seymore Shipman, Alison Zimlich, Melissa Woolard, Julie Almon, Farrah Rahm, and Meredith Oldham. He was preceded in death by his father, Frank W. Oldham, Sr.; and a brother, Mark Oldham.
Frank was a kind, compassionate, and godly man. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. From his humble roots in rural Lawrence County, Arkansas, he achieved the greatest of successes by forging long and meaningful relationships throughout the state and beyond. He cherished each and every one of those relationships and will be dearly missed by his family and many, many friends.
Frank was born on April 30, 1945 to Frank W. Oldham, Sr. and Nettie Oldham in Black Rock, Arkansas. In his youth, he spent a great deal of time with his grandparents, Orville and Elsie Oldham and Mose and Edith Robertson. He could often be found hanging out around his grandfather’s mercantile in Black Rock and was known to have delivered groceries throughout much of the countryside. He was ever grateful for those opportunities and experiences and often expressed that such experiences had a profound impact on his life. For many years, he was involved in the Boy Scouts of America. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, was a member of the Order of the Arrow, and bestowed the notable Silver Beaver Award for service in Scouting. He was a staff member and waterfront director at Camp Cedar Valley and later served on the Board of the East Arkansas Area Council.
A 1963 graduate of Black Rock High School, he graduated with undergraduate degrees from Williams Baptist College in 1965 and Arkansas State University in 1967. He received his Master of Arts from the University of Central Missouri in 1968, his Ph.D from the University of Arkansas in 1974, and was a 1987 graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
A tenured professor and former Dean of Continuing Education at Arkansas State University, Frank spent most of the last 35 years in the banking industry. He served as Chairman and CEO of Security Bank in Paragould 1987-1993; Chairman and CEO of Farmers and Merchants Bank of Pocahontas 1987-1991; President of Worthen National Bank of Conway 1991-1993; Chairman and CEO of Boatman’s Bank (NEA) 1995-1997; Chairman and CEO American State Bank Corp. 1997-2005; and BancorpSouth Regional (NEA) President 2005-2007. At the time of his death, he served as a Director for First Western Bancshares of Rogers, Arkansas and the Argent Financial Group. Oldham served in a number of professional and civic capacities. In 1990, he was appointed by then Governor Bill Clinton to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and served until 2000, the last two years as Chairman. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Bank Administration Institute; Chairman, Arkansas Association of Bank Holding Companies; Chairman, Midsouth School of Banking; Director, Enterprise Corporation of the Delta; President, Jonesboro Economic Development Corp.; Director, University of Arkansas Foundation; Director, University of Arkansas Alumni Assoc. Board; Member, Rotary Club of Jonesboro and the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce.
Frank enjoyed the outdoors, particularly hunting, fishing, and snow skiing. He enjoyed Razorback athletics and rarely missed a home football game. He possessed an affinity for sports cars and was well known to many troopers throughout the state. Most importantly, he enjoyed spending time and traveling with his family and friends.
A man of incredible faith, he was a member and served as Deacon and Elder of the Southwest Church of Christ in Jonesboro. He sought to please God in every facet of his life and encouraged many others in their own walk. He relished the hope of eternal salvation and was a firm believer in the power of prayer.
A visitation for family and friends will be held Friday, January 25, 2013 from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Southwest Church of Christ, 1607 James Street, Jonesboro, Arkansas. Funeral Services will follow at 12:00 p.m. The family will host a reception at the RidgePointe Country Club following services. Burial will be private and under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home of Jonesboro. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UAMS Foundation, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Better Life Counseling Center of Jonesboro, or the University of Arkansas Foundation.
The family wishes to acknowledge Frank’s long time personal assistant Judy Dacus of Paragould for her many years of devoted service and for making sure Frank was where he was supposed to be and Donna informed where she could find him. In addition, the physicians and staff of the UAMS Cancer Research Institute and the physicians and staff of the NEA Medical Clinic for their many years of professional care, as well as, all the many employees of Security Bank, Farmers and Merchants Bank, American State Bank, BancorpSouth, and First Western Bank.