Franklin Maurice “Frank” was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Leon Ellis and Virgie Rose Nethercutt Dicus who resided in North Little Rock. He was the youngest and “best looking” (Frank says) of seven children, two brothers and four sisters, and “was spoiled” by his sisters (Judy says). Frank was raised in First Baptist Church at 4th & Poplar in NLR and says every Sunday was always an “all day affair.”
Frank attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary School and Fourth Street Junior High where he played running back for the 1948 State Champion Bulldog football team (having only 8 points scored on them) and where he ran track for the 1948-49 State Champion Bulldog track team which set the state record in the 440 yard relay.
At North Little Rock High School, Frank played football and ran track. The 1951 Wildcats (9-1-1) team beat Little Rock High School 14-13 on Thanksgiving Day, only one of six losses Coach Wilson Mathews and the Mighty Tigers had in Arkansas. In 1953 Frank was Honorable Mention All State Football and was the State Champion Low Hurdler in track. He was in the school choir, and in a number of crazy skits and variety shows where he sang with his buddy who played the guitar. Frank was sports writer for the school newspaper, The Hi Comet. He had scholarships offered from Arkansas Tech and Little Rock Jr. College after his senior year but turned them down and went to work for Armour Star Packing in Little Rock as a clerk typist on the shipping deck. The company’s logo was “Armour Star—The Best There Are.”
In August 1954 Frank was drafted into the US Army and was sent to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, for processing and then on to Ft. Gordon, Georgia, for basic training. From there he was assigned to Ft. Hood, Texas, with the 53rd Signal Battalion D Company, 3rd Corp where he was a crypto operator. While at Ft. Hood Frank was put in Special Services where he ran track for the post team (basically just to get out of a lot of company work). In August 1956 he was discharged and returned to NLR and in September enrolled on the GI Bill (free money @ $110.00 a month) at ASTC (now UCA). WHAT A DEAL!!!
While at ASTC, Frank met his future wife Judy (you can read about this in her story). He pledged Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity his freshman year and was a very active member. In track and field, he was a four year letterman and ran on two AIC Championship teams. Frank was elected Senior Class President and was also in Student Senate where he was social chairman, where he tried to plan a dance almost every weekend (what else was there to do back then)? He also was chosen to be in Royal Rooters. Frank is a Lifetime member of the Letterman’s Club which entitles him to free admission to all sporting events at UCA.
June rolled around and two very important events took place, graduation for Frank with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Sociology with a minor in Business AND the marriage of his soulmate, Judy.
After graduation, Frank went to work for International Business Forms in Little Rock as a manager trainee, working in accounting and data processing. In 1970 he was promoted to Data Processing Manager of International Graphics which included seven companies, International Business Forms, Arkansas Printing and Lithograph, Fast Print, Creative Printing, and Favorite Check Printers of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
In 1976 management decided to get out of the in-house data processing business and farmed everything out, including employees, except for Frank to Systematics. He then became the liaison officer for one year during the conversion. In 1977, Frank went to work in sales for Favorite Check Printers and stayed there for the next twenty five years traveling all over Arkansas calling on banks and savings and loans. In 1988, Favorite was bought out by Clarke American Check Printers of San Antonio, Texas, and in 1995 moved the plant from Little Rock to Dallas. The sales team including Frank started working out of their homes. Frank retired in 2000 with 41 years of service in the same group of companies.
Frank worked for the Arkansas Legislature for the 2005 session and was also called to work as a courier for Quattlebaum, Grooms Tull & Burrow Law Firm where he has been for two years. He is chairman of the board for Member Service Federal Credit Union in Little Rock.
Frank decided to see if he still had some of his athletic ability at age 65, so started participating in the Arkansas Senior Olympics. Evidently he did and has won eight gold medals in track and field and still holds the Arkansas state record for age 70 in the running long jump.
Even though there are not many quail in Arkansas, this is Frank’s favorite hobby and still walks “Duce” in the woods on weekends during hunting season and on occasion will kill a bird or two. He just enjoys watching the dog work and getting the exercise. He has been hunting pheasant in Kansas for the last few years and has had better luck there!! Frank loves the Razorbacks and he and Judy go to all in-state games, enjoys gardening, yard work, dancing and traveling, but makes sure he plays No Golf!
Judith Elaine “Judy” was born in Camden, Arkansas, where her father, Joseph Reeves Parker, was a power plant supervisor at International Paper Company and her mother, Verda Everett Parker, worked in bookkeeping at Merchants & Planters Bank. Judy has one brother, Jerry, who resides in Hot Springs.
Judy started kindergarten with a group of about 8 girls who have stayed friends and kept in touch through all these years. They call and email frequently, even have a “mini” reunion once or twice a year having met in Houston, Shreveport, and Branson, and plan another weekend retreat in Hot Springs the end of May (sometimes husbands are included!!!).
After kindergarten, Judy attended grade school and thoroughly enjoyed those six years. Each year at the May Day festivities, she was always “high point” girl resulting from the track and field events. At the end of second grade, because of her perfect attendance in school, she was the “crown bearer” for the coronation of the sixth grade queen.
Judy was very active in Brownies and Girl Scouts, her leaders being very dedicated to the girls and she feels that growing up in the small town with such wonderful parents and leaders have given her a special connection to the ones she still associates with. Judy enjoyed all the troop activities which included, among other things, a week camping in the woods, and building and cooking everything that was needed to survive for the week. A contest was held in the Quapaw Area Council to rename a camp at Mustin Lake, about four miles outside Camden, resulting in Judy’s name of Camp Akela being chosen.
Judy’s family was an integral part of First Methodist Church and attended every Sunday which because of her attendance was presented a pin for not missing Sunday School for a year. The years kept passing by and even though the family did take vacations, they always arranged their schedule to where she would be able to be in a Sunday School class which resulted in her receiving eight more bars for each year to add to that pin. Judy was in a singing group of seven other girls who called themselves “The Accents.” They performed at local events and meetings, and were on television in El Dorado. The high school consisted of 7th through 12th grade, where she was an active member of a number of clubs and organizations including drill team and choir.
Upon graduation from high school, Judy and two of her best friends attended ASTC (now UCA) where upon the second week on campus she met Frank, TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE. This developed into a four year relationship. In her freshman year, Judy pledged Delta Zeta Sorority and was an active member. She was also a member of other organizations on campus and during her senior year was elected to the Homecoming Court and Royal Rooters, an honorary organization of outstanding leaders on campus. Since Judy had no car and was a long way from Camden, she was forced to stay on campus every weekend except for the major holidays, which proved to be some of the best times of her college years. The friendships and memories formed during those years are very special to her. She and Frank stay in touch with many of the friends they made and look forward to returning to events at UCA especially during the football season and homecoming.
June was an important month as it was graduation from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Sociology and a minor in Business AND the marriage of Judy and Frank. They then moved to North Little Rock and lived with Frank’s parents for a while until their new home was completed. It was there that they joined First Methodist Church of NLR that was located at 22nd and Poplar and remained in that church until it merged and relocated to Indian Hills Methodist. Having belonged to the Builders Class at the original location, they continued in the same class and have always enjoyed this special class. It is ironic that Judy’s first job was with the law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings Law Firm and hopefully her present job with the law firm of Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow will be her last.
After two years of employment, Judy and Frank were blessed with the arrival of Scott Franklin and 16 months later, Craig Alan. Judy was a stay-at-home mom until the boys started preschool and kindergarten, then went to work in the NLR school district. During the boys’ high school days, Judy entered the professional world as an optician with three ophthalmologists where she stayed for the next 25 years, until she was forced into retirement.
Not liking the “retirement” routine, she volunteered at two hospitals before being hired at the Arkansas Legislature for the 2005 session. After the session was over, Judy was hired to be the receptionist at Quattlebaum & Grooms, which she loves, working only 4 days a week.
Scott graduated from North Little Rock Ole Main High School and the U of A at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Architecture degree where he met and married Kim Hanna. They have lived in Memphis since that time where he is a partner in his firm and Kim is an interior designer. They have no children, but do have two dogs, a three-legged English Setter named “Steeler” (because of cancer two years ago), a Scottie, and a cat.
Craig also graduated from North Little Rock Ole Main and the U of A, Fayetteville, with a Bachelor of Science in math. He worked for a year in North Little Rock, then went to OCS in San Antonio where he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the USAF. During his time in the Air Force, he received his Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University. He has been based in 7 different states and is currently living in Dumfries, VA, with his wife Maggie Barnett (yes, Pat and Jim’s daughter) and our only two grandchildren, Joseph (4) and Jackson (3). Craig is now a Lt. Colonel currently working at the Pentagon and can retire with twenty years service on May 15, 2007
Judy and Frank have traveled extensively on trips that were won by him through his employment, but now they enjoy the companionship of their friends who travel the globe each year.
A very eventful day on June 18, 2008 when our third grandson Cooper Franklin Dicus, entered into our world, he joined his brothers, Joseph Alan (named after Craig and Judy’s dad) and James Jackson (named after Maggie’s dad Jim). This day was also Judy and Frank’s 48th wedding anniversary. Cooper was born in Dumfries, Va and was named after Frank. What a legacy these boys will have to carry on for their dad and grandads!!
After 20 years in the Air Force, Craig retired as a Lt Colonel in 2007 and started working with Booz Allen Hamilton in Arlington, Va. He worked there until he got a transfer to Oak Ridge, Tn. in 2015. The family moved to Farragut, Tn, which is about 20 miles from his work. Craig and Maggie wanted to be closer to their families, his beloved Razorbacks and his brother, Scott and Kim who live in Memphis, which makes for a good overnight spot to stay on the way to North Little Rock. It has been such a blessing for all of us to be able to be with each other the last year or so.
Judy fully retired in 2009 and has been a stay-at-home mom since then, the last three years to a pair of four-legged dogs (hunting, of course) that are a great comfort to both of us. Dottie and Jo Jo are litter mates and are a mix between a Luellen Setter and a Brittany Spaniel.
Frank finally fully retired from office work December 3l, 2015, after another 11 years with Quattlebaum Grooms, the first person to retire from that firm (he was also the oldest) and after spending the spring catching up on his yard work is now training for the 2016 Senior Olympics next month and hopes to add to his 65 Medals since his 4 year layoff because of five back surgeries. Life and Health are good for us.