Family Login:

Dr. Louis A. Frank
  • In honor of Dr. James Van Allen, this fund awards one or two graduating majors for outstanding undergraduate work in physics and/or astronomy.
  • Van Allen Scholarship Fund
    PO Box 4550
    Iowa City, IA 52244

Share This Obituary
Resources

Send Flowers
 Iowa City Area Florists


Memories & Candles

“I recently decided to look up some of Dr. Frank's published works on auroral plasmas. Busy as I am, oblivious to the world around me, I was shocked...Read More »
1 of 31 | Posted by: Brett Williams - Iowa City, IA

“Read the Dr's book back in 1995 I believe. Great read and it's been gratifying to learn many of his ideas have been substantiated. Perfectly...Read More »
2 of 31 | Posted by: Mike Horan - San Rafael, CA - Fan

“I have been following Dr. Frank since the OMNI magazine article appeared in 1983. I am saddened by his passing. Thank you for your work and your...Read More »
3 of 31 | Posted by: Joe Falco - Austin, TX - friend

“Dear Louis: The world lost a great scientist. So sorry you went through hard time last recent years. I will miss you and always love you. ”
4 of 31 | Posted by: NASSRIN HAJI - valley village, CA

“I found a copy of "The Big Splash" in the tiny science section of a B. Dalton's Book store in 1990. I'm confident one day Dr. Frank's discovery that...Read More »
5 of 31 | Posted by: M O'Brien

“I am deeply surprised and saddened by this sudden obituary of Prof. Louis Frank. He was my advisor for graduate Ph.D thesis and a mentor for lots...Read More »
6 of 31 | Posted by: Jongho Seon - Seoul

“Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to all of the family. Home Instead Senior Care. ”
7 of 31 | Posted by: Buck Stark - Iowa City, IA

“I wanted to express my sadness regarding the passing of Dr. Frank. I was unable to attend the memorial. I will always remember him! ”
8 of 31 | Posted by: Melissa Reed - Solon, IA - friend

“I remember Dr. Louis Frank as bright and successful space scientist. Sorry for his passimg away. My compassion to his family and his friends. Oleg...Read More »
9 of 31 | Posted by: Oleh - Moscow. Russia

“Over 30 yrs ago I enrolled at UI, fresh out of high school & in search of the meaning of life. I preferred to find it through prose-based courses,...Read More »
10 of 31 | Posted by: former student - Iowa City

“It was a privilege for me to get to work with Dr. Frank in collaborative research in space physics. In particular, Lou offered lots of very valuable...Read More »
11 of 31 | Posted by: Rick Chappell - DESTIN, FL

“Thinking of you today ~ our thoughts are with you Suzanne and family. Laurie & Lenny ”
12 of 31 | Posted by: Leonard and Laurie Landt - IA

“A member of the initial generation of space researchers, Lou Frank was an outstanding experimental physicist whose instruments provided new knowledge...Read More »
13 of 31 | Posted by: Louis J. Lanzerotti - New Vernon, NJ

“Jessica: My deepest condolences to you and Suzanne on the lost of your father. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. ”
14 of 31 | Posted by: Denise Newkirk Salm - Iowa City, IA

“Lou was a great experimentalist and a pleasure to work with. He had an excellent understanding of theory which helped advance the field of plasma...Read More »
15 of 31 | Posted by: Maha Ashour-Abdalla - Los Angeles, CA

“Dear Suzanne and family, My deepest sympathy to you on the passing of your father. My prayers to you. Judy ”
16 of 31 | Posted by: Judy Lentzkow - Hiawatha, IA

“Suzanne, Our Deepest sympathy to you and your family. What a profound and accomplished man your father was. You must be very proud daughter. You...Read More »
17 of 31 | Posted by: Wendy Hintz & Denise Barr - IA

“Farewell to a beloved friend and legendary scientist. Your legacy is secure. I will miss you. ”
18 of 31 | Posted by: Jo Ann Joselyn - Boulder, CO

“It was with both shock and sorrow that we learned of the sudden death of Prof. Frank. As he had long been a great leader of plasma measurements in...Read More »
19 of 31 | Posted by: Hirotsugu Kojima - Kyoto

“Suzanne and Family - so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers. ”
20 of 31 | Posted by: Kathy Ott - Waterloo, IA

“Dear Dr. Frank: In 1983 you hired me to be your secretary in the Physics Department. I so appreciate that you gave me that opportunity. I came to...Read More »
21 of 31 | Posted by: Ann Hutchcroft Weber - Coralville, IA

“I was sorry to read of the passing of your father Lou. I knew him from living around the corner from him on Hummingbird Lane and I had the pleasure...Read More »
22 of 31 | Posted by: Cheryl Carter - IA - friend

“Lou was a true pioneer of space science, one of the first to make reliable measurements of plasmas in space. I remember him for his clear-eyed...Read More »
23 of 31 | Posted by: Charlie Kennel - La Jolla, CA

“I did not know Lou personally but knew the family. My deepest condolences. ”
24 of 31 | Posted by: Donald Ballard - Oxford, IA

“What an amazing man.... May you find comfort in God's peace. Diane Grapp ”
25 of 31 | Posted by: Diane Grapp - Waterloo, IA

“We are deeply saddened to learn that Prof. L.A. Frank has passed away so prematurely. We were closely tied together two decades ago when we...Read More »
26 of 31 | Posted by: Iku Shinohara - Sagamihara

“May peace be with you and your family always. ”
27 of 31 | Posted by: Jennifer Klein - Waterloo, IA

“Jess and Sue, Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your father, my thoughts and prayers go out to your family. He's resting now in...Read More »
28 of 31 | Posted by: Lori Dunn - Chicago, IL

“May the silent thoughts and prayers of those who care comfort you. Deepest Sympathy- Teresa Crowl ”
29 of 31 | Posted by: Teresa Crowl - Waterloo, IA

“What a beautiful tribute to your father. Wishing your family peace and comfort during this bittersweet time. Warmly, Shelli ”
30 of 31 | Posted by: Shelli Panicucci - Waterloo, IA

“Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Eric and I will be thinking of you in the days ahead. Please let me know if you need anything. ”
31 of 31 | Posted by: Kathy Flolo - Grundy Center, IA


Dr. Louis A. Frank, Professor Emeritus of Physics & Astronomy from the University of Iowa died Friday, May 16, 2014.

Memorial services will be held 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 20th at the Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City with visitation from 4-7 p.m., Monday at the funeral home. Private family interment will take place at Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Van Allen Physics Scholarship Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation.

Louis was born in Chicago, IL and graduated from high school in Fort Madison, Iowa. He enjoyed nurturing trees and wildlife as well as automobiles. His passion in life was science.

Dr. Frank was a Professor of Physics at The University of Iowa, where he had been a member of the faculty since 1964. His first professional research activities occurred in 1958 when he assisted Professor Van Allen in the calibration of the first U. S. lunar probes, Pioneers 3 and 4, as an undergraduate student. Since then he had been an experimenter, co-investigator, or principal investigator for instruments on forty-two spacecraft. Dr. Frank was the principal investigator for the auroral imaging instruments for the Dynamics Explorer Mission, the plasma instrumentation for the Galileo Mission to Jupiter, the U. S. plasma instrumentation for the Japanese Geotail spacecraft, and the camera for visible wavelengths for the Polar spacecraft of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Program. His publications encompassed such topics as the first direct measurements of the terrestrial ring current and of the polar cusp, the current systems in Earth's magnetotail, the plasma tori at Jupiter and at Saturn, and global imaging of Earth's auroral zones and atmosphere. His research interests were directed toward magnetospheric plasmas in the vicinity of Earth, wave-plasma instabilities, active experiments in the ionosphere, interpretation of auroral images in terms of global convection and current systems, the Jovian magnetosphere and its relationship with the Galilean satellites, computed tomography, geocoronal hydrogen, comets, and optics. He served on various NASA and NAS/NRC committees and as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the American Astronomical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Academy of Astronautics. He was a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a recipient of the National Space Act Award.

His family includes his two daughters, Jessica Frank of Iowa City and Suzanne Frank of Waterloo; brother, Clyde Frank of Virginia; sister, Emilou Woods of Colorado, and grandson Taylor Bergstrom of New York.