FARMINGTON – Glenn Frankenfield, 83, UMF professor of English, linguist, Bowdoin alum, and avid hiker, passed away in Machias on May 30, 2021.
Born May 4, 1938 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania to Aaron “Wayne” and Caroline (Ross) Frankenfield, the family fell in love with Maine during a summer vacation and moved to China, Maine in 1952. Glenn attended Coburn Classical Institute and later Bowdoin College, graduating in 1960. While at Bowdoin, he served as ATO fraternity president. Throughout his life, he maintained a close relationship with the college and followed with interest all its activities.
He earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he would meet his future wife on a blind date, the late Marilyn Gaye (Douglas) Frankenfield.
Glenn spent his entire teaching career at the University of Maine, Farmington, arriving in 1965 and dryly quipped, “They were all women in the English department, I broke the gender barrier.” He was proud to have been the first UMF professor to earn multiple sabbaticals and continued his academic pursuits well into retirement. Many students remember him decades later as their favorite professor.
He exhibited a lifelong commitment to activism for change including notable efforts in diversifying his fraternity, leading a successful campaign to unionize faculty at UMF, bringing the production of Jesus Christ Super Star to UMF amid some protest, and aligning with established activists within the Clamshell Alliance to resist the ongoing environmental risks of the nuclear power industry.
Always an active outdoorsman, trout fishing, hiking, and blueberry picking were his favorite pastimes. He loved the natural world and supported the Nature Conservancy and the Appalachian Trail Club. During his retirement, he spent winters enjoying similar pursuits at his home in New Zealand.
Glenn is survived by one son, John Frankenfield of West Gardiner; one daughter, Andrea (Frankenfield) L’Hommedieu of Columbia, South Carolina; five grandchildren, Benjamin L’Hommedieu, Sam Frankenfield, Sydney Frankenfield, Anya L’Hommedieu, and Finnegan Frankenfield; and one great-grandchild, Maeve Vartanian.
Donations may be made in Glenn’s memory to the Maine Appalachian Trail Club’s Trail Champions Campaign for the Maine Trail Center (online) or by check to: Treasurer, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, PO Box 7564, Portland, ME 04112
The family will hold a private service graveside in Farmington.