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Originally published: 2013-06-11 11:06:32
Last modified: 2013-06-11 11:07:16

Francis Brackett Northup

Francis "Frank" Brackett Northup, 81, passed away Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Forsyth Medical Center after a brief illness. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his loving daughters.

Frank was born and raised in Winston-Salem, where he graduated from RJ Reynolds High School. He attended UNC, NCSU and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Appalachian State University. Most of his career was spent in Sanford, and he retired in Boone where he and his bride, Audrey Fowler Northup, met and married.

His early career began as a math professor at ASU and then UNC Pembroke. His passion for invention redirected his career to the hosiery industry where he worked in research and development for most of his career. This included time at Hanes Hosiery and L'eggs in Winston-Salem and he was Vice President of Research and Development at Spanco Yarns in Sanford until he retired. Frank's most notable accomplishment in the industry was the development of yarn for L'eggs Sheer Energy and Sheer Elegance Hose. He has patents on 14 yarn manufacturing machines.

Always thinking of new inventions in his personal time, products such as "Paper Pottery," "Nix Pix" and "The Brass Lucifer" were produced and sold. His family enjoys memories of some of the wackier inventions that never made it to the market such as the "double decker skate board," the "Rubber Ducky Self Propelled Water Chair" and the "jewelry ring cigarette holder." Many of the clever games and toys he invented were enjoyed by his daughters during their childhood. Until his recent illness, he was working on the design for a new golf club prototype.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey, his parents, Willard Close Northup, of Northup & O'Brien Architects, and Anne Noble Northup; his two sisters, Gwen and Nancy; and his brother, Lamar.

He is survived by his three daughters, Jo, Lynn and Dottie; his son-in-law, Chad Reichert; grandson, Eero; and his brother, Willard ,and his sister-in-law, Dottie Ramirez, all of Winston.

Funeral services will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem in the Chapel at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

A true gentleman with a great sense of humor, many people would agree that Frank was one of the most kind, patient and compassionate people they have ever known.

In memorium, donations may be made to the Forsyth Humane Society or to the charity of your choice.