Franklin Scott Hough, age 74, of Lamoni, Iowa, peacefully passed in the presence of his immediate family on the morning of May 19, 2014, due to complications arising from Multiple Sclerosis. To the communities of Lamoni and Graceland University, Frank is remembered for not only his contributions within the fields of economics, business, education, agriculture and personal service, but more importantly, for his quick wit, generous personality and leadership. Through all of his professional and personal endeavors, it is Hough’s indomitable zest for life that is most memorable to those who knew him. His genuine concern for others and for his community is evident in the way he lived his life, and is what allowed one person to positively affect the lives of so many others.
Frank was born January 14, 1940, in Pisgah, Iowa, to Effie and Scott Hough. He attended Graceland College while it was only a two-year institution from 1957 to 1959. After graduating from Graceland with honors and with an Associate of Arts degree, Frank attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating Cum Laude, and earned his PhD in Agriculture Economics in 1967.
While attending graduate school, Frank met Carol Pergler. They married on August 25, 1962, in Oak Park, Illinois. Upon completion of his doctorate, Frank and Carol moved to Lamoni, Iowa, in 1965. From 1965–1966, Frank worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Graceland, and was promoted in 1967 to Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences. In 1973 he was promoted to Full Professor, and Dean of Faculty in 1975. He assumed the role of Acting President of Graceland in early 1977 before officially being named the 11th President of Graceland College later that year. During his time as President, Frank was active in the Iowa Association of College Presidents and served as vice president of the organization. In 1988 Graceland recognized him with a Distinguished Service Award and named him Professor Emeritus in recognition of over 21 years of contribution to the institution.
While at Graceland, Frank served as counselor, friend and mentor to hundreds of students, who found his vast, real-world experience, partnered with a relaxed, candid teaching style, fostered in them an interest in the fields of business and economics. Student interaction and development is what gave Frank the most satisfaction in his career.
One of Frank’s most cherished citations was that of being given Graceland’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1982, as it came directly from the students themselves, and was the only award that hung on a wall, rather than piled in a drawer. This followed Frank’s sentiment upon being named President in 1977, as stated in an interview published in the Graceland Tower, “I would have preferred that somebody else be named President. I feel a little nervous about being ‘The President.’ I want to stay involved and keep in contact with students. I want to get out and rub shoulders with them. I never want to lose contact with the campus and the needs of the students.”
Education and agriculture were both personal and professional passions for Frank. In 1968 he was named both Outstanding Young Farmer and Outstanding Young Educator by the state of Missouri. President Richard Nixon named Frank to serve on his Task Force on Agricultural Policy in 1970, followed by receiving the Goodyear Conservation Award for the state of Iowa in 1972, and Cattleman of the Year by the National Cattleman’s Association in 1974.
Frank Hough was recognized across the country for his economic expertise. Through his most active years, he served as a consultant and advisor to Motorola, McDonalds, Goodyear and K-Mart, and served on the Board of Directors for national banks in New York, Texas and Iowa. The American Economic Journal, the University of Missouri, University of Iowa and University of Minnesota have all published his writings throughout the years. He was also a featured speaker for The Foundation of Economic Education, National Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Soil Conservation Service, American Bankers Association, National Retailers Association, The Foundation for Free Enterprise, as well as numerous state and local organizations. His economic expertise was put to use as he served on the board of directors of Outreach International, offering assistance to developing nations as they improve means by which to escape poverty and hunger.
Frank always claimed his true love was ranching. When he wasn’t working for the university, he spent many hours a day riding his horse or driving his pickup to check his cattle and crops, both as a hobby and as a business. He also enjoyed his membership within his faith community. Frank served as a High Priest within the Community of Christ, on committees of the Presiding Bishopric, and as a member of the Lamoni Stake High Council. Within the Lamoni community, Frank served as President of the Board of Education and loved spending time watching his children participate in sports, music and theater while part of the public school system.
Frank is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carol; his three children, Scott and his wife Amy (Hancock) Hough of Liberty, Missouri; Cheryl and her husband Joe Silver of Kansas City, Missouri; youngest daughter, Amy L. Hough, of Kansas City, Missouri; as well as his three granddaughters, Bristol, Jillian and Sasha Hough. Frank was a citizen of Lamoni for 49 years. He and Carol gladly made a commitment early in their marriage to raise their three children amid all of the benefits offered by its small-town atmosphere. The understanding, assistance and support of the community during Frank’s later years, as he physically became challenged due to Multiple Sclerosis, was also a great comfort and help for which he and Carol were always very grateful.
A community memorial service will be held at the Community of Christ in Lamoni, Iowa, on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Frank Hough Endowed Scholarship at Graceland University, 1 University Place, Lamoni, Iowa 50140. For information contact Kelly Everett at 641-784-5000.
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