May 24, 1929 – May 26, 2003
James F. Frain was born in Detroit, MI, but grew up and lived his life in the Pittsburgh, PA region. Westinghouse is an important name in the history of Pittsburgh and it was an important name to Jim as well. He was graduated from Westinghouse High School in Wilmerding, PA in 1947. In 1951, he earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Maryville College (TN). A job with Union Carbide in Oak Ridge, TN followed graduation, but soon he was called back to Pittsburgh by the Westinghouse Corporation. Later he earned a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958.
Jim had a 42 year career with Westinghouse. He began as a chemist in the Nuclear Division. His projects included work on the Nautilus, the first nuclear power submarine in the US Navy. As the years went by, he migrated from the field of chemistry to systems analysis and by the early 1980’s, he had found a home in the field of records management. Working his way up through the corporation, he was serving as the de facto Corporate Records Manager for the Corporation at the time when Westinghouse decided to take a new direction and merged with the Columbia Broadcasting System. Many of the former Westinghouse core businesses were spun off and Jim found a home with the Westinghouse Productivity Center where his particular skills in applying systems analysis, information management, regulatory compliance and filing classification systems were allowed to shine. He found himself consulting in more than 41 locations within the former Westinghouse family and was able to make major contributions in the specific area of environmental compliance. Even after official retirement from Westinghouse, Jim continued with consulting projects and was actively employed on two projects for the Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Corporation at the time of his death.
Within the Pittsburgh records management community, Jim was a frequent speaker, meeting host and Pittsburgh Chapter officer. At the ARMA International level, Jim was on the program for several conferences. Always loyal to the local chapter, Jim was an active participant in the discussion at the May 2003 Chapter meeting, the month of his death.
Jim and his wife Mary were married on June 6, 1952 and together raised two sons, Allan and Dale and daughter Lynne. Their home in Forest Hills, outside of Pittsburgh, provided Jim with land in order to indulge in his other hobby: gardening and landscaping. His memory is an inspiration to all who appreciate the importance of information and records management to the health of an organization.
Recollections contributed by Mary Frain, Allen Frain, Dale Frain and Preston Shimer.
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