More detail on this person: Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Dale Cantwell MD, 70 FRANKLIN DALE CANTWELL Soldier, inventor and professor Dallas Morning News, The (TX) - Monday, September 15, 2003 In his lifetime, retired Lt. Col. Franklin Dale Cantwell was a soldier, an inventor and a professor, but friends and family say he will be remembered more for his encouraging, optimistic attitude. Dr. Cantwell died Tuesday at a retirement home from cancer. He was 70. Services were Friday. "My father was an encourager, someone who always believed in people," said Bobbi Bilnoski of Dallas. "He treated everyone like a king, whether you were a janitor or a general." Born in Russellville, Tenn., Dr. Cantwell left high school at Christmas break his senior year to join the U.S. Army. During his 24-year career, he served as a commander and pilot in the Korean War, Vietnam and in the occupation of Germany. Dr. Cantwell received several honors during his tenure including two Bronze Stars, the Army of Occupation Medal, four Air Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals and a Legion of Merit Medal. Retired Col. Jack W. Brown said Dr. Cantwell was an outstanding leader. "He was always upbeat with the soldiers, he was well liked as a commander," he said. "He was a good teacher, [and] he always showed people the best way to do things." Dr. Cantwell attended night school to earn his high school diploma, a bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University in 1966 and a master's degree from George Washington University in 1970. After retiring from the Army, he received a doctorate from George Washington in 1979. He retired from the Army in 1974 and returned to work for Bell Helicopter in Hurst, where he had served as a military trainee 10 years before. In 1978, he managed the USA Helicopter Team at an international competition in Russia, his daughter said. Dr. Cantwell began his third career in 1980 as a college professor. Ms. Bilnoski said he taught at many schools, including Texas Wesleyan University, Dallas Baptist University, University of Dallas, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, LeTourneau University, Central Michigan University, Troy State University and Tarrant County Junior College. He served as dean of graduate studies for Dallas Baptist University in 1986. Ms. Bilnoski said her father excelled in the classroom. "He always believed that the best leader was a servant to the group and that a leader's job was to support the people doing the work," she said. "He lived his life every day by this concept called concinnity." In addition to his daughter, Dr. Cantwell is survived by his wife, Neda Faye Cantwell of Bedford; four sons, retired Lt. Col. Richard Cantwell of Charlotte, N.C.; retired Major Ed Cantwell of Frisco; Jim Cantwell of Landrum, S.C.; and Gary Cantwell of Kenosha, Wis.; two brothers, Dallas Cantwell of Houston and Grant Cantwell of Gatlinburg, Tenn.; and seven sisters, Johnnie Dugger, Jean Dacus, Adele Haun, Cecil Ward, Faye Rankin, Fern Kizer and Ruth Byrd, all of Tennessee. Memorials may be made to the Frank Cantwell Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Lone Star Bank, 3014 Monticello Ave., Dallas, Texas, 75205, Attn. Tammi Blackwell.
Burial information: Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park, Colleyville, TX
This information was last updated 07/25/2017
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 07/05/2021
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association