Local man who hit 16 holes in one dies at age 97

Frank Worley follows through on a golf shot. File photo

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Frank Worley follows through on a golf shot. File photo

Frank Worley, a local golf extraordinaire and accomplished businessman, died Monday at the age of 97 at the Vancrest Health Care Center in Eaton.

Worley was a U.S. Army Air Force veteran who served during WWII as a flight engineer on B17s and B-24s. He flew 35 missions over Europe, including two flights over Normandy.

After the military, he worked at Frigidaire and Inland Manufacturing. In 1958, he left General Motors to work on the NASA space re-entry program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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Worley also founded the Newco Corp., which did electrical work in industrial plants. He also founded Frebco, an electrical and mechanical contractor. He sold both companies in 1998.

Worley was known as an avid golfer, outplaying many people 10, 20 and 30 years younger long into his 80s and even 90s. During his career, Worley racked-up 16 hole-in-ones.

“If I don’t shoot under my age, I’m terribly disappointed,” Worley said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News in 2012.

After selling his two businesses in 1998, Worley began playing golf three or four days a week, mostly at Eaton Country Club and Miami Valley Golf Club. In 2011 he began playing almost every day because he lost his wife, Katie, to cancer in October of that year.

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Worley had been “outrunning Father Time for many years,” said Steve Jurick in 2012, executive director of the Miami Valley Golf Association. “He’s definitely an ageless wonder.”

Worley is survived by his brothers, Robert Worley of Gratis and Lonnie Worley of New Paris; and a host of loving nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife Kathryn Worley; brothers William Martin Worley, Charles Worley Jr. and Ralph Worley; and sister Betty Worley.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private service will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be at Mound Hill Cemetery in Eaton.

"It will be a sad day without Frankie on golf course," said Ty Yancey on the online memorial page. "If you were lucky to be his partner, you were in heaven. Now he is looking down from there with another of his special sayings. Rest in peace my friend."

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Eaton United Church of Christ or Hospice of Dayton.

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