1943 - 2005


Joseph G. Frank, age 61, passed on
Wednesday, August 3, 2005.

There was nothing that did not entice the imagination and fascination of Joe Frank be it ideas, painting, or computers.

In a long career with IBM, Joe rose from keypunch repair technician to become a senior architect of powerful computer operating systems, including SSP of the IBM midrange series.

A humble and self-effacing individual who championed personal liberties, there seemed to be nothing that Joe did not touch, understand, and then, perhaps, improve.

Joe Frank was born Aug. 7, 1943 , to Carroll C. Frank Sr. and Beatrice R. Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. He married F. Ann Green on Dec. 12, 1967, in St. Louis. They spent the past 20 years living in an underground house on 40 acres in Ashland, Missouri.

Joe was successful as a software/hardware developer and consultant. In 1977, he was transferred from IBM’s Rochester, Minnesota development laboratory to Jefferson City to implement, under an IBM services contract, a multisystem communications network for the University of Missouri Medical Center. After the successful completion of this project, he left IBM to start his own company, Software Systems Inc., in August 1980. He had an "idea" about how to connect personal computers to IBM midrange computers. Thus Joe became the "father of 5250 emulation" -- a technology that became essential for hundreds of thousands of IBM midrange users throughout the world.

SSI and its subsidiary, Emerald Technology, were sold to Andrew Corp., which allowed Joe to start Synapse Communications in 1988. Synapse has created advanced communications products for emerging operating systems. Synapse sells its trademarked products to a network of dealers throughout the world. At one time many companies were selling Synapse client software under their own labels: Andrew, Attachmate, Blue Lynx, Connectronnix, DCA, Emerald, Fraser's Hill, Netsoft, and Nlynx to name a few.

Joe served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1963 and was honorably discharged after his service.

Survivors include his wife, Ann, of 37 years; two daughters, Kimberly Ann Frank and Heather Jean Blue; and two brothers, Carroll C. Frank and Robert M. Downie.