Obituary: Frank Welton
Frank Sidney Welton, born 4 December 1931 died 24 October 2008 after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Frank Welton was born in Coventry in 1931. He used the springboard of an academic scholarship to Bablake grammar school, where he became captain of the school for two years running, to propel himself into Magdelen College, Oxford. There he captained the college rugby XV and gained a master’s degree in modern languages with which, after first fulfilling his commitment to National Service, he launched himself with typical dedication into the executive training scheme of Goodyear Tyres.
At the Goodyear offices in Wolverhampton, he met Betty Russell, whom he married in 1954 and started to move with his trademark quiet confidence up the management ladder developing a taste for sales and sales management. 1961 saw the birth of his daughter Sarah, followed by son Timothy in 1963.
Fuelled by his love of languages and the global focus of big multinationals like Goodyear, Frank joined the company’s international scheme and in 1969 moved with young family to Germany. Here he continued to prosper and develop until 1981 when he quit Goodyear to return to England to join Semperit Tyres in Slough as sales director, subsequently being promoted to managing director.
In the final and most challenging chapter of his work life, in the 1990 Semperit merger with Conti and Uniroyal, Frank became managing director of the newly formed Continental Tyre Group where he played out his professional innings and retired to his beloved home in Surrey and rounds of golf on his local course.
In the last years of his life he battled with the unfailing support of Betty against Lewy Body Dementia but finally succumbed to complications from the Parkinsonism brought on by the condition.
Frank is survived by his wife Betty, daughter Sarah and son Timothy.