Frank M. Stout, Jr., retired paper industry executive, passed away on April 15th in Buffalo General Hospital. Born on February 27, 1925 in Ft Myers, FL, he was privileged to frequently visit the Edison estate in his youth. The two families lived near each other and were good friends. While Edison labored in his laboratory with such inventions as the electric light bulb, the phonograph, electric generators, and over a thousand other inventions and patients, young Stout had the opportunity to swim in the Edison pool, chase the pet peacocks, pick the citrus fruit on their property, and to experience deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Edison yacht. Although Edison died in 1931, Mrs. Mina Edison continued her friendship with the Stout family and attended Frank's graduation from West Orange, NJ High School in 1943. Edison owned a large home and manufacturing facilities in New Jersey.
Entering military service in the US Army in July, 1943 Stout had a long and distinguished career in the military. During WWll, he served in the European Theater of Operations with the 11 th Armored Division under the command of General George Patton's 3rd Army. In combat action during the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of Europe during the Nazi occupation he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. After the war, he served in the New Jersey National Guard as Aide-de camp to the Commanding General and more recently as President of the 11 th Armored Division Association.
After a short period with Thomas A. Edison Industries in West Orange, NJ while attending Rutgers University, he became interested in the paper industry. From 1947 to 1958 he served as Sales Manager for the CG Winans Co., Newark, NJ. After moving to Glens Falls, NY, Stout represented the Norcross Eldridge Paper Co serving New England and upstate NY before joining the United Board and Carton Corp., NYC. Responsible for Sales in New England, he was soon promoted to Manager of the Lockport, NY Paper Mill. Canadian Authorities restricted 25 cycle power supply to the US in 1963 forcing the closing of one of the oldest paperboard mills in the US. Stout joined the Buffalo Paper Stock Co., Buffalo, NY. As this company, later known as Consolidated Fibers, Inc.. grew nationwide it became the largest independent supplier of paper making fiber. Stout was appointed Director of Sales for the Northeast and served in that capacity until the company was acquired by Stone-Smurfit Corp. He retired in March of 1997, after 50 years in the Paper Industry.