Obituary of Frank H. Jellinek Jr.
By Emily Aronson
1945 - January 24, 2006
Hampton Union, Friday, January 27, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Business leaders from around the Seacoast and state remembered Frank H. Jellinek Jr. as a leader and philanthropist.
Jellinek, chairman emeritus of Fisher Scientific International, of Hampton, died in a plane crash Tuesday in southern California.
Jellinek was onboard a Cessna 560 that crashed in flames at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Calif.
Thomas Rea, senior vice president of corporate services for Fisher Scientific, said Jellinek was traveling to California on business.
"He died in the line of duty for the company that he loved," Rea said.
Jellinek had previously served as president and chief executive officer of Portsmouth-based Apogent Technologies and as president of Erie Scientific Co., which his family founded in 1934.
Rea, of New Castle, characterized Jellinek as a man who lived life to the fullest.
"He was an avid sailor, raced cars; he loved automobiles," Rea said. "He had a passion for these things as well as the business he worked for his entire life."
Jellinek is survived by his wife, Judy, and two children.
Witnesses said the private plane went about 150 yards beyond the 4,600-foot-long runway as it attempted to land. The plane smashed through a barricade, careened down a 150-foot bluff and crashed into a building before bursting into flames.
All four people on board were killed.
"All of us at Fisher are deeply saddened by the loss of our good friend," said company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Montrone. "Frank was a great leader and an outstanding person who dedicated his life to his family, company and community."
Dick Ingram, president of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, said Jellinek was more than just a successful businessman. Jellinek offered his support to many causes, including Exeter Hospital and The Housing Partnership in Portsmouth.
"Frank was obviously a very successful guy," Ingram said. "He and his wife helped a number of charitable organizations across the Seacoast. You hate to read about a tragedy like that."
George Bald, executive director of the Pease Development Authority, said Jellinek was well respected among New Hampshire business leaders.
"It was a real shame," Bald said. "He certainly created a lot of opportunities over the years."
Cause of the crash was unknown as of Thursday, but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. A witness said he saw the plane approach the runway as he drove to work near the airport. Norman Boyd, who said he worked on aircraft in the Navy, said the plane's approach speed "was way beyond what it should be."
Fisher Scientific spokeswoman Gia Oei said Jellinek was traveling to California from Hailey, Idaho, which is near the location of his second home.
The Idaho Statesman in Boise reported a Sun Valley Aviation representative confirmed Jack Francis was pilot of the plane and Andy Garrett was co-pilot. The aviation company also reportedly confirmed Janet Shafran, wife of Ketchum, Idaho, City Councilman Steven Shafran, also died on the plane.
Authorities said the plane was registered to Goship Air LLC of Ketchum, Idaho. Idaho business records show it's owned by Steve Shafran and Kipp Nelson, an investment banker and a trustee of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. It was unknown if they were onboard.
Fisher Scientific is one of the world's largest wholesale distributors of scientific equipment. The company bought Apogent Technologies in 2004, which moved Jellinek from president and CEO of Apogent to chairman emeritus of Fisher.
Jellinek had also worked as the head of Apogent's subsidiaries, Sybron Laboratory Products Corp. from 1998 to 2000, and Erie Scientific Co. from 1975 to 1998.
Portsmouth Herald writer Dan Tuohy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.