Cover photo for William K. Frankenburg's Obituary
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William

William K. Frankenburg

d. April 3, 2009

an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of child development and pediatric preventive medicine, died Friday, April 3rd, after a brief, courageous battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Dr. Frankenburg died at his home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, surrounded by his family. He was 78. In 1973, Dr. Frankenburg and his colleague, Josiah Dodds, PhD, published the Denver Developmental Screening Test, later revised and known as the Denver II, which has been used to screen millions of children around the world for developmental delays. The test has been instrumental in achieving early diagnosis and treatment for children whose delays might otherwise have gone unrecognized, or recognized too late to be effectively treated. Dr. Frankenburg received his medical degree from Temple University, followed by a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Fellowship in Child Development and Psychological Aspects of Pediatrics at Yale University Medical School. He also obtained a Master's of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1964 he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical Center (Health Sciences Center), and went on to become Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, and later Professor Emeritus in 1991. Additionally, he served as director of the John F. Kennedy Child Development Center from 1977-1985. During his career, Dr. Frankenburg was a consultant to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, governments and institutions around the world. Over the years he also authored numerous scholarly articles and other publications. Dr. Frankenburg was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the U. S. Senior Science Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1974, a Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1986, and the C. Anderson Aldrich Award in Child Development in 1992.After moving to Bainbridge Island in 1996, Dr. Frankenburg participated in a number of Rotary Club sponsored health initiatives, including the "Hear and Say" reading program and the Uganda Clean Water Project.Dr. Frankenburg was born Wolfgang Kurt Frankenburger in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany, in 1930. In 1939 his family left Nazi Germany on one of the last passenger ships allowed to leave the country. They lived for six months in Cuba while waiting for entry visas to the U.S., and eventually settled in Millersville, Pennsylvania. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1945. He later made his home in Denver, Colorado and retired to Bainbridge Island, Washington and Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Frankenburg was a selfless humanitarian, and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Wilhelmine, his son Kurt of Park City, Utah (Carolyn, Sophie, and Luisa), his daughters Sibyl (Steve Kessel, Simon and Theo) and Carrie, both of Seattle, Washington, and his brother Peter, of Wilmington, Delaware. He is deeply missed by colleagues, friends, and family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the William K. Frankenburg Memorial Fund at Fidelity Charitable Fund, 1231 E. Newton St., Seattle, WA 98102. Funds will be dispersed to organizations dedicated to child health and welfare efforts.

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