Joniese Frank, the daughter of Frankoma Pottery‘s founder and president and CEO of the company along Route 66 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, for almost 20 years, died at age 77 on Wednesday, according to the Tulsa World.
John Frank established Frankoma Pottery in 1933 in Norman, Oklahoma, before moving it to Sapulpa. She took over as president and CEO of the company after her father’s death in 1973. She also designed some of the company’s pottery.
Even after the company was sold in 1991, she remained as vice president for a while.
KOTV in Tulsa reported:
“In its heyday in the ’70s and ’80s, there were close to 200 employees,” said Kandy McClendon Steeples, operations and general manager for Frankoma Pottery. “Joniece was always very personable. She knew everybody’s name, knew your family and always stopped to talk.” […]
The pottery always was made by hand in Oklahoma, Steeples said. Production never became automated – a fact that made Joniece proud, according to her friend and former employee.
Frankoma Pottery went through a series of owners in its last years on Frankoma Road in Sapulpa, until the plant closed and was auctioned in 2011. Frankoma now primarily is an Internet-based company in Tulsa, with shipping out of Houston.
The funeral service will be private, through Smith Funeral Home in Sapulpa, and will be entombed at Green Hill Mausoleum in Sapulpa. She is survived by her sister, Donna.
(Hat tip to Ron McCoy; image via Smith Funeral Home)