Sitting at a campfire and telling stories while photographing nature is heaven to Frank J. Ivy Sr., who left this world on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at the age of 82.
Frank was born on February 10, 1941, to parents Manard and Dorothy Ivy, in LaGrange, Texas. He grew up in Smithville and Flatonia before moving to Austin when he was eight. Attending McCallum High School, Frank met the love of his life, Betty Jean, whom he would marry in 1960, the year following graduation. However, his college career at the University of Texas was cut short when Betty became pregnant with his first son, Frank Jr. He found himself supporting a family with two more sons, Michael and Steven, born over a 17-year period.
Frank rose in the City of Austin Building Division ranks for a career spanning 35 years. He began on the survey crew, then became a permit clerk and housing inspector. Ultimately he was promoted to the commercial building division, holding roles such as Chief Building Inspector, Code Specialist, and Plan Reviewer. There was a time when it seemed everyone in Austin knew him. Austin became Frank’s town.
For over a decade, Frank had a second career that grew from a hobby: Photography. As a part-time second job, he regularly photographed local weddings and little league baseball and football teams on the weekends. The camera had become an extension of Frank, and he rarely went anywhere without one, accumulating an enormous library of photos documenting the life of his family, friends, travels, and his love of nature.
Frank was highly involved in the Boy Scouts, serving as an adult leader and Committee Chairman for Troop 421 and acting as Balcones District Commissioner for the Capital Area Council. Frank organized many camping trips for his troop, including a trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. In addition, he organized the adult leaders into a group dubbed “The Dirty Old Men.” Frank also involved the troop in the annual Scout parade down Congress Avenue in reporting to the Governor, for which he was also the official photographer. He was a Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow and Woodbadge recipient.
Frank had many hobbies, including arrowhead, coin, and stamp collecting. In addition, he cultivated an obsession with Texas history and was a massive fan of the University of Texas baseball and football teams. Frank regularly attended UT baseball games with his father-in-law, Buddy. He also loved to travel, taking many road trips around the United States with his family. After retirement, he and Betty also traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, England, and various European countries.
Frank is survived by his wife, Betty Hornberger Ivy, sons Frank Ivy, Jr., Michael Ivy, and Steven Ivy; daughter-in-laws Alison Ivy (Frank Jr) and Krystal Perez- Ivy (Steven); son-in-law Knox Pitzer (Michael), grandchildren Tyler and Haley Ivy (Frank Jr) and Cora Ivy (Steven), his brother Manard Ivy and sister Linda Ward, and several nieces and nephews.
A viewing and service for Frank will be held on Saturday, April 22, at All Faiths Funeral Home, 8507 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78753. The viewing begins at 2:00, followed by the service at 3:00.
In lieu of flowers, the Ivy family requests donations to the Boy Scouts Capital Area Council at https://www.bsacac.org/about/ways-to-give/ or 12500 N IH-35, Austin, TX 78753.