Frank (deceased, see obituary below) and Jerrie Larkin were honored at the 2017 New Orleans A&M Club Muster.
In 1970 the New Orleans A&M Club began sending funds to the Association of Former Students to establish a Louisiana student opportunity award scholarship. At that time Frank Larkin ’57 was president of the Club, and Clarence H. “Six” Augsburger ’43 was secretary/treasurer. The Club was able to fully fund the remainder of the scholarship in early 1989, primarily from proceeds from LSU football game bus trips which were coordinated by Frank. Since then this scholarship has helped numerous Louisiana students, who are selected by school officials, attend A&M at a greatly reduced cost.
Some years later Frank became inspired by Matt Altman ’99, a young man whom he had met. Matt was a cadet in Squadron 14 from Covington, LA. Matt became ill with cancer resulting in a tumor developing on his heart. The tumor was successfully removed in surgery, but some months later cancer was again discovered elsewhere in Matt’s body. Matt received treatments for several months before passing away. Matt’s mother, Theresa Keyser, kept in touch with Frank and recounted in a letter to him what Matt had told her about the last time he was in College Station for an Aggie football game where Matt was able to reunite with all of his buddies. Matt said, “Mom, choosing to attend Texas A&M was the best decision I ever made. I love this place.” Inspired by Matt and his words, Frank established the Club’s Mathew Altman ’99 Memorial Sul Ross Scholarship fund in February, 2006. The Club and its members contributed to this fund, but it was funded in large part by Frank and his wife, Jerrie.
Frank’s inspiration also led him to fully fund his own scholarship in Matt’s name. On April 21, 2007, Frank and Jerrie presented this scholarship to Texas A&M. Frank also participated in the funding of the class of 1957 legacy gift to the Texas A&M Medical School. At the meeting to celebrate its 50th anniversary of graduation on April 20, 2007, the class of 1957 presented a $250,000 endowed scholarship in the name of John Mark Stallings, who has Down Syndrome and is the son of the great football coach Gene Stallings, who is Frank’s classmate and is one of the legendary Junction Boys. Because Frank was a member of the last fish band of 1952/53, Frank and Jerrie also funded the A&M College of Texas Last Fish Band Sul Ross Scholarship in 2011 and were also instrumental in providing seed money for the Club’s latest scholarship which was fully funded in 2014.
Frank Earle Larkin was born in Bauxite, Arkansas and attended elementary school in Eagle Pass, TX and high school in Seguin. He planned to attend the University of Arkansas, his mother’s alma mater, until he happened to go to a football game at Texas A&M. When the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band marched onto the field, Frank was hooked. Frank played trombone in the Aggie Band and majored in Geology.
Upon graduation in 1957, Frank was hired as a geologist by Humble Oil and moved to New Orleans. The job was put on hold while he completed his military obligation in the United States Air Force. He served for three years, two being in Japan. He returned to New Orleans and resumed his career as a geologist with Humble Oil, which later merged into Exxon. He met Jerrie Mathis, a Registered Nurse, and they married in 1966 and had two daughters, Ruth, and Martha who is class of ’96. Frank and his young family were transferred out of New Orleans in 1973 but returned in 1983.
Frank retired from Exxon in 1992. He has been very active in the New Orleans A&M Club during all his time in New Orleans. Jerrie has also been a loyal servant to the Club supporting Frank and Texas A&M every step of the way. Although Frank always possessed the spirit for the betterment of the New Orleans A&M Club, he has relied heavily on Jerrie for her assistance, patience, and loyalty to him and Texas A&M all performed with a kind and gracious demeanor.
In recognition of the many years of service and sacrifice to fellow Aggies, the New Orleans A&M Club board and officers have resolved to establish the Frank and Jerrie Larkin Service Award Scholarship Fund. Donate online here: http://nolaags.info/foundation/