Frankie Rickenbaker was born in Greenwood and has lived all of her life in the Greenwood area. She graduated from Greenwood High School, was active in extra-curricular activities and intra-mural sports. While attending high school, she worked for Drinkard Printing Co., and continued this employment for four more years while attending Lander College. Frankie graduated from Lander College with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Sociology and double minor in Psychology and Religion. Frankie has also done graduate work at Clemson and USC in counseling.
During her senior year at Lander, Frankie began to coach and instruct bowling at Emerald Lanes, at the request of Ben Taksier, Manager. This was her beginning in the bowling activity.
Following graduation from Lander, Frankie was probation officer in the Greenwood Juvenile Court for one year, and then she went to McCormick High School as guidance counselor and girls basketball coach. At McCormick she was involved in teaching: sociology, psychology, civics, American Government, physical education, driver’s training, etc. She was also actively involved and sponsor for student council and yearbook. Her employment in the McCormick School System was from 1965 until 1973. From 1970 until 1973 were the most challenging years in the public school system during the total integration of the schools and her involvement with the student councils to make things work for the benefit of all concerned.
During her last year at McCormick High, Frankie was also associate editor of the McCormick Times, a new newspaper for the community owned and operated by Drinkard Printing Co. This was indeed an experience and an education, the highlight of which may well have been the first beginnings of Hickory Knob State Park and all the coverage the newspaper gave to this construction from beginning to end.
For two years, Frankie was guidance counselor at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, having gone there to organize and develop the guidance department for the school. While there, she was as actively involved in all phases of extra curricular activity as she was at McCormick: coach, counselor, teacheer, and advisor to student council.
After a two year tenure at Cambridge academy, Frankie was employed by the South Carolina Department of Corrections as social worker for the Greenwood Correctional Center, a male prison housing minimum security inmates, ages 17 and older. She was social worker and classification specialist from 1975-1982. For the past four years she has served as warden of this institution, being one of four female wardens in the state serving 31 institutions.
Frankie’s background has been varied in so many aspects, but one common denominator remains in all areas – her work with people and her enjoyment (good times and bad) of always helping another. She is also a family oriented person, and although having no children of her own, she is very fond and proud of her three nephews and niece. Her brother and sister are also very, very, special to her, and they too are important and active in their own lifestyles and situations.
Frankie is a member of the Cedar Springs Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church where she has taught Sunday school and served as Chairman of the Women’s society. She has conducted bible study for the Greenwood ARP Church Ladies for 19 years and continues to do so even now, once a month.
Frankie’s involvement is very extensive in both the SCWBA and the SCSYABA and has been since 1964. Locally she has served the Greenwood WBA as Director from 1967-69, Treasurer from 1969-1976, President from 1984 to the present. She was Greenwood YABA Coach Instructor from 1964 to present, Secretary from 1964 to present, and initiated the Greenwood Junior Scholarship program.
SCWBA has known Frankie for quite a long time, and in many different capacities. She served as a Director 1971-1972, Second Vice President from 1972-1974, First Vice President from 1974-1978, President from 1978-1982 and is once again the First Vice President, elected in 1986. She served on all committees, special of which was the Bicentennial Committee in 1976. Frankie also represented areas of the southeast, Region 12, 1976-77 to the AJBC Board of Directors representing WIBC.
Frankie’s ability and dedication is familiar to you. For those who may not know her quite so well, whether she is elected, appointed or volunteers to serve the associations, her involvement is apparent in the accomplishments of the group to which she is a part. She is not only dedicated to the sport, she is devoted to it, and to all the many sanctioned bowlers of every age across the state. From this devotion and her leadership capabilities have come numerous beneficial projects.
Frankie’s interest in Junior Bowling is evident, being President of their state association since 1974 and even before then working at local level with the juniors since 1964. Frankie has done much to inspire young bowlers and build the youth program. Her “kids” are our leaders of tomorrow.
What seems to make Frankie so special to the sport is her willingness to help, in whatever way is needed. Involvement to her means finding the time, if it will benefit someone, and “sticking her neck out” if necessary to accomplish the deed. This is always done with patience, understanding, and a good sense of humor. Always uppermost is the benefit or the concern of others first.
While doing all of the above, Frankie has also taken time to participate in approximately 20 SCWBA Tournaments. In 1977 she was on the team finishing 4th, in 1978, her team placed 37th and she placed 44th in All Events. She has bowled in all the GWBA City Tournaments and was the All Events winner. Her team was Team Champions in 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1978 in her league. In 1972 she was City Tournament Champion in Doubles and All Events, in 1976 Singles and All Events, 1977 Doubles Scratch and in 1980 Team Scratch and Doubles Scratch. Frankie has earned a 100 pins over average award for a 255 game.
Frankie has also participated in several WIBC National Tournaments. She was also the winner of the 1966 Emeral Lanes 200 Honor Club Tournament, the 1976 Emerald Lanes Heart Fund Winner. She is a member of the SC State 600 and National 600 Clubs. She is a former member of the Masters 225.
In 1974 Frankie was named the outstanding Young Woman of America.
For the dedication and loyalty she has given to the game of bowling, Frankie has truly earned her place in the SCWBA Hall of Fame.
Frankie Rickenbaker’s commitment to working with young people began in 1964 as a Certified Coach-Instructor for Greenwood area bowlers. She was one of the organizers of youth bowling program at Emerald Lanes, served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Greenwood YABA from organization (1974) until1995 (22 years), and continues to serve as Director. Served as appointed Director to the SC State YABA from SCWBA 1972-74, elected President 1975 and served 16 years in a time of change and advancement for youth bowling in our state (the implementation of State Scholarship program, initial involvement in the AAYBC/YBC, advancement of State By-laws, State Tournament and SC Joint Jamboree participation). Currently serves as President (6 terms) of SCWBA as well as past service of 2 years Director, 2 years Vice President, 8 years 1st Vice President; SCWBA Hall of Fame (1985); Director Greenwood YABA; and 1st Vice President Greenwood WBA.