Dr. Frank Boumphrey Passes Away

Dr. Frank Boumphrey with granddaughter Cassia.

Dr. Frank Boumphrey passed away March 4, 2012.

He was a beloved member of the Society of Hickory Golfers, former board member and web guru who set up the Society’s earliest web pages. He edited a early monthly newsletter for the Society called “Hickory Happenings” that set a high standard for knowledge and information about modern and early hickory golf. Before an illness curtailed his activities several years ago, Dr. Boumphrey was assembling a database of historical golf resources.

Dr. Boumphrey learned to play golf with hickory clubs in Kenya while a youth. He took the game up again several years ago when he rediscovered the mashie and niblick from his youth. In 2006 he won the National Hickory Championship Reserve Championship medal. He was a member of the Chagrin Valley Country Club, the Carolina Hickory Golf Association, the USGA and the Society of Hickory Golfers.

Dr. Boumphrey was recruited to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic from the University of Toronto in the 1970s, shortly after the Cuyahoga River caught fire and just as the city was entering bankruptcy. In a 2007 interview with Dr. Boumphrey, Golfweek wrote that “his new bride threatened to divorce him on the spot, but they grew to love Cleveland, and Frank became particularly fond of the city’s great golf courses.”

He retired in 2001 and split his time between Cleveland and Hilton Head Island, S.C. He would also develop a fondness for Pinehurst and would visit family in the U.K, which he told Golfweek was “As close to a golfer’s paradise as one could wish for.”

Dr. Boumphrey had more than 30 years of experience in health care, as a medical provider, as a medical administrator, and as a specialist in medical documentation. He held several medical degrees and was, over the years, a member of numerous medical societies. He was a computer programmer and an internationally recognized authority on markup languages and on using the Internet for communication. As well as numerous medical papers, he authored several books on XML, the Internet and on related subjects. He was a speaker on these topics at national and international meetings.

Dr. Boumphrey graduated from the University of London, and the University of Toronto and was a board qualified orthopedic surgeon. He spent several years at the Cleveland Clinic where he was head of the Section of Spine Surgery, and founded and was the first director of that institution’s internationally recognized Spine Center. While at the Clinic he developed unique perspectives and insights into the problems of managing large medical departments and medical personnel.

He was an early adopter of the Internet and multimedia in medical education and research. He was involved with Internet Standards organizations, served on various working groups of the World Wide Web Consortium (the body that sets standards for the web), and was a representative of that body’s coordinating committee.

He is survived by his wife, Rona, five children and four grand-children. For more about Frank, read the blog he kept before his death.

(Much of the information for this obituary was obtained from ZoomInfo.com.)