Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Remembering James Frackelton MD, one of ICIM's Founding Fathers

This photo shows Dr. Frackelton at our meeting in Cleveland, shortly before his death. He is being assisted by ICIM President Ronald Casselberry MD, who had just arranged to continue serving Dr. Frackelton's patients and keep his practice alive. This was a relief and a joy to Jim. The practice continues to thrive in Cleveland, OH.

James Pierson Frackelton, MD
1927 - 2012

Medical pioneer and vibrant member of the Westlake community, James Pierson Frackelton, 85, died peacefully on November 30, 2012 after a brief illness. Jim was born in Flint, Michigan on July 19, 1927, the only child of Ralph James and Berneda Pierson Frackelton.

He was a graduate of Culver Military Academy of Culver, IN and served in the US Navy at the end of WWII.  Subsequently, he received a degree in Mathematics from Yale University in 1949. While pursuing his medical degree at Case Western University Medical School in Cleveland, in 1954 he met and married Nancy Duncan. After a medical internship, Jim served a second round of military service as Naval Flight Surgeon at Kaneohe Bay Naval Flight Station in Honolulu, Hawaii. His first son, David Duncan, was born.

After the family moved back to settle in Westlake, Ohio, his second son, Scott Pierson, and third son, James Ralph, were born in quick succession, presenting all the challenges that three young boys can offer. Nancy handled the kids while Jim started his medical practice in 1958.

For a brief period of time in 1959, Jim was the only doctor with a medical practice in Westlake. In the late 1960s, he became chairman of the Family Practice Department at Fairview General Hospital, where he established the Family Practice Residency program. He continued to practice medicine in Westlake for the next 54 years, seeing patients as recently as three days before his death.

Among his many early interests, in 1959 Jim and Robert Schull purchased Rattlesnake Island, a 65-acre island in Lake Erie. In 1966, Jim began the Rattlesnake Island Local Post office, the only USPS-sanctioned local post operating in the United States. At the time of its creation, the Local Post provided airmail delivery from the island to the mainland via Ford Tri Motors airplanes. Jim and Robert sold the island in 1971, but the local post office continues to this day.

Dr. Frackelton volunteered as the Westlake High School football team physician, and also founded several companies including Cleveland Stamp and Coin, the Medical Service Foundation of America, Westlake Supplements and King James Medical Laboratory. These latter two companies continue to operate, complementing his medical practice.

In 1976, Jim changed the direction of his medical practice to focus his growing interest in and clinical research for preventive and alternative medicine, forming the Preventive Medicine Group. After many years of studying biochemistry, he began teaching nutrient and detoxification therapies to alternative-oriented physicians throughout North America. A founding member, Dr. Frackelton was elected President of the American College for Advancement in Medicine from 1985-87 and continued to serve as an Advisor to its Board until several years before his death.

An international expert in preventive medicine, Jim lectured physicians in North and South America, Europe and Asia. . He wrote a number of scientific articles, holds two patents on medical subjects, and authored the books, The Owners Manual for the Human Body, and Bypassing Bypass (with Elmer M. Cranton, MD). He was an expert on heavy metal toxicity and its impact on the development of degenerative diseases.

Over the years, the Preventive Medicine Group expanded, adding new physicians and services.  The Group and its work will continue to serve as Dr. Frackelton’s legacy by helping thousands of people regain their health where traditional medicine had not been successful. 

Dr. Frackelton forged a close, 11 year relationship as a medical advisor to Cleveland industrial giant, Parker Hannifin Corporation, where he was instrumental in exposing Parker and its employees to the benefits of addressing the underlying causes of illness rather than just the symptoms. His work emphasized strengthening the immune system to fight-off or prevent illness.   He recommended an approach that minimized the use of pharmaceuticals while promoting a more natural approach to medicine involving proper nutrition, natural supplements, energy medicine, and heavy metal detoxification.  As a result of his work, Parker became one of only a few companies in the country to offer a comprehensive preventive and alternative medicine healthcare benefit to its employees that led to the establishment of a national network of complementary and alternative medical practitioners serving Parker employees worldwide.

Jim married Marilyn “Polly” Parrot in 1978. Jim and Polly were inseparable. Avid sailors and world travelers, Polly and Jim loved to travel to exotic places and were among the first US citizens to visit the Peoples Republic of China in 1979. They sailed the Great Lakes in their sailboat, “Polly”, making regular trips between the Rattlesnake Island Club and Catawba Island Club where they were members.

After Polly’s death in 2007, Jim continued to practice medicine, gave lectures on alternative and integrative medicine and travelled the world with his close friend and travelling companion, Eileen Devoley of Phoenix, Arizona.

He is survived by his stepson and daughter, Marshall and Susan Wenger, by his sons James of Spokane, WA, Scott and David of Portland, OR and by granddaughters, Gillian, Jera and Alexandra and Jennifer Jeanne “JJ” Wenger. A public memorial service will occur on January 12, 2013 at 2 PM at Jenkins Funeral Home 
2914 Dover Center Road, in Westlake.

The family requests any memorial contributions be made to The American Institute for Complementary Alternative Medicine, 24700 Center Ridge, Suite 370, Westlake, OH  44145

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