William Franklin “Frank” Mullican Jr.
12/03/1932 - 06/23/2020
After a rich and blessed life highlighted by a deep commitment to faith, education, family, and friends, William Franklin Mullican, Jr., passed away peacefully on June 23, 2020. Dad – William Franklin Mullican Jr., Franklin to his parents and siblings, Papa to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, or just Frank to his friends – was born in Wink, Texas, on December 3, 1932. Dad grew up in the middle of the oil patch near Wink, and many of his early jobs in life were as a young roughneck on various drilling rigs in the area. After graduating from Wink High School in 1951, Dad left in the fall to attend West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas. Soon after his arrival, Dad met the girl that was to become the love of his life, Doris Faye Bourn. Dad met Mom while working on the Bourn Farm, and thus began a once-in-a-lifetime romance that would last 61 years until we lost Mom on January 21, 2015. With Dad’s passing, he has now finally been allowed to rejoin his sweetheart bride. In many ways, it is impossible to separate Mom and Dad’s courtship and Dad’s efforts to get a college degree. Due to Dad’s vision challenges, soon after they started dating, Mom became Dad’s reader. She not only read to him classroom assignments, but also assisted him in preparing the many essays and papers he had to write. Mom also was the designated driver, as Dad never had a driver’s license. Dad proposed to Mom in May, 1952 (Dad was 19, Mom was 15). They were married on May 29, 1953, in Canyon, Texas. He graduated from West Texas State College in January 1955.
Frank’s first postgraduate job in 1955 was as the Education Minister at the Central Church of Christ in Hereford, Texas. Although he was only in this job for a year, his dedication to educational programs at the Church of Christ remained a priority of his throughout his life.
In January 1956, Frank, Doris, and their newborn son William Franklin Mullican III (Bill), moved to Lubbock so that Frank could begin his teaching career. His first assignment was teaching 6th grade at North Avenue U Elementary School.
Upon their arrival in Lubbock, Frank, Doris, and Bill started attending Broadway Church of Christ, in part based on some strong recruitment by Norvel Young. In 1957, Frank and his family started attending Southside Church of Christ, where Frank served as Education Minister. During this time at Southside the family grew to include Bryan Edward Mullican and Cindy Renee Mullican.
In order for their children to be part of a strong youth program, the family returned to Broadway in 1970. From 1970 to 2020, Frank served in a number of roles, including Chairman of the Christian Education Committee, junior high department supervisor, and as a deacon. In 1982 and 1983, Frank served as Minister of Education and Involvement and as an elder from 1992 to 1997. Dad and Mom were core members of the Anchor Class at Broadway, and during their golden years, this group of Christian brothers and sisters were truly part of their extended family. After Doris passed in 2015, and due to declining health, Frank was not present in his regular seat on the second row at Broadway as often as he would have liked. However, to the end of his life, if he was able to get out of bed, into his wheel chair, and onto the transportation bus at Carillon on Sunday morning, he would be there sitting in his row. Those in his closest circle knew the passion, commitment, and love that Frank had for being an active member of the family at Broadway. Frank’s love for the family at Broadway, especially the pulpit minister and elders, was absolute. He was always positive and encouraging to the leadership at Broadway, and if ever needed, he would be there on a moment’s notice to answer the call. In one of his very last conversations, Frank expressed confidence to his children that the elders at Broadway, during this very challenging time, were doing a great job.
Frank completed his Master’s and post graduate work in administration in 1957 at Texas Tech. From 1956 to 1962 Mr. Mullican taught 6th grade at North Avenue U and Bayless elementary schools. His first administrative post was as Assistant Principal at Carroll Thompson during the 1962-1963 school year. Mr. Mullican started at Maedgen Elementary School in the fall of 1963, and served as its Principal until his retirement from public education in 1990. During his tenure at Maedgen, Mr. Mullican was responsible for a number of innovative educational programs that are now recognized as educational standards, not just in Lubbock, but throughout Texas and the U.S. First and foremost was Project IMPACT, a federally funded project that ran from 1966-1969. Simply put, Project IMPACT (Improving Mental Perception and Communication Techniques) took elementary school libraries out of the storage closet and into the center of education in an open-concept setting. Mr. Mullican was instrumental in not only developing this project, but using his persistence and Mullican charm as he went to Washington to obtain the funding and make this dream a reality. Following Project IMPACT, Mr. Mullican shifted his focus to a much more grass-roots effort to develop what would ultimately be named the W. Frank Mullican Outdoor Learning Center, located on the campus of Maedgen.
Upon his retirement from Maedgen Elementary School, Mr. Mullican was selected to be the regional director for the Texas Commission for the Blind, a position he held until his retirement from the State in 1993. William Franklin Mullican, Jr. was appointed to the Texas Commission for the Blind by Governor George W. Bush on August 9, 1995. His appointment was confirmed unanimously by the Texas Senate on May 19, 1997. Commissioner Mullican served from August 9, 1995 until October 18, 2001.
Throughout his career, Mr. Mullican was always very active in a number of professional organizations. He was elected to serve as President-elect and then President of the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association (1959-1961). Mr. Mullican was elected President of District XVII, Texas State Teachers Association (1979 to 1980). Perhaps his deepest commitment was to the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA). During his tenure with TEPSA he held several positions, including President of District XII (1966-1967); First Vice President (1975-1976); President-elect (1976-1977) and President (1977-1978).
In 1975, Mr. Mullican was selected as the “TEPSAN of the Year” by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.
Mr. Mullican was later elected Chairman of the Texas Administrative Council, (1977 to 1978).
Mr. Mullican was named the Outstanding Administrator for Lubbock Independent School District (1974-1975) by the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association.
In 1989, The Executive Educator named Mr. Mullican as one of 100 Outstanding Veteran School Managers in North America.
In January 1977, Mr. Mullican was named “Educator of the Month” by the Texas School Business Journal.
Dad was a hardworking and career-driven individual, as is evidenced by the countless achievements, awards, and accolades he received over his long and successful career. However, his greatest achievement and love was his wife Doris and the beautiful family they created together. Their timeless legacy of love will continue to live on in the current and future generations of their family.
Dad was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Faye Bourn Mullican, his parents, W. Frank Mullican Sr., and Esta Lee Mullican, his brother Jerry Wayne Mullican, and his nephew Todd Edward Mullican. Most recently, he lost two special brothers-in-law, Wesley Bourn and Roy Finley.
He is survived by a large family that for decades has looked to him as their patriarch. These include his son, William Franklin Mullican, III (Bill) and wife Tammy, Bryan Edward Mullican and wife Judy, Cindy Renee Goodspeed and husband Chris; his sister, Marge Hood and husband Bill; sister-in-law, Sharon Mullican; brother, Lee and wife Jean, and brother, Larry and wife Betty. Clearly, his greatest pride and joy were his eleven grandchildren and nine great- grandchildren. In the order of their arrival into the family the grandchildren are Amanda Wilhelm and husband Chad, Sarah Kelley and husband Christian, Jessica Mullican and fiancé Terrell Turner, Jennifer Mullican, Garon Goodspeed and wife Allie, Julie Mullican, Jaxon Goodspeed and wife Caitlin, William Franklin Mullican IV, Trey Goodspeed and fiancée Mollie Albracht, Stephanie Reid and fiancé Quincey Halloway, and Matthew Thompson and wife Brooke. Great grandchildren include Meredith and Charlie Wilhelm, Reagan and Parker Kelley, Gabriella Goodspeed, Lily Reid and Jackson Sutherland, and Graham and Caroline Thompson. Dad is also survived by his two adoring sisters-in-law, Wanda Finley and Linda Bourn.
Family and friends will celebrate his life of 87 years on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Broadway Church of Christ. A time of fellowship and remembrance will be from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm in the Garden Room followed by services at 2:00 pm. The service will be live streamed at www.memorialdesigners.net. You are also encouraged to view his life tribute and sign the virtual guestbook where you may share memories and expressions of sympathy by selecting the icon.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make contributions to the Children’s Home of Lubbock, Carillon Foundation or Camp Blue Haven in memory of Dad.