Frank Webb McCracken III died Saturday, March 19, at his home in Sanford, NC. He loved and was loved by his family and friends.
Webb was the son of the late Frank Webb McCracken, Jr. and Margaret Moore McCracken, and brother of the late Florence McCracken Dossenbach. Webb was born on September 16, 1939, in Sanford, NC. He attended the public schools of Sanford and graduated from Sanford Central High School in 1956. During his high school years, he played basketball and was the starting center in his senior year on the team that played for the state championship in Enka, NC. He was awarded the Morehead Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He entered UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 1956, receiving a B.S. in Dentistry, and received his D.D.S. from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1963. In dental school, Webb made cherished lifelong friends that included teachers as well as classmates. Webb was a member of the Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon.
In 1960, after completing his first year of dental school, Webb and Ann Sherrill Phillips of Cameron, NC, were married. They lived in Chapel Hill until Webb graduated and joined the United States Army. Webb was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, to serve as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps. Once again, Webb made lifelong friends, and he felt honored to treat young soldiers who were being sent to Viet Nam. At the end of his service, Webb was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
After the Army, Webb returned to his hometown of Sanford where his grandfather had practiced dentistry. Webb had a private practice from 1965 until 1968 when he was invited to become a member of the faculty at the UNC School of Dentistry where he served in various positions. Named Professor of Removable Prosthodontics in 1978, Webb also served as Assistant Dean for Administration from 1984 to 1990. Before retiring in 1997, Webb served as Director of the Prosthodontic Clinic. He was a Fellow in the International College of Dentists, served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Dental Foundation of NC for many years, and was President of the UNC Dental Alumni Association (1990-91).
In his many duties at the UNC School of Dentistry, nothing was more rewarding to Webb than his role of teacher. He was so honored to receive multiple Faculty Appreciation Awards and cherished the special friendships he had with many of his colleagues, both faculty and staff, at the dental school.
Throughout his life, Webb enjoyed fishing and playing golf, racquetball, and tennis. As a true Tar Heel, he followed Carolina sports. He and Ann were able to travel extensively and had many memorable trips in the U.S. and abroad. Webb was a lifelong, avid Democrat and supported the Lee County Democratic Party. He also supported Ann in her advocacy for fair and accountable government and racial justice.
Being with friends, both old and new, family, and Ann and his beloved daughters, and then their families, was what Webb enjoyed most of all. Just as he had done with his children, he followed the activities of his grandchildren and was so proud of them and their accomplishments. He was a force in so many lives, and his kindness and sweet spirit will be a lasting legacy.
Webb is survived by Ann and his daughters and their families: Sherrill McCracken and her son Jack McCracken Richardson; Sarah McCracken Cobb and her husband Ken and their children, Rebecca Sherrill Cobb and Caroline Cobb Ragsdale (Donovan); and Mary Ann McCracken Compton and her husband Will and their children, James Webb Compton (Ginny), Peter Jonathan Compton, and Anna Sarah Compton. He is also survived by his sister’s children, Flossie Parks, Margaret Leigh, and Robert Dossenbach, and sister-in-law, Mary Jane Dickerson, and her children, Bert Dickerson and Ann Meigs Dickerson.
The funeral service will be at First Presbyterian Church at 203 Hawkins Avenue in Sanford at 2 PM, Friday, March 25. Masks are welcome. Following the service there will be a reception at the church.
Memorials may be made to Common Cause North Carolina, P.O. Box 6207, Raleigh, NC 27605, or to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Carolina, 1414 Bragg Street, Sanford, NC 27330.