Frank D. Whitney was born on August 12, 1929 to Ora Butt and Rodney Blake Whitney in Whitesville, Kentucky, located in Daviess County. His first year of school he attended a one room school in Gainesville with his two older brothers and his sister. In 1948, Mr. Whitney graduated from Sebree High School, Webster County, Kentucky, where he played on the varsity basketball team.
Mr. Whitney began working for Stull Brothers, Inc. while in junior high school. In the summer of 1947, he worked for Ralph E. Mills Construction Company on a concrete bridge construction crew. Mr. Whitney enrolled in the University of Kentucky in the Fall of 1948. To support himself, he worked at restaurants, drove a taxi, and mowed lawns. The summers of 1948 and 1949, he worked for the Chrysler Corporation, Evansville, Indiana, on the assembly line. He worked for the Kentucky Department of Highways on a locations crew in the summers of 1950 and 1951. In September 1950, he began working for the Kentucky Department of Highways at the Highway Research Lab on the university’s campus, and continued there until he received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in June 1953.
He was a member of the ROTC at the University and following graduation, he was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He was stationed with the 2584th ARFC at the Municipal Airport in Memphis, TN where he served as Assistant Installation Engineer. Mr., Whitney was active in the Memphis Engineers and Architects Club. He also played on the Air Reserve Flying Center Basketball Team. He earned the rank of first Lieutenant and finished his term of duty in November 1955.
Mr. Whitney returned to UK in November of 1955 to finish work on his Masters Degree in Civil Engineering. He also returned to work at the Highway Research Lab as a Research Assistant. His thesis was on “A Laboratory Investigation of Local Fly Ash in Concrete Mixes.”
In June of 1957, Mr. Whitney went to work for the American Builders Supply Company in Louisville, KY where he managed the concrete operations. He was a director in the Louisville Engineering and Architects Club. He was there until July of 1966 when he went to work at River Sand and Stone in Evansville, IN as Vice President and Sales Manager. In November 1968, Mr. Whitney began working for Hinkle Contracting Corporation in Paris, KY as manager of the Specialty Contracting Division.
In July of 1972, Mr. Whitney followed his dream of starting his own company and began Apex Contracting, Inc. as a highway specialty construction contractor. Apex is qualified to work in fifteen southeastern states as a prime contractor specializing in installing highway signs, lighting, guardrail, sound barriers, variable message signs, bridges, and traffic management systems. Of the more recent jobs, Mr. Whitney is proud of the Hopewell, VA soundwall, the Shreveport, LA soundwall, lighting and sign project, and the bridge over Herrington Lake, KY.
He is a member of the UK Fellows Society and a Life Member of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Alumni Association. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Kentucky and has been registered in Virginia and Mississippi.
Mr. Whitney served on the Board of Directors for the Paris-Bourbon County YMCA. He served on the Bourbon County Courthouse Commission – Preservation of Historic Bourbon County Courthouses. Mr. Whitney was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank in Paris. When it was bought by Fifth Third Bank, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fifth Third Bank of Central Kentucky. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Paris, KY where he has served as Deacon, Trustee, Director, and assistant Sunday school teacher.
Frank was married to Clara Spence of Memphis, TN in 1955. They have two children, Gale Grayson and Frank Jr.