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Mr. Frank Hardee Eller, 78, of Statesville, passed away on Saturday evening, June 9, 2018 at the Gordon Hospice House.
Frank was born in Statesville on July 25, 1939 and was the son of the late Kyle Clifton Eller, Sr. and Arabel Besselieu Eller. He was a graduate of Statesville High School Class of 1957, attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and also Mitchell College in Statesville.
He was the retired president of Interstate Equipment Co.
In 1946, the late Kyle C. Eller, Sr., founded Interstate Equipment Co., with meager funds, a love for the business, and a desire to serve his customer and fellowman. Mr. Eller guided the growth of the business until his passing at the Associated Equipment Distributor’s meeting in Chicago in January 1964.
This construction equipment distributor initially operated from a barn behind Eller’s home in Statesville, NC, and the first sale was a Buckeye trencher sold to Gilbert Engineering Co. of Statesville.
From that modest beginning the firm grew to one of the leading construction equipment distributors serving the Carolinas with headquarters in Statesville, NC and branches in Raleigh, NC and West Columbia, SC. Throughout its 67 years, Interstate had been guided by the Eller family. Kyle Eller, Sr. founder, served as President until his death in 1964. Son Clif Eller, Jr. then assumed the office of president and continued until his death in 1975.
At that time another son, Frank Eller, who was Vice-President and a sales representative in the Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem territory, became the third member of the family to assume the office of president and continued as the Chief Executive Officer until the company closed in 2013.
Frank started with the company in 1958 in the service department and entered the sales territory in 1960. His association with the family business spanned 55 years.
During that time Interstate Equipment was recognized as one of the leading independently-owned heavy equipment companies in the United States.
His passion other than work, was restoring and showing automobiles, especially his family’s 1951 Oldsmobile and 1957 Chevrolet.
He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and the Statesville Country Club.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Kyle C. Eller, Jr. and a nephew, Kyle C. Eller, III.
Frank is survived by his wife, Jeannette Hocutt Eller, daughter Stuart Eller of Statesville; a step-daughter, Jennifer Bryan (Lee) of Winston-Salem; nephews, Charles Eller of Davidson, Bill Eller of Durham, NC; cousins Frank Hall of CT and Devreau Besselieu of FL and Sandra Besselieu of WA.
Funeral service will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Friday June 15, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal Church with Rev. Brad Mullis officiating. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Thursday evening from 6:30 until 8:30 PM at Nicholson Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625, Lake Norman Humane, 110 Robinson Road, Mooresville, NC 28117 or Trinity Episcopal Church, 901 Henkel Rd., Statesville, NC 28677.
Pallbearers will include Tommy “TD” Daniels, Joe Woody, Bill Winters, Walter Heffner, E.C. Murray and Charles Morrison. Honorary pallbearer will be Nathan Neely.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family of Frank Eller.
Hospice & Palliative Care Of Iredell County
2347 Simonton Rd., Statesville NC 28677
Trinity Espiscopal Church
801 Henkel Road, Statesville NC 28677