Frank Wadelin was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. He was educated at Wirral Grammar School and after leaving school joined Shell Refining and Marketing as a Laboratory Assistant. He studied chemistry part-time at the City of Liverpool Technical College, gaining Associateship of the Institute of Chemistry by examination in 1945.
Frank married Dorothy Kewin in 1946; they moved south to Staines when his job with Shell took him into the Research Laboratories at Thornton Heath and the London Central Laboratories where he eventually became Head of the Bitumen Division of Shell Research Ltd.
Frank was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in January 1964.
Frank became an internationally known and respected expert in the field of bituminous materials used in roads and building materials.
He was elected a Member of the Society of Chemical Industry in 1944 and served as a Committee Member of the Road and Building Materials Group (and its successor, the Construction Materials Group). He was an unflappable Group Treasurer for the period 1965-1985 and became a SCI Life Member in 1989.
After retirement, he took on the office of Secretary of the Institute of Asphalt Technology and under his guidance over the next ten years, the Institute developed into a highly professional organisation, notably running a very successful series of national conferences.
On relinquishing this position, he was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Institute. He retained his links with Shell through Shell Pensioners' Association and was a regular member of both the West Surrey and Thames Valley branches, where his sense of humour is fondly remembered.
Frank was a keen follower of sports, especially as a founder member, player and benefactor of the Egham Bowls Club. He was a life-long member and lay preacher of the Methodist church.
Frank died on 31st March 2013 at the age of 91, predeceased by his wife of 28 years.