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Richard  Franklin, Jr.

Memorial for Richard Franklin, Jr.

Born in Lorado, West Virginia on Mar. 2, 1929
Departed on May 8, 2011 and resided in Austin, TX.
Service: Saturday, May 21, 2011
10:00 am
Cemetery: Private
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

A Life Well Lived

In our lives we will have many bittersweet moments; please allow me to tell you about mine.

My father began to experience the symptoms of dementia several years ago. As I began to realize that soon I would no longer be able to converse with him in a coherent manner, I took it upon myself to apologize to him for all of the headaches and problems I caused him as he was going through all he was going through in his life. My dad's last clear words to me were, "son just keep fighting".

For those of you who know me, you may now understand the motivation behind my actions.

Richard Franklin Jr., born March 2, 1929, in Loredo, West Virginia, to Richard, Sr. and Veola Franklin. He was the youngest child of four children. He was preceded in death by all his siblings. He is survived by his wife, Juanita; son, Richard; daughter-in-law, Rebecca; four grand- children, Dominique, Rachel, Maya and Adonis; and two great-grandchildren, Jovyn and Vivienne.

He served in the U.S. Army where he met and married the love of his life, Juanita, a union that lasted 59 years, and from that union they bore Richard Franklin III. After their honorable discharge from the Army they moved to Detroit, where he worked for General Motors for 15 years. He enrolled and graduated with honors from ITT Tech with an electronic engineering degree. He was hired into the Inaugural class of African Americans at IBM in 1964, in Columbus Ohio. He worked there for 12 years, where he won top salesman honors 7 times, before moving to Unisys, formerly Sperry Rand, where he worked until retirement. After his long career in sales he retired and moved to Palm Coast, Florida.

Richard Franklin Jr. had a quiet, unassuming confidence that caused others to gravitate to him and to look to him for leadership. He was a humble man who had the ability to bring out the best in others, as he mentored many young men who came after him at IBM and Unisys. He was fearless in his pursuits, unafraid to take risk to achieve greater goals. He truly led by example.

He was a "family" man, a community man. He had a gentle, dignified style that commanded the respect of everyone that met him. He taught his son and all young men around him how to be men, how to overcome obstacles and what it meant to give back. He was the neighborhood dad, the man that did the Christmas parties, the Halloween parties, and anything that made people feel good. He made young men understand that all accomplishments were to be celebrated but there was always room for improvement. He never uttered an angry word to anyone: always encouraging and uplifting. When anyone needed help he was always there. His was the house where all the kids in the neighborhood "hung out", always welcomed.

How do you sum up an exceptional life on a piece of paper? He changed the lives of many by his mere presence. He was a trailblazer, an obedient son, a faithful husband, a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather; he was this and so much more. He had a smile that warmed your heart, a look that uplifted, and a touch that let you know you had a friend.

My father was and is my Hero and now I have my own personal angel. It was with his spirit and understanding of what it meant to give back that I was able to take a stand for the children and families of Del Valle. My father taught me to always stand up for those that are unable to stand on their own and to fight the corruption and greed that ensures they can't stand. I recently asked for the resignation of the Superintendant, Assistant Superintendant, and for the removal of the Board President and Vice president of the Del Valle School District, of which I am a board member. The Superintendant announced his retirement, May 14th. The Assistant Superintendant has cleaned out her office and the President and Vice President decided not to run again and will be replaced on May 24th. After many trials and tribulations, my prayers have been answered.

Thank you, pop, for everything. I will not let you down.


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