A memorial service to honor and celebrate the life of Ret. Lt. Col., Kenneth Lewis "Kenny" Franklin will be 11 a.m., Friday, April 22, 2016 in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service.
Kenny passed away Tuesday, April 19, 2016 in Claremore. He was 89.
Born June 4, 1926 in Elk City, Oklahoma to Chester Arthur and Anna Mae (King) Franklin. He was reared and educated in Tulsa, graduating from Will Rogers High School in 1945.
During WWII Kenneth traveled to Hawaii where he provided aid to the troops through his civilian employment. He returned home stowed away on a U.S. Navy ship and, upon his return, joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard where he spent a career of nearly 40 years. He was called to Active Duty during the Korean War and Vietnam War and retired as the Chief of Supply holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1986. Following his retirement from the Air National Guard, he served five years as the Civil Defense Director in Rogers County.
Through mutual friends, Kenny met Donna Watson in Tulsa and following a courtship, the two were married on Valentine's Day 1948.
The Franklin family made their home in rural Rogers County. They lived first in Catoosa and eventually moved closer to the Claremore community. They were the proud owners of the "Franklin Farm" which hosted annual Day Camps for the Girl Scout organization. Kenny was a proud supporter of this group, as he was also the proud father of three daughters, Terrie, Shirley and Carol, each who participated in this worthy organization.
Kenny was a master woodworker and his handiwork is displayed in various furniture pieces and in many other items that are treasures to his family and friends. Working on cars was another of Kenneth's hobbies. He was a fan of stock car and NASCAR racing and enjoyed golfing, traveling and camping through the years.
It was Kenny's desire for his body to be donated for medical research. Prior to his passing, this strong man who has given so much to his family, his country and his community expressed how proud he was of his family. In addition, he expressed how much fun his life had been.
He leaves to carry on his legacy a wife of 68 years, Donna (Watson) Franklin of the home; three daughters: Terrie Neely and husband, Steve of Claremore; Shirley Vincent and husband, Jim of Tulsa and Carol Cherry and husband, Al of Broken Arrow; three grandchildren: Ryan Neely and wife, Amy of Owasso, Ginger Holley and Amelia Cherry both of Broken Arrow; five great-grandchildren: Grant, Reed and Neely Holley and Elliot and Emmalynn Neely; step-grandchildren: Abbie and Winston Peraza and their children: Lucie, Sofie and Lily; Ben and B.J. van Glabbeek and their children: Ava and Miles; and Keith Vincent. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Doug Price and wife, Nancy and a sister-in-law, Marilyn Franklin all of Claremore.
He was preceded in death by: his parents and brothers: Truman "Tru", Donald "Bing" and Harold "Huck" Franklin.
To honor Kenny, memorial contributions may be made the charity of your choice.
Published on April 20, 2016