William E. “Bill” Franklin of Jamestown died Dec. 15 at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis. He was 90.
Born Oct. 27, 1923, in Hart County, Ky., he was a son of the late William and Lillian (Turner) Franklin. He married Margaret “Marty” (Whitecotton) Franklin on Aug. 9, 1947, in Crawfordsville. She died Dec. 14, 2003.
Mr. Franklin helped his father on the farm near Whitesville from an early age. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and served as a flight engineer on B-17 and B-32 bombers in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He attained the rank of technical sergeant and was last stationed at Pine Castle AAF in Orlando, Fla. Following his discharge, he returned home to his father’s farm. For a period of time, he also worked at Detroit Diesel Allison Division of General Motors in Indianapolis.
The Franklins lived in Crawfordsville when they were first married then moved to Jefferson Township in rural Boone County. He took great pride in his home and farm for more than 65 years. On their farm, north of Advance, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin raised corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats. They also raised livestock for many years. He was committed to maintaining his equipment and keeping abreast of the latest in farm technology. He was particularly proud of the farm being featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Franklin’s son, John Franklin, has been an integral part of the farm since boyhood. Jane and Walter DeHaven and their family have also been very important to the success of the Franklin farm for more than 60 years.
Mr. Franklin was elected to serve as a director of the Advance State Bank and as a director of the Boone County State Bank. He started as a minuteman from his district for the Boone County Rural Electric Member Corporation (R.E.M.C.) and was later elected as a director and served there for many years.
In Advance, he was a member of the American Legion Post 201. He was also a member of Ulen Country Club, the Elks Club, and the Columbia Club in Indianapolis.
The Franklins spent many weekends, as well as two weeks each summer, with their children at Lake Freeman near Monticello. In 1976, they began wintering in Okeechobee, Fla. After his wife’s death, Mr. Franklin continued to enjoy his time both in Florida and on the farm, in the company of his companion Roberta Summers. He enjoyed fishing on Lake Okeechobee with family and friends.
Survivors include children Jo Ann Harmon and husband Richard E. of Jamestown, and John N. Franklin of Jamestown; his companion, Roberta Summers of Jamestown; grandchildren Timothy S. Harmon and wife Jennifer Richert Harmon of Vail, Colo., Sarah E. Harmon Weder and husband Joseph of Avon, and William A. Franklin of Somerset, Ky.; great-grandchildren Tyler Weder, Ashlee Weder, and Jarrett Weder, all of Jamestown; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas G. Franklin.
Services are 10 a.m. Dec. 18 at Myers Chapel of Memories, 1502 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon, with the Rev. Roger Ward officiating. Interment with military rites will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lebanon.
Visitation will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the mortuary.
Memorials may be made to the Color Guard, C/O the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 318 W. Main St., Lebanon, IN 46052, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.myersmortuary.com.