Lebanon Reporter

December 17, 2013

William E. "Bill" Franklin

Lebanon Reporter

---- — Mr. William E. Franklin, 90, of rural Jamestown, passed away Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis.

Bill was born in Hart County, Ky., on Oct. 27, 1923, son of the now late William Herman and Lillian (Turner) Franklin. He started school at age four and began helping his father on the farm near Whitesville, at an early age.

He enlisted in the United States Army Air Force in 1942, and was a flight engineer on B-17 and B-32 bombers in the Pacific Theater in World War II. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant and was last stationed at Pine Castle AAF, Orlando, Fla. Following his discharge, Bill returned home to his father’s farm, near Waynetown. For a period of time, he also worked at Detroit Diesel Allison Division of General Motors in Indianapolis.

Bill married Margaret “Marty” Whitecotton in Crawfordsville, on Aug. 9, 1947. The couple resided for a short time in Crawfordsville. Mr. and Mrs Franklin then moved to Jefferson Township, in rural Boone County. Bill took great pride in his home and farm for over 65 years. Mrs. Franklin died Dec. 14, 2003.

On their farm, north of Advance, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin raised corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. They also raised livestock for many years. Through their life, the Franklins continued to reinvest in the farm, maintaining a beautiful home and outbuildings. Farming was Bill’s career, passion and pleasure displayed by his love of the land. He was committed to maintaining his equipment and keeping abreast of the latest in farm technology. Bill was particularly proud of the farm being featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He spent much of his time associating with peers, listening to their ideas and trying to implement those into his farming techniques. He also acquired ideas by reading, being open to suggestion, and having a willingness to try new things. An important part of Bill’s philosophy toward farming, was “that we are only the keepers of the land, and only for a short time.” Bill’s son, John Franklin, has been an integral part of the farm since boyhood. Through the years, they have been stewards of the land and have maintained a very successful operation. It should also be mentioned that Jane and Walter DeHaven and their family have been very important to the success of the Franklin farm for over 60 years, and held a special place in Bill’s heart.

Interested in his community and county, Bill 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.

As a vacation from work, the Franklins would spend many weekends, as well as two weeks each summer, with their children at Lake Freeman near Monticello. In 1976, the Franklins decided to winter in Okeechobee, Fla. After his wife’s death, Bill continued to enjoy his time both in Florida and on the farm, in the company of his companion Roberta Summers. He spent many, many days fishing on Lake Okeechobee with family and friends.

Survivors include two children, Jo Ann (Richard E.) Harmon and John N. Franklin, all of rural Jamestown; companion, Roberta Summers of of rural Jamestown; three grandchildren, Timothy S. (Jennifer Richert Harmon) Harmon of Vail, Colo., Sarah E. Harmon (Joseph) Weder of Avon and William A. Franklin of Somerset, Ky.; three great-grandchildren, Tyler Weder, Ashlee Weder and Jarrett Weder all of Jamestown. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews whom he enjoyed very much.

He was preceded in death by his wife and a brother, Thomas G. Franklin.

Visitation is 3 to 7 p.m. today, Dec. 17, at Myers Mortuary, 1502 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Myers Chapel of Memories, with the Rev. Roger Ward officiating. Interment with military rites will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lebanon.

Memorial contributions 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.

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