Dr. Robert B. Franklin, 87, of Elkhart passed away peacefully Sunday morning, November 24, at the Green House Village, Green Gables, Goshen, Indiana. Bob had a distinguished career at the Elkhart Community Schools spending more than 30 years focusing on improving the lives of students and enhancing the community. He started as a Social Studies teacher at West Side Junior High School and the went on to have a distinguished career as an administrator within the district until he retired in 1995.
Bob was born in Springfield, Massachusetts July 25, 1932 son of Col. Edward C. and Virginia (Butterfield) Franklin. His father’s military career meant many moves which had him attending 11 schools in 12 years before graduating from New Castle High School in 1950. He went on to earn an A.B. from Wabash College with a major in History and Political Science in 1954. After serving in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1955-1957 he would later earn a Master of Arts in Education and a Doctor of Education Degree from Ball State University in 1971.
More importantly Bob was known as a valued member of the community serving within the local chapters of Kiwanis Club since 1974, a member of the First Congregational UCC Church since 1960, an active member of the theater and arts community within Elkhart and South Bend. He served as a board member for Elkhart Civic Theater and performed in a number of plays in Elkhart and South Bend. Some of his best remembered performances were: Death of a Salesman, On Golden Pond, and Tuesday with Morrie. In addition to his love of theater he also loved playing golf as often as possible.
He will be remembered for his wry sense of humor, his ability to wow a crowd as a speaker and his amazing ability to come up with a joke when necessary. People will always remember him for making them laugh. Most importantly he showed an amazing responsibility to civic duty throughout his career.
Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joanne (Lamberson) Franklin, his daughter Elizabeth (Mark) Bontrager, son James Franklin and his fiancé, Jodi, and her daughter, Mary Kinzel, grandchildren Abigail, Perry, and Macy Franklin, Eric Gordon, Jessica (Steven) Beinart a great grandson Payton Alexander Beinart and his sister Virginia (Joseph) Stanley.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 from noon to 2 PM at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home with the service following. Pastor Elizabeth Harbin of First Congregational Church will officiate. Burial will be in Violett Cemetery in Goshen.
Donations may be made to the Elkhart Civic Theater 210 East Vistula Street, Bristol, Indiana 46507.
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Elkhart Civic Theatre
P.O. Box 252, Bristol IN 46507