George William Franklin, 96, of Destin Florida, passed away peacefully at home on July 17th surrounded by his loved ones.
George was predeceased by his parents, Jessie Coburn Franklin and Dicie Mae Craft, sisters Iva and Martha, brothers Jesse and Albert and his adored wife of 54 years, Helen. He is survived by his beloved daughter Suzanne, her three children, Scott, Debbie (Ken), and Keith and 5 great-grandchildren, Patrick, Benjamin, Lauren, Brighton and Cielle.
George was born on February 15th, 1925 in Jay, Florida. After attending high school in Milton Florida, he enlisted in the Navy at age 17 to join the war effort. He served on several ships as baker, barber, and photographer. He participated with such distinction during the D-Day landings in Normandy that he was later chosen to serve on the USS LST 512 United States Navy Travelling Exhibit ship which completed a 9900-mile tour of the Great Lakes, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, also known as the Great Lakes War Bond Tour.
George then spent the rest of his naval career drumming up support for the war effort and enjoying the attention of ladies wishing to dance with the handsome uniformed sailor. If they had silver stars for the two-step, he would certainly have a few.
During this special tour a particular young lady named Helen immediately caught his fancy and they wed in Chicago on September 4, 1945, leading to 54 years of marriage. They enjoyed their sweet family of three with one daughter, Suzanne.
An exemplary member of the Greatest Generation, he left the Navy and entered the automobile manufacturing business, quickly rising to become the youngest GM executive manager in the history of General Motors. He retired in 1979 from his Michigan post and moved to Destin, Florida.
The next 43 years were spent in “retirement” the understanding of which George seems not to have grasped. Hardcore fishing and hunting were not enough. He designed and built his retirement home on the water. When his daughter moved in with her three children, they all piled into the retirement home. He couldn’t build another house fast enough to raise 3 more grandchildren.
His legacy is one of sacrificial service, impeccable character and hard work. He always served his family with a kind and generous heart and we are grateful for each moment we have been blessed by such an incredible man.
Services will be held at McLaughlin Mortuary, Ft Walton Beach, Florida on Thursday, July 22. Viewing is at 11:00 am with services at noon. He will be interred at Destin Memorial Cemetery, with a celebration of life to follow at the American Legion Post 296 in Destin Fl.
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