Charles P. Franklin, the co-owner of Lou & Choo’s Lounge, died on Thursday, May 30, 2019, after a lengthy illness. He was 71.
He was known by most as “Choo.”
He was born on Feb. 18, 1948, in Philadelphia to the late Charles Mathis and Estella Rouse Franklin. He was educated in the Philadelphia Catholic school system and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1965, earning his high school diploma while serving. Upon returning home he married the late Mary A. Franklin in 1969.
Having grown up in the heart of North Philadelphia, Franklin developed a strong work ethic and learned the value of loyalty, hard work and perseverance. He often shared how he and his friends sold newspapers at Connie Mack Stadium to make money. He was employed by the Budd Manufacturing Plant in 1968 and retired after 30 years.
“Choo was hard working and had a very big heart,” his family said in a tribute.
“Those who knew him, if only for a short time, could only love his charming spirit. He was a loyal friend and was devoted to his family. His children, grandchildren and pets were very important to him and he took pride in ensuring that they had whatever they needed.“
He was a huge hometown Philly sports fan. He often traveled to spring training camp in Florida to get a first-hand glimpse of what the season might look like. One highlight of his life was attending the Allen Iverson Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In addition to sports, Franklin loved fishing, all types of music and pinochle.
Besides Lou & Choo’s Lounge, Franklin engaged in a number of business and philanthropic ventures. He was known for orchestrating well-attended events in and around Philadelphia.
In addition to helping his friends and family when they were in need, he and his partner Lou hosted picnics for the community and offered financial support to youth sports programs.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sister, Sandra M. Franklin, and brother, Wallace Osbourne.
He is survived by: his daughters, Twana Norman (Eugene Norman), Marlo S. Franklin-Hamm (Gilbert Hamm Jr.) and Shamil Sutton; son, Marcus Bandy; “adopted” son, Gerald “Littleman” Jordan; sister, Charlene Benedict (Anthony Benedict); granddaughters, Ebony Joi, Milan and Ciara; grandson, Joshua; longtime companion, Yvonne “Bunny” Dixon, along with daughter, Sabria; granddaughter, Khaliesha; great-grandson, Khay-den; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held June 8 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave. Viewing is at 8 a.m. Services will follow at 10 a.m. Burial is in Ivy Hill Cemetery.