Tribune Staff Report
Gail C. Franklin, a retired educator, died on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. She was 65.
She was born on Oct. 11, 1949 to Warren and Bertha Parker in Philadelphia. She was educated in the Philadelphia,School District, where she attended Hanna Elementary, Shoemaker Junior. High and Overbrook High School. Franklin graduated from Cheyney State College in May 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education. She received her master’s degree in education administration from Gwynedd Mercy College in 2004.
She married Stanley Franklin and from that union one child was born, Kai T. Franklin. Kai was the love of her life and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for him, friends said.
Franklin became an educator in the Philadelphia school district. She believed that learning should not just be confined to the classroom and on several occasions her students went into the Philadelphia community. On one such occasion, Franklin’s students were bused to Lemon Hill Mansion in Fairmount Park, where they learned about the mansion’s rich history and about the purchase of Fairmount Park by the city for the purpose of being a recreational site for the citizens of Philadelphia. On another occasion, she worked with her students to help clean Carroll Park in West Philadelphia.
Franklin retired after 34 years in the Philadelphia school system. At that time, she said it felt great to be retiring with a new life to contemplate. She started her own business creating and designing greeting and business cards and programs. She also loved to bake and specialized in gourmet cupcakes. Her latest venture was homemade ice cream and various cobblers. Family and friends loved to be her taste testers.
Franklin loved spending time with her family and friends. For a long time, her Friday nights and some Saturdays were spent with the “Golden Girls.” This was the name Franklin gave her mother, sisters, and herself. Each personality was matched with each of the womten from the levision sitcom of the same name. It was all about being crazy and having fun. When her young nieces Keri and London started hanging with the “Golden Girls”, Franklin tagged them “Golden Girls” in training.
Franklin kept her friends close. One friendship in particular started in elementary school with Carolyn (Carter) Miller and has lasted more than 50 years. Franklin also enjoyed spending time with two other special friends that she met while working at Gideon Elementary School, Vicky Pressley, a friend for more than 22 years, and Henrietta Poindexter, a relationship that developed after Franklin had her children as students.
Franklin was already enjoying her retirement but on Aug. 13,it got better when her first grandchild, Kai T. Franklin (K.J.), was born. Her family said she was ecstatic. Although, Franklin did not have much time with K.J., she made the most of the time she had.
In addition to her mother, son, grandson and nieces, she is survived by her daughter-in-law Dana Franklin; sisters Renee McIver, Beverly Abel (husband Charles) and Diane McGee (husband Norman); brother Warren Parker Jr. (wife Bonnie); nephews Kenyon, Kery, Shawn, Marcus, and Troy and other relatives and friends.
Services were held Oct. 13 at Greater St. Matthew Independent Church, 5544 Race St. Viewing started at 9 a.m. Services followed at 11 a.m. Burial was in Fernwood Cemetery.
Clarence Johnson Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. handled the arrangements.