William Wyatt Franklin
November 23, 1940 – May 4, 2020
William Wyatt Franklin, 79, passed peacefully surrounded by family on May 4, 2020 at the home of his daughter in Las Vegas, NV. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joice (Oliver) Franklin; sons, Mitchell Hilliard (Susan) of Gloucester, VA, James Hilliard (Wendy) of Gloucester, VA, and Harry Hilliard (Dawn) of Frederick, MD; daughter Joice Marie Higa (Kevin) of Las Vegas, NV; siblings Charles Franklin (Deanna) of Sun City, AZ, Nancy Lewis (Austin) of Stokesdale, NC, Nelson Franklin (Tamara) of Anchorage, AK, and Richard Franklin (Margaret) of Canyon Country, CA; his loving grandchildren; and many close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Ellen (Petty) Franklin of McGrew, NE, and his brother, James (Venetta) Franklin, of Gering, NE.
Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska on November 23, 1940, William grew up in McGrew, Nebraska and Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from McGrew High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University, and attended Iowa State University for graduate studies. He later joined the Navy and served two tours in Vietnam with the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) which includes the Construction Battalions (Seabees), Contracting Officers, and Base Engineers for all US Navy facilities worldwide. In between tours, he met his wife, Joice, in Virginia, and they were married at Fort DeRussy Chapel in Hawaii during leave from his second tour in Vietnam.
During his time with the Navy, William participated in numerous campaigns and was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Joint Services Commendation Medal; Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Public Works, Communications and Transportation Service Medal; and Navy Commendation Medal. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, worked in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and traveled extensively around the world. Upon retirement, William moved to Las Vegas, NV where he and his wife enjoyed many more years of love and laughter.
William never met a stranger that didn’t soon become a friend because he genuinely cared about everyone. He was a master at gardening and storytelling and taught his children and grandchildren to value history, education and family. He will be remembered for his generous, caring spirit, his uncompromising gentleness, and his sense of humor.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00pm on Monday, May 18th, at Rosewell Memorial Garden Cemetery in Hayes, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to PSC Partners Seeking a Cure.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
William Wyatt Franklin
Jesús and Eva Rodríguez
May 16, 2020
From the very first day my family and I met Bill, a beautiful friendship started. It wasn’t long after until he became family to us. Bill was the best neighbor we could have ever imagined having. I could write many stories of all the memories we have shared with him the past 12 years. It was always such an amazing time going over and hearing all the interesting stories he had to tell us. Bill loved full moons and would always tell us to look outside the window at night to watch it with him. He was such a kind and intelligent person but above all, he had the biggest heart. Thank you for always caring for my kids and being a grandfather figure for them. Continue taking care of them from heaven! We will miss you. See you soon, Bill.
May 15, 2020
Uncle Bill was an amazing soul and we were truly blessed to have known him through his daughter, Joice. All of our children enjoyed talking with him and you could tell, he loved talking to them as well.
He will be truly missed! On a light note, my youngest son, probably 7 at the time, hadn't seen uncle Bill in about a year...he had showed up to our son's baseball game
And sat next to him...our son just kept staring at him...my son walked over to me and said "mom, is that the guy that's on the 100 bill"? We all laughed...he realized it was uncle Bill. Xoxoxo