Johnny Myer Franklin
December 28, 1941 – June 9, 2018
John Myer Franklin, 76, of Lubbock, Texas passed away on June 9, 2018. A visitation will be held at Resthaven Funeral Home of Lubbock, Texas from 6-8 pm on Friday, June 15th. Funeral services will be held at Resthaven at 10 am on Saturday, June 16th. John was born on December 28, 1941 in Wink, Texas to Louis Edmon Franklin and Mildred Eunice Bailey. He graduated from Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas in 1960 and from Texas Tech University in 1964. He was married to the love of his life, Linda Kaye Franklin for 51 years who preceded him in death on January 29th of this year.
“Johnny” as his mother called him, came to know Christ as his personal Savior in the summer of 1955 on the last night of a revival in Smyer, Texas. He responded to the invitation with his little brother “Tommy” and both received Christ together. In his book “Love Among the Derricks” (pg. 448) he wrote, “I felt my heart moved and, as John Wesley said, I was strangely warmed.” Soon the Lord moved the family from Smyer to Lubbock were he became the president of his Sunday school class and represented them in a citywide organization of different church youth fellowships called the Lubbock Christian Youth Association (LCYA), which was the source of many lifelong friendships.
Loved by his students, family times together were often filled with talking about one or two of them who had recently stopped by for coffee, or had called or written from different places all over the world. He loved listening and learning from them. His favorite pastime was reading about the Civil War, U.S. and West Texas history. During his 30 years at Frenship High School, he won numerous “Teacher Of The Year” awards, taught American History, the Gifted And Talented program and founded numerous clubs including Jr. Historians, Chess Club and the Photography Club. He was a professor at South Plains College, worked over 20 years with Texas Tech's Ranching Heritage Center, was commissioned by the Texas Bureau of Economic Understanding to lecture at 8 different Texas Colleges & Universities, has conducted seminars and classes for the Smithsonian, the Texas Council of Social Studies, the South Plains Genealogical Society, the Texas Historical Commission, the Society of Colonial Dames, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of the Confederacy, the West Texas Museum Association and Lubbock Christian College's Institute for Business and Economic Education. He was President of the South Plains Genealogical Society for 3 years, was on the board of Lubbock's Sesquicentennial celebration, authored a map "Historical Sites of the South Plains" and was responsible for the research of the regimental flag of Terry's Texas Rangers so that an authentic replica could be made for the West Texas Museum celebrating the Centennial of the organization of Lubbock County. He has donated numerous papers, books, photos and more to the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, which can be viewed by contacting Dr. Monte Monroe.
All his grandchildren knew him affectionately as “Big Daddy” and he was larger than life, as stories and history flowed into them through the tender and creative care he had for each one. He was a West Texan - through and through, and his family was very proud of him later in life as he battled Parkinson’s. He was determined not to let his physical challenges stand in the way of cooperating with the Michael J. Fox foundation. Motivated by children he met at Dr. Jankovic’s Parkinson’s clinic at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he journeyed there several times a year up through 2017 so a cure will one day be discovered. You couldn’t help but admire his strength and there is little doubt that it was Christ that enabled him to be so productive in making his life a contribution to not only his family but to many others as well.
John is survived by his son, Tom and his wife Regina Franklin, missionaries to the Dominican Republic; his daughter, Gabrielle and Steve Olguin, of Lubbock; eight grandchildren; one great grandson and 2 siblings, Betty Franklin of Odessa, Texas and Jim Franklin and his wife Chris of San Antonio, Texas.
Memorials can be made to the Children’s Home of Lubbock or the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech, P.O. Box 41041, Lubbock, Texas 79409 and online tributes can be posted on www.resthavenfuneralhome.com
Before becoming a teacher, John studied law at the University of Texas in Austin and quoted often Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr - “Through our great and good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire."
- Louis Edmon Franklin and Mildred Eunice Bailey, Parents
- Linda Kaye Franklin, Wife
- Tom and wife Regina Franklin, Son
- Gabrielle and Steve Olguin, Daughter
- 8 ~, Grandchildren
- 1 ~, Great Grandson
- Jim Franklin and wife Chris, Brother
- Betty Franklin, Sister
- Steve Olguin
- Zachary Olguin
- Jimmy Franklin
- David Stewart
- Tyler Franklin
- Roger Franklin
- Don Saddler
- Jeremy Wagner
- James Franklin, Honorary
- Nick Olguin, Honorary
- Jordan Franklin, Honorary
- Visitation Friday, June 15, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, June 16, 2018
Johnny Myer Franklin
June 15, 2018
Over 20 years ago I walked into Mr. Franklin’s history class and I’m so glad and blessed that I did. At the time I was an introverted teen with burdens at home, and school was my refuge. On many mornings I would end up hanging out in Mr. Franklin’s classroom and we would read the newspaper and talk about current events. He taught me to not only love history, but to learn from it, to take note of the events of our time – because we were living history too. We brainstormed all sorts of new clubs to start and in doing that he helped me to realize that even I had the power to impact the world around me. I saw him years later after high school, while I was a grad student in engineering and he said he always knew I’d end up in that field of study, that I was capable of accomplishing so much. It took me years to fully appreciate that his greatest gift to me was that he believed in me - that insecure teenager sitting in his history class in 1996 - and that in turn gave me the confidence to believe in myself. Thank you Mr. Franklin, for those morning discussions, for humoring me with starting a creative writing club, for trying to teach me chess (I’m still a hopeless cause on that front), and for being such a great teacher, mentor, and friend.
June 15, 2018
Mr. Franklin is my fathers best childhood friend, and I have fond memories from visiting with him as a child. He always took a personal interest in me, not just as the daughter of his friend, but as a person. He told the best stories and wrote beautiful letters to me and my family throughout the years. We always enjoyed hearing how proud he was of his children and grandchildren. Mr. Franklin, you will be missed tremendously!
June 14, 2018
My heart is pressed with sorrow at the passing of my father whom the Lord placed perfectly in my life to lead me at every critical stage. He was all the time my friend and mentor whom I bonded deeply with on our trips to Frenship, Reese and every imaginable history venue you could imagine around Lubbock. :) I feel his loss with a sorrow I cannot deny, for I no longer have his counsel when the waves toss us too and fro. Regina and I are praying for the whole family who I know love and cherish my father very much. I am especially praying for my sister Gabrielle, and I know we are both very thankful that Dad is home. Dad took this brash, idealistic and ignorant youngster and began the task of equipping him with the tools I would need to one day plant churches. As he has done with legions who have passed his way, he did this in a fun and creative way. He taught all his students the importance of loving others and the value of service. He equipped us with great care and wisdom. He sharpened our social tools and injected each of us with a respect and knowledge of history that endures to this day. I speak only for myself, but I know others feel the same, when I say that he made me a better Pastor and a better man, than I would have been had he not been there. His advice at home, in the classroom and as a friend has echoed in my mind and heart many times. I pray the Lord gives all of my Dad’s students the same sharp defining wisdom and enduring love and purpose that He gave to my father. His impact isn’t just relegated to the Hub City, his mark can be found in new churches in Cuba, the D.R. and even in my Haitian friend, Dial, whose own zeal is rooted in the influence and love of a man he never knew. My father’s absence I strongly feel, but his example is forever with us in the growth and spread of churches in the Caribbean - that sprung from a tiny “mustard seed” of love and blew in a West Texas wind to all he came into contact with. Dad - I love you .
June 14, 2018
Mr Franklin was my FAVORITE teacher ever! I had him for American History in 1975/1976. I LOVED his unusual style of never using a text book. He would portray characters as he lectured and taught. He was AWESOME! You, as family, already know this, but I have to say it.
People always asked me how I could stand his monotone delivery. I simply said " listen to what he says, not how he says it." People were awed by his knowledge and presentations! I enjoyed participating in chess club and debate along with the other clubs that were mentioned. I never made time to become a Junior Historian officially, but I tried to support the endeavor with whatever I could contribute. He was an AWSOME man! I have more, but I'm out of room. Thank you for sharing him!
June 13, 2018
John was one of our favorite relatives and we always looked forward to seeing him at family gatherings. There has never been a more kind soul than John, and he made everyone feel special and important — even the kids who remember him spending time with them. This was one of the most intelligent men we’ve ever known and what an effect he had on countless young people in his accomplished career. Now he’s once again with his sweetheart of over 50 years, and they are enjoying the glories of Heaven and Home together because of their strong faith in Jesus’ promises. Love and prayers for comfort to Gabbi and Tom and their beautiful families.
June 12, 2018
Mr. Franklin's history class was one of my favorite experiences at Frenship. He always kept it interesting in class and one specific instance still stands out that I remember to this day. He split the class in two and our group waited outside the in the hall while the other half plotted some unknown deed against us inside. They emerged and we were sent down the hall quite a ways before turning around. We were told to slowly walk toward our classmates who had formed a line side by side filling the width of the hall. We were slightly confused on what was going to happen, but as we approached within a few yards Mr. Franklin bellowed out, "Fire!!" A volley of crumpled paper balls were thrown at us to our excited bewilderment. Unbeknownst to us he was demonstrating the order given at Bunker Hill during the America Revolution of not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes. It's been over 20 years since that happened and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Thank you for the memories and dedication to what you loved!
Frenship Class of '98