Obituary : Mary E. Franklin
Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Franklin, 86, of Sarasota, Florida, died on October 22.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Betty Franklin lived an active, abundant life, beloved by her family and her many friends. She was a generous and creative spirit, blessed with great warmth, endless curiosity, and gentle good humor. Her smile lit up a thousand rooms.
With husband Ralph C. Franklin, Betty moved to Sarasota in 1981. She was born in Shiloh, N.J., in 1922 and grew up in Madison,
N. J., before attending Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where she graduated in 1944. Betty moved to New York City, working as an editorial assistant at LIFE magazine. It was in New York that she met Ralph, who was studying at Columbia University after returning from service with the Marine Corps in World War II. They married in Singapore on November 6, 1948, and began several years of living overseas; in the Philippines, where Betty worked as a teacher at the American School, and then in Brazil.
Son Bruce was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1952; he is now president of the ADP Group in Sarasota. Son Andrew was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1953; he is now a writer and producer for NBC News in New York, and resides in Old Greenwich, Conn. Betty and Ralph left Brazil and returned to the States in 1954, moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, Ralph's hometown. Son John was born there in 1955; he is now an artist residing in Princeton, N.J. Daughter Nancy was born in 1956; she is now a writer at The New Yorker magazine in New York.
The Franklins moved to Larchmont, N.Y., in 1962, when Ralph went to work for MCA TV (later MCA Universal), where he eventually became president of the company's International Division. At home, Betty raised the four children (and dog Poppy) while doing part-time and volunteer work in the community.
Martha's Vineyard played a big part in Betty's life. She and her family began coming to the Island in 1963, and took up part-time residence there in 1978. On the Vineyard, Betty's many interests flourished, including art, music, golf, gardening, bird-watching, antiques, and above all, books. Betty loved to read, and she was a driving force behind the annual Book Sale that benefited the West Tisbury Public Library.
Betty Franklin's life was a gift to the many people who loved her, to whom her memory brings comfort and inspiration. She had a gift for making friends, and the many friends she leaves behind will never forget her.
In addition to her husband and four children, Betty Franklin is survived by four grandchildren: Emily, Sam, Eiko and Yoko. Her brother John Evans and his wife Barbara reside in Vero Beach, Fla. Memorial contributions may be made in Betty's name to the West Tisbury Public Library Gift Fund, 1042 State Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.