Phil B. Franklin


(September 23, 2001)

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 11 a.m. at Union Presbyterian Church in Powell for Phil B. Franklin, 69, who died Sunday, Sept. 23 at his Powell home. He succumbed to a four and a half year battle with lung cancer, waged valiantly and courageously each day, shoulder to shoulder, with his wife and best friend of 52 years, Donna Jo.

Mr. Franklin was born in Garland on Nov. 22, 1931, the second child of Helen G. (Ballinger) and (Joseph) Russell Franklin. He began his schooling in a one-room schoolhouse on Sheets Flat, then started attending Powell schools in the fifth grade. He was graduated from Powell High School with the Class of 1949.

On Dec. 13, 1949, he married Donna Jo George.

He grew up on a dairy farm and had a dairy of his own until 1962 in the Riverside community south of Powell. After a move to Montana ranch country in 1962, he returned to the Powell area and drove truck for 35 years, two years for K.R. Mangus and 33 years with Dick Jones Trucking. Phil and Donna Jo team-drove their Freightliner the last 25 years, sharing their paperback novels and discussing their family and the world's problems. They retired in the spring of 1997.

Phil was a member of the board of directors of the Wyoming Trucking Association during the 1980s. He was a member of the Union Presbyterian Church.

To the union of Phil and Donna Franklin, four children were born. Their children include Forrest George Franklin and wife Alice of Spokane, Wash., Bobbie Phyl Franklin and husband Steven Seeger of Gallup, N.M., Sherry Jo Haskins and husband Richard of Phoenix, Ariz., and Dusty Floyd Franklin and wife Kristie of Powell.

Phil was the adoring and proud grandfather of seven grandsons and three granddaughters: Oliver David Cooke and his wife Jessica Pena of New York City, N.Y., Anthony Michael Cooke of Denver, Colo., Tyler Franklin Haskins of Phoenix, Ami Erin Mae Franklin of Denver, Matthew Thomas Franklin of Spokane, Clinton Phil Franklin of Powell, Broderick Paul Haskins of Phoenix, Ashley Jean Franklin of Powell, Cooper Joseph Haskins of Phoenix, and Jessica Ann Franklin of Powell.

Phil attended innumerable hockey, soccer, football, volleyball, basketball and track events of his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed being a Powell Panther. He also enjoyed watching college and professional sporting events.

He was an avid game player, especially enjoying chess, pinochle, board games and jigsaw puzzles. He was a champion Jumbo Word solver. He took great pride in his rose garden. Throughout his life, he loved working with horses and going fishing. He believed in working from sun-up to sundown and rarely took a day off. He thought a person should give at least 110 percent effort and should strive to be a winner.

Survivors include his wife, Donna Jo of Powell; his children; his grandchildren; two sisters, Helen Irene Mullaney and husband Patrick, and Vaughn Castleberry and husband Vern; an uncle, Darwin Franklin and wife Naida; an aunt, Phyllis (Ballinger) Lundvall and husband Lawrence; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law; and countless caring friends from the Class of 1949 and the Powell area.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jerry Dean Franklin; and his sister, Sylvia J. McMillan.

For those who wish, the family would appreciate memorials to either the Valley Hospice or Union Presbyterian Church.