IRVINGTON—John Edward Franklin, 78, of Irvington passed away on July 30, 2021.
He was born April 7, 1943, in Irvington to Guy and Pauline Franklin, the second of four boys. He was raised in Hearold Village of Irvington surrounded by family, including his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Because he was born early, he always had difficulty hearing. This gave him a quiet voice, patience and a subtle way about him. But school was difficult because of this and, at the age of 14, he left school. He went right to work doing odd jobs and digging ditches for a local plumber. For years, he worked in the construction field and learned from those he worked under.
In 1975, he married Carolyn Blake. For many years, they ran the Franklin Inn in Kilmarnock together. With a growing family, in 1985 John Ed started Franklin Mechanical Contractors (FMC). Beginning with HVAC, plumbing and electrical he later moved into municipal utility construction. Many of the memories of John Ed come from those that worked alongside him at the Franklin Inn or FMC. He had a patience about him to teach and mentor. And he knew the value and importance of hard work. He was a natural problem solver and, all through life, fixed and repaired before ever purchasing new.
After retiring, he doubled the size of his year-round garden and found his days filled with tending the garden, riding his bike through Irvington and catching spot in the river.
John Ed had a lifelong love of boating and fishing in Carter Creek and on the Rappahannock River. You could always find him in Weems, tinkering on the Miss Ashley or taking naps in the hammock on the point. That spirit and love lives on in his children and grandchildren, with memories filled with time on the water with him, his stories, lessons and the coordinates of his secret fishing spots.
John Ed was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Billy Franklin; and daughter, Sharon Virginia Hardy.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carolyn Blake Franklin; his children John Blake Franklin (Leslie), Ashley Franklin Luck (Jimmy) and Karen Mae Franklin; his grandchildren Ashtyn Claire and Ellie Grace Franklin, Bryce Carlton and John Clayton Luck and Jessica Hope Franklin; his three great-grandchildren; his brothers, Harold Franklin and Danny Franklin (Sharon); and many extended family members and friends.
Family will receive friends at 1 p.m., Saturday, August 7, at Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock. A celebration of life will follow at 2 p.m.