AUGUSTA, Ga. - Mr. William F. Franke, Jr., 79, entered into rest on Sunday, October 14, 2007, at his residence.
Graveside services and interment were held at Westover Memorial Park on Wednesday, October 17, 2007, at 11 a.m. with The Very Rev. Robert Fain and The Rev. Robert M. Watkins officiating.
Mr. Franke was born on June 5, 1928, in Birmingham, Ala. The son of William F. Franke, Sr., and Velma Wilson Franke, Mr. Franke graduated from Shades Cahaba High School, attended VMI, and received his degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1951. He moved to Augusta in 1951, where he was employed by Dupont before serving in the Army for two years. Mr. Franke joined the firm of Sherman and Hemstreet in 1956, where he became co-owner until his retirement in 2002. Mr. Franke's life has had many milestones in his professional career. He was instrumental in developing Daniel Village Shopping Center in 1955. This was only the third retail development outside of a metropolitan area, in the country, at the time. Mr. Franke was also involved with bringing two of the major industries to the Augusta area, Columbia Nitrogen and Kimberly Clark. He served on many different committees with the Greater Augusta Board of Realtors, was president in 1962, and was named Realtor of the Year in 1993. Mr. Franke worked to bring the Board of Realtors into the National Association of Realtors in the early 1960's.
Mr. Franke was involved in many organizations during his life. He joined the Rotary Club of Augusta in 1957 and served on many different committees to include the Georgia Rotary Exchange Student Program. He was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. Throughout his life, Mr. Franke followed the Rotary's motto of "Service above Self." In his religious life, he was a charter member of Covenant Presbyterian Church serving as both Deacon and Elder over the years. He was an avid golfer, outdoorsman and had a lifelong passion for horses. Another of his passions in life was Pendleton King Park. He was an ardent supporter, board member, and president for more than 40 years, helping to provide joy to the families of Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Pendleton King Park Foundation, 760 Oberlin Road, Augusta, Georgia 30909.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Grear Franke; one son, William F. Franke, III and his wife Ginger of Evans; one daughter, Katherine Franke Smith of Augusta; one sister, Jean Franke Cox of Birmingham, Ala.; four grandchildren, Katie, Zach, and Will Franke of Evans, and Patrick Smith of Augusta; two stepchildren, Paula Manice of Thomson and Skip Manice of Augusta.
Serving as Honorary Pallbearers were J. Malcolm Kling, J. Kenneth McDonald, W. Robert Russell, Harrell S. Tiller, William L. Dozier, Thomas Mills, Ross Snellings, and members of the Sand Hills Association Investment Club, which includes Robert D. Mahony, John M. Moss, Jr., Frank B. Williams, Jr., Elmer L. Perry, Jr., James L. Becton, MD, William E. Hollingsworth, Jr., James L. Lester, Charles Williamson, Pierce Merry, Jr., Robert E. McCrary, Jr., Frank W. Capers, Jr., Bobby D. Jones, W. Penland Mayson, Jr., Herbert S. Elliott, Jr., J. Clay Coleman, Michael J. Taylor, Sr., William Rooks, and John W. Scroggs.
Platt's Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements..