Michael Robert Franklin, 42, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends at THR Harris Downtown Hospital in Ft. Forth, TX on Thursday, July 4th, 2019 at 2:25 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held at Crosier-Pearson Cleburne funeral home in Cleburne, TX on Wednesday, July 10th at 10 a.m. with a visitation Tuesday, July 9th from 6-8 p.m.
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Michael was born at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on March 18, 1977 to Sue Hawkins (Franklin) Zupancic and William Charles Franklin, Jr. Michael grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas and attended the University of Kansas, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Administration for Higher Education. He began his teaching career at Santa Fe Elementary in Cleburne, TX and has taught Pre-K as well as 2nd-4th grades over the years. Most recently, he was teaching Pre-K at Poynter Elementary in Crowley, TX where he was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2014.
As a child, Michael was always adventurous and a “little bit mischievous” according to his mother. He was a lover of music (especially Madonna), nature, and animals – these loves carried on into adulthood. He also had the “voice of an angel” according to many and enjoyed doing karaoke. He loved traveling, camping, and keeping up with politics. His sister, Melissa, says, “He was always a good brother. A sweet brother”.
He met the love of his life, David Edmonds, on February 29, 2008 after communicating via MySpace for weeks prior. David knew Michael would be his future husband that very night when not only did Michael enter the drive-thru at Whataburger the wrong way when he arrived, but also went into the women’s restroom by mistake three times during the many hours they spent talking and getting to know each other. When David finally had the heart to tell him what he had done he stated, “I wondered why I didn’t see any urinals in there”.
David proposed to Michael on July 4, 2015. They were married on June 26, 2016 at the Castle on the Lake in Jacksonville, TX on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage. They celebrated their 3rd anniversary a week ago and Michael took David back to the same Whataburger for breakfast a few days later as a sweet, romantic gesture. David describes Michael as his rock, his protector, his best friend, and his entire life. He promises to take care of the dogs and the plants as best he can.
Michael was a spontaneous, adventurous soul with a love of gardening, animals – especially rescue dogs, and molding young minds. He was an amazing friend to many, and his gregarious personality allowed him to befriend anyone he met in any situation. He loved helping people and even in his final moments on earth, he donated his organs so that others could live.
Michael is survived by his beloved husband, David, his dear mother Sue Zupancic and step-father David Zupancic of Leavenworth, KS, his father Bill Franklin and step-mother Evelyn, of Belgrade, MT, sisters Melissa Franklin of Lawrence, KS, Shira Franklin of Bend, OR, and Hannah (Tanner) Lambert of Harrison, MT, brother Brett Franklin of New Jersey; step-brother David Michael (Kelly) Zupancic of Alexandria, VA and step-sister Betsy Tipping of Topeka, KS, uncle Lary Hawkins, aunts Bobbie Franklin-Mundt and Cathleen Franklin, and numerous in-laws and cousins. Michael was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Earl (Big Dad) and Claudine (Mimmie) Hawkins and, paternal grandparents William (Pop) and Carlene (Nanny) Franklin.
Family requests that no flowers be sent – rather, they request that donations be sent to local animal rescues, teachers’ associations/children’s charities, or to a Democratic political action committee. The family would like to thank everyone who came to the hospital, called, texted, emailed, and sent love from far and wide during this difficult time. All the love was so appreciated and cherished. It will never be forgotten.