William Francis Franck, 97, died peacefully on March 18, 2015 in his home at Kings Grant Retirement Community Martinsville, Va. He was a generous friend, passionate community builder, active church leader, & always a loving father & husband. He birthed many visions leaving legacies of great love.
He was born on July 29, 1917, in Fayetteville, NC, son of William F. Franck, Sr. & Martha Lawhon Franck. He was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret F. Credle. Surviving are his wife of 73 years, Carolyn Pannill Franck, 4 children – Martha F. Rollins (Randy), William F. Franck III (Cindy), Ann F. Gordon (Alex), John M. Franck (Jane), 11 grandchildren & 9 great-grandchildren.
He attended public school in Durham, NC & received a BS at Duke ’39. In 1940, he moved to Martinsville with DuPont; 1941 married Carolyn Pannill; 1943-1946 served in US Army as Lieutenant charged with moving supplies to Patton’s troops. 1946 worked at Pannill Knitting; 1950 hired as VP of Sale Knitting. In 1953 he became president of Sale, In 1983 the company restructured into Tultex Corp. When he retired in 1992 the company had grown from 160 to 6500 employees in 27 locations. He served as first president of Martinsville Chamber of Commerce, president of Kiwanis Club, chairman of the fund drive for building Memorial Hospital, president of the Virginia Manufacturing Association. He was a principal founder and first president of Chatmoss Country Club. He was very active on the Martinsville Mayor’s Commission of Human Values and sought to model racial reconciliation. He was a member and past Elder & Trustee of First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, and a principal founder & resident of Kings Grant Retirement Community. He enjoyed life & was a benefit to many along the way.
The Family welcomes friends at the lecture hall of New College Institute at corner of Moss & Fayette St. on Mon., March 23 from 5:00 to 7:00pm. A Witness to the Resurrection will be held Tue. March 24 at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Martinsville. The Revs. Mark Hinchcliff, Rusty Reaser, Thurman O. Echols, Jr. & Dwight Christenbury will officiate. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 25 at 3:00 pm at the Kings Grant Victory Chapel. Rev. Paul Johnson will officiate. Memorial gifts may be made to: Tultex/Franck Scholarship Fund c/o Martinsville Area Community Foundation, P. O. Box 1124, Martinsville, VA, 24112 and Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227. Arrangements are by Collins-McKee-Stone Funeral Home of Martinsville, VA.