James Willis Franklin
James Willis Franklin was born November 20, 1941 in Galveston, TX (BOI—born on the island), to Boyce Preston and Eda Marie Rygaard Franklin. He graduated from La Marque High School in 1959. He attended Texas Lutheran College in Seguin for 2 years, and was encouraged to go to North TX State University, in Denton, where they offered more music training for his voice. He completed his BS at NTX in elementary education. While teaching elementary, he completed his Master’s degree at Sam Houston St. University, Huntsville, TX and later his administrative certification at U. of Houston.
One of the highlights of his time in college was traveling to Europe with the North Texas State ACappellaChoirona3month State Department Tour, International Cultural Exchange Program, in 1964. They sang in Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland. In addition to this wonderful trip, while in Denton, James sang with the Dallas Civic Opera.
June 1st, 1972, James married Joyce Schweinle McCain and they settled in Dickinson, TX where James was teaching at Bacliff Elementary with Dickinson ISD.
After ten years teaching 4th-6th grades in Dickinson ISD, James began work in administration at Goliad ISD. He also worked in administration in Lockhart, Runge, Lexington and Yorktown ISD. After retiring from public education in 1998, James became a certified track official and enjoyed working track meets in Texas as well as some National meets across the United States. Just under 3 weeks after his first brain surgery in June, 2011, James served as announcer for the National AAU track meet in Orlando, Florida, at the Disney Wide World of Sports facility. He also spent several years working part-time in the tasting room at Becker Vineyard in Stonewall, TX and for over 10 years he served as a Key Volunteer for the PBS TV (KLRN) station in San Antonio. He especially enjoyed working the annual KLRN auction.
A lifelong Lutheran, James sang in the church choirs at St. John’s Lutheran (Santa Fe) while living in Dickinson, at St. Peter’s (Ander), St. John’s (Goliad), Martin Luther (Giddings), St. Paul (Yorktown), and First Lutheran (San Marcos). He taught Sunday School classes and served on the church council at several of the churches attended. He chaperoned youth groups on various trips, including an overnight campout at Goliad State Park, a trip to Colorado with St. Paul Youth, and to Mexico with a Habitat for Humanity type outing for First Lutheran. He also volunteered for meals delivery with First Lutheran’s Meals on Wheels.
James was preceded in death by parents Boyce Preston and Eda Marie Rygaard Franklin and brother Boyce Preston Franklin, Jr. James is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joyce, sons Brent McCain (Stacey) of Bruceville, TX, Aaron Franklin of Houston, Elliott Franklin (Denise) of Cibolo, and daughter Tracey McCain Keller (Darrell) of San Antonio; grandchildren, Dr. Anthony Cahill, Dr. Heather Cahill Chambers (Carl), Miranda McCain, Kayla and Kyle Keller, Allen and Austin Franklin, Fallon Bedecker, and Hannah, Noah, Faith, Grace, Caleb and Micah Franklin; sisters, Patricia Smith (Robert) and Joyce Charlene Ober, and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral was held on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:30am at First Lutheran Church, 130 West Holland St., San Marcos, TX 78666. In lieu of flowers the family requests live plants; memorial donations may be made to First Lutheran Church or CTMC Hospice, 1315 IH 35 North, San Marcos, TX 78666