Dr.Franklin Johnson Gayles, Jr.
Dr. Franklin Johnson Gayles, Jr., 93, was born to the late Marian and Franklin Johnson Gayles, Sr. in Marshallville, Georgia. His mother was an educator and his father was an educator and minister. He was the oldest of three siblings. He departed this life on May 9, 2013 at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee Florida.He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ruth Teele Gayles, an educator and reading consultant; and brother, Edward Richardson Gayles, an attorney.
Franklin attended the first five years of elementary schooling in Marshallville, Georgia at the Lamson Richardson School, a school founded by his maternal grandmother in 1886.Two years after the death of his mother in 1929, he along with his younger brother, moved to Chicago, Illinois where he completed elementary school. He attended Hyde Park High School where he was an outstanding athlete and scholar. Upon graduating from high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Political Science.He spent the next four years serving his country in the United States Navy; he rose to the rank of Lieutenant.He received an honorable discharge in 1948. After completing his military service, he enrolled at the New York University and earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Political Science.
Franklin married a Richmond, Virginia girl and made his home in Richmond.He was actively involved in the social, educational, religious, and political life of Richmond. He was a very devoted member and worker for the All Souls Presbyterian Church. He was very instrumental in the creation and success of the Crusade for Voters where he served for years as the Research Chairman.He was a recipient of numerous honors for his outstanding performances as a professor/administrator. He also served in many social and political organizations at the state, national and local levels.
Franklin followed the pattern of his paternal and maternal families by selecting education as a career. He became a college/university professor and administrator.He began his educational career at Virginia Union University where he served for 33 years in the following positions: Professor of Social Science, Professor of Political Science, and Chairperson of the Social Science Department. He later became the Head of the Department of History and Political Science, and lastly, he became the Academic Dean for the University.After retiring from Virginia Union University in 1976, he became Treasurer of the City of Richmond, Virginia where he served for 17 years.
Upon the death of his wife in August 2003, Franklin moved from Richmond, Virginia to Tallahassee, Florida to be near his sister, Dr. Anne Richardson Gayles-Felton at the Westminster Oaks Active Living Community (an upscale retirement home in Tallahassee).
Persons left to cherish his unforgettable, loving memories are: son, Michael P. Gayles of Chester, Virginia; grandchildren, Jamial R., Chauncey L., Bria G. and Myka G. Gayles; sister, Dr. Anne Richardson Gayles Felton, Professor Emeritus at Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida; niece, Dorothy Ann Stallworth of Atlanta, Georgia; nephew, Edward Gayles of Los Angeles, California; and a host of relatives and friends.
Franklin's funeral was held on May 15, 2013, under the arrangements of Scott's Funeral Home in Richmond, Virginia. An Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Memorial Service was held on May 14, 2013.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on June 23, 2013