BESSEMER CITY - Richard Kenneth Franklin Sr., 83, went to be with the Lord on Feb. 23, 2014, from Carolina Care Center in Cherryville.
He was born March 7, 1930, in Gaston County, to the late Roy and Geneva Stamey Franklin.
Richard was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Bessemer City where he was a deacon and honorary trustee. He also was "The Real" Santa Claus at Gaston Mall from 1996 to 2006, an United States Air Force
Veteran and was retired from Norfolk Southern Railroad.
In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Franklin.
Richard is survived by four loving children, Rick Franklin and wife Vicky of Kings Mountain, Skip Franklin and wife Diane of Ripley, West Vir-ginia, Tammie Franklin Long of Bessemer City, Jo-D Franklin and wife Melissa of Bessemer City; 11 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Roy "Butch" Ward and wife Judy of Dallas; sisters-in-law, Barbara "Bobbie" Ward Clary and husband Marshall of Lincolnton, Jane Ward of Quebec, Canada; lifelong friends Rob & Maxine Holt and Randy & Elaine Greene.
His funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Bessemer City with the Revs. Tom Raven and A. A. Bailey officiating.
Interment will follow at Bessemer City Memorial Cemetery
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Sisk-Butler Funeral Home, Bessemer City.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, PO Box 397, Bessemer City, NC 28016.
To offer condolences, please visit www.siskbutler.com.
Arrangements by Sisk-Butler Funeral Home, Bessemer City.