DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 62
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LAKELAND - Dr. Benjamin Franklin, age 62, died Saturday (March 20, 2010) of heart failure.
God gave the gift of life to Benjamin Franklin on April 15, 1947 in the town of Lawtey, Florida. He was placed into the loving care of Robert H. and Ineater Franklin.
Ben attended public schools in Bradford County. Upon graduation from high school, Ben entered the University of Florida where he was one of six African Americans who were members of the graduating class of 1969. He graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1973. His medical internship was completed at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Ben then served as a General Medical Officer in Fort Riley, Kansas and achieved the rank of Major. He performed his general surgery residency at the University Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.
In 1981, Ben made the decision to enter the practice of the late Dr. John S. Jackson upon his retirement which initiated the long-standing partnership with Dr. Wendell O. Blake. It was at the retirement roast for Dr. Jackson that Ben fell in love at first sight with his wife Stephanie Franklin. Together, the two became members of Greater St. Paul M.B.I. Church. After the unity of worshiping together, the bond of unity continued into every facet of their lives including work.
He was board certified from the American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Emergency Medicine. Since 1981, he has been on staff at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. In additional, he shared his gift of healing at Winter Haven Hospital, South Lake Memorial Hospital in Clermont, Bartow and Plant City General Hospital and at the Alliance Care Physicians' House Call.
The communities of Polk and Eastern Hillsborough Counties were the recipient of his care and concern. Ben contributed service to health boards, church boards and charitable organizations. So profound has the impact that he has had on the lives of so many, that it is impossible for the family to experience an outing without someone coming to relay a time when Dr. Franklin "saved" his or her life.
The completion of innumerable surgeries, the extension of a multitude of caring daily patient care, the response to the middle of the night calls and weekend runs dissolved into the visit from the "Great Physician" to call his servant from his many labors to his eternal reward on March 20, 2010. As the gates opened, a voice was heard saying...."well done my good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, come on up and I will make you ruler of many".
Ben was a man who loved and protected his family. The family now celebrates his transition from earth to heaven, and is confident that Ben is singing the lead role in the heavenly male chorus; first leading the singing of God Never Fails, He Brought Me Out and Only Jesus Can Save Your Soul.
Ben lives on in the heart and of his wife who has stood by his side for the span of 27 years with immeasurable love and devotion. Ben lives in the heart of his children Mecha and Brandon, with love and adoration for the best Dad in the world. His memories are held dear in the hearts of his parents Robert H. and Ineater Franklin, siblings Helen (Jerome) Smith, James (Wanda) Franklin, Columbus, OH., Sylvester Franklin, Daily City, CA., Dr. Henry (Dimeta) Franklin, Walterboro, S.C., Benita Saunders, Davie, FL., Dr. Anthony (Deidra) Franklin, Green Cove Springs, FL., mother-in-law Betty Raines, Lakeland, FL., brothers-in-law David C. (Monica) Raines, Colorado Springs, CO., Roderick (Katie) Raines, and Mark (Lisa) Raines, both of Indianapolis, IN., three Godsons Donovan Franklin, Ramadan Marshall and Alveron Wright and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.
All services will be held at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Visitation on Friday 6-8pm; funeral on Saturday at 11 a.m. Interment will be Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Peetsville Cemetery, Lawtey, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Dr. Benjamin Franklin Memorial Scholarship Fund at Bank of America. Services entrusted to Coney Funeral Home. www.coneyfuneralhomes.com
Published in Ledger on Mar. 24, 2010