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Rena Joyce Hodge Franklin


1934 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rena Joyce Hodge Franklin Obituary
Rena Joyce Hodge Franklin

Memphis, TN

Rena Joyce Hodge Franklin, born December 17, 1934 in Memphis, passed away peacefully July 23, 2017 in Hertzliya, Israel surrounded by her family. They came from around the world to be at her side. Beloved wife, devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, she will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew her.

Rena grew up in Memphis, worked on air for WHER, the first all female radio station, and was Miss Rena on Romper Room. She then traveled the world, living in India, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and finally Israel, to fulfill her dream of living in the Jewish homeland. After opening two restaurants to great acclaim in Israel, HaKafri and Al Gallo, she returned to Memphis and worked as the executive chef at Morgan Keegan. With her husband Jack, she then opened the renowned Marena's restaurant. She returned to Israel in 2014.

Rena personified a matriarch and lived a rich, full life. She danced the tango, practiced yoga, designed and made jewelry, entertained like no other, and kept an enduring romance with her husband of 43 years. She will be remembered for her decadent recipes, warm nature, fearless adventurous spirit, intellectual curiosity, lilting voice, listening ear, and love for family.

She is survived by her husband Jack Franklin, children Lynn Franklin (Bob Sweeney), Michele Safa (Kaveh), Phillip Franklin (Renee), Bruce Franklin, and Hallie Franklin, stepdaughter Lara Hunter (Jamie), former husband and still close friend Stan Franklin (Jeannie Stonebrook), sister Elaine Hodge, 10 grandchildren, a great-grandson, a huge extended family, and too many lifelong friends to enumerate.

Funeral services were held in Israel.

Donations in her honor would be welcomed by Mid-South Food Bank, 239 South Dudley Street, Memphis, TN 38104.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 30, 2017
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