Robert Ray Franklin
Robert Ray Franklin M.D. (Bob/Doc), 90, died at his home in Austin on Saturday, March 17, 2018 with his family by his side. Robert Franklin was born on January 20, 1928 in Wetumka, Oklahoma to Tom and Frona Fay Franklin. He migrated with his family to Houston, ultimately settling in Galveston where he graduated from Ball High School. He went on to the University of Texas at Austin where he met his love, Mary Louise Millsaps, whom he married in 1950 and shared his life for 52 years until her passing in 2002. Bob Franklin attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed his residency in Philadelphia where his two oldest children were born: Bobby (Robert R. Franklin, Jr.) and Rae Ann. He furthered his studies along with finishing out his obligation to the Navy in Cherry Point, N.C. where his third child, Mary Lou, was born. The family then matriculated to Houston where Bob Franklin took a teaching position with Baylor College of Medicine. In Houston his fourth child, Scott, was born. It was at Baylor that he found his life's work in endometriosis and women's fertility. He would discover that he had a great desire to learn and teach along with studying a disease that would help many women then and in the future. He also had a gift for making patients feel comfortable in an often uncomfortable situation and he gave them confidence that he could help them; of which he did for many. To accomplish his goals he joined Stanley Rogers MD, Warren Jacobs MD, Jack Moore MD and Morton Adels MD at Obstetrics & Gynecological Associates, P.A. In 1976, Dr. Franklin was one of the founding physicians of The Woman's Hospital of Texas, when he and his group recognized the need in Houston for a facility focused solely on women in all stages of life. "Woman's" was a leading edge facility that was a visionary of the future practice of medicine. Dr. Franklin was one of the most revered and renowned endometriosis specialists in the world and patients and students came from all over to learn his techniques and gain some of his knowledge on the subject. He taught seasoned physicians, residents, medical students and anyone else that would sit and listen. At "OB Gyn Associates" he would spend his life practicing and teaching until he was 80 years old when Parkinson's, a disease he'd been fighting for twenty years, finally took its toll. He loved his work. Bob Franklin's motto in life was "If it's worth doing, it is worth doing to excess". If he was not working in medicine, you would likely find him hunting or fishing. An avid outdoorsman, Bob Franklin hunted and fished around the world with a very close group of friends. Affectionately known as Doc, he spent many years hunting in Mexico and was able to not only hunt and fish there but also teach physicians that were eager to learn what he had to offer. When he could no longer work, he decided to move to Picabo, Idaho and live out the rest of his life fishing. In Idaho Doc was discovered bolstered by his love of life and fishing and was filmed for two videos found on YouTube: Doc of the Drakes and Doc of the Drakes - "Hit 'em Again Doc". He became a fishing guide's idol. He was able to show people through these videos that a good life can be had with Parkinson's disease. However, age and disease finally took its toll so Dr. Franklin retreated to Austin, Texas where he could be cared for by his family and be close to his grandkids and great grandkids.
Dr. Franklin was preceded in death by his wife Mary, his mother Frona Silvey and his brother Rev. Joe Dan Franklin. He is survived by his children, Robert R. Franklin Jr. and wife Nan, Rae Ann Johnson, Mary Lou Houston and husband Brew, Scott Franklin and wife Tami; and by his 10 grandchildren and their spouses, Nancy and Thomas Verly, Peter and Becky Franklin, Justin and Ruth Ann Johnson, Allison Johnson and Kyle Stoutenger, Patrick Johnson and Danielle Brobst, Meredith and Justin Reynolds, Kendall Houston, Brew Houston III, Hayden Franklin and Kelly Franklin; and by his 12 great grandchildren, Sebastian, Olivia, Reeves, Mary Anna, Clayton, Aubrey Ann, Emma, Kaden, Keltyn, Blake, Hunter, and Mary Elizabeth. He is also survived by his sister in laws, Mary Lou Franklin and Maggie Moran and by his nephew Mike Snyder and their families. His family is tremendously grateful to his care givers that provided care to him in the last years of his life, Melissa Holmes, Jorge Aguilar and Maria Herrera with a special heart felt thanks to two incredible women, Rita Houston and Deborah Stevens, who dedicated themselves to Dr. Franklin's care.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 2:00pm at St. Lukes United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate contributions be made to: Parkinson's Foundation (parkinson.org
) or to Endometriosis Association (endometriosisassn.org