Dr. Robert Franklin
1928 - 2018
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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)

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Published in Houston Chronicle from Mar. 19 to Mar. 25, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
February 2, 2021
I have two wonderful adult boys because of Dr. Franklin. His knowledge and leadership in the field of infertility back in the 80’s was unmatched in the country. He is responsible for countless parents welcoming bundles of joy into the world. May God bless him.
Tom Brite
February 2, 2021
I have two wonderful adult boys thanks to Dr. Franklin. His knowledge and leadership in the mid-80’s on infertility blessed so many people. I know he has brought much happiness to countless parents. May God bless him.
Tom Brite
March 13, 2020
Bob was a scholar, a gentleman and a FANTASTIC teacher. I was blessed to spend a good amount of time learning from him in the 1980's. Not a day goes by that I do not think about something he taught me, especially about endometriosis. I hope his loved ones continue to have fond memories of this wonderful man. I also hope he is resting peacefully. Dr Joel Batzofin
Joel Batzofin
January 14, 2020
I am a former student of Dr Bob Franklin and only recently learned of his passing. Bob was a special, wonderful, kind, smart, generous, exemplary person. His patients revered him. His pupils admired him. His colleagues respected him. Bob was quiet, gentle yet firm, never arrogant, a great listener, had a wonderful sense of humor, connected with his patients very quickly. He single handedly impacted my life and career in profound ways. A great man, friend, father and doctor who did so much, for so many. Hope he is resting peacefully.
Joel Batzofin
July 22, 2019
I have two biological children and one adopted child, thanks to Dr. Franklin. I was diagnosed at 19 with endometriosis, and he was able to keep it under control until after I met and married my husband. We had two beautiful children before I had to have a hysterectomy. Since then we were able to adopt a third child. My oldest is now 28, and I will be forever grateful to Dr. Franklin. Without his help and expertise, I would never have been able to conceive and have children. He was such a kind, gentle doctor and inspired great confidence and hope in his patients.
Johanna Debrecht
July 1, 2019
I was a patient several years ago from Louisiana . He saved my life alongside Dr Mangal and I'm forever grateful . I just learned of his passing since I have lived back home in la for several years now . I am blessed to have had him care for me . I just wanted to hopefully get this message out to the family that I along so many others consider it a privelage to have had him as my dr .
Angela Gravouia
May 27, 2019
Just seeing this. I have a beautiful 16 year old daughter because of this man. He believed something was wrong when other doctors did surgery and said I didnt have endometriosis. Dr Franklin knew I had it and when he came out to my parents, he told them I was covered in it. He also told me that if I wanted a child, I needed to try as soon as I got married. I was able to get pregnant immediately and then was never able to have another one. Thank God he knew what to do and tell me. I was very young and he called me his little pumpkin. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. ❤
Lanell Lamont
November 29, 2018
Dr. Franklin was my doctor for over 30 years and I will miss his kindness, caring and expertise in his field. He helped many people through the years.
Ruth Smith
October 21, 2018
I just found about about Doc's passing. My condolences t his family. I always said that God sent me to Houston to me Doc. If it were not for him my husband and I would never have had children. After ten years, and Doc's knowledge, we finally had 6 thanks to him. He was a wonderful, caring person.
Lori Sonnier
September 11, 2018
Dr. Franklin was a very kind and compassionate man, he saw my husband through many years of trying to have a family. Though we were never achieved the gift of a child, Dr. Franklin was with us through the smiles and the tears.
Laurie Ogea
September 5, 2018
I only heard of Dr. Franklin's passing yesterday. My heart goes out to his family & friends. Dr. Franklin made you feel so important & he not only cared for your health but also for your personal life and well being. Dr. Franklin was the kindest & most brilliant physician that I have encountered. He truly was the pioneer of Endometriosis & no matter how many surgeons he has trained, they pale in comparison. God truly broke the mold when he created Dr. Franklin...there will never be another so compassionate & dedicated to the treatment of Endo. I'm honored that he crossed my path & was my Specialist. To his family & friends, thank you for sharing this incredible man with the rest of the world!
Charleen Christian
August 23, 2018
I just found out Dr. Franklin passed away in March. I was one of his first patients in 1961 and he delivered 3 of my children. I was a patient of his off and on through the years while living in Houston area as well as working for Dr. Debakey at Baylor . In recent years I have been living in Austin. I can't say enough about Dr. Franklin's care for his patients and their wellbeing. He was a wonderful and caring person and always happy and smiling. RIP Dr. Franklin.
Betty Seales
August 19, 2018
My condolences to the family. Fond memories of the years I spent at Methodist Hospital on the gyn floor in the '60's and 70's. Dr. Franklin was always kind and personable to us nurses. He was not only a good doctor but showed his concern for the patient and treated them with kindness and respect. I was sorry to read he had to deal with Parkinsons disease.

What a long life, though and he outlived his original partners.

Rest in peace.
Sandy Wilson
August 7, 2018
I am saddened to learn of Dr. Franklins passing today. I often commented that I would do anything he told me to do. I'm not sure I'll ever have that much faith and trust in a physician ever again. I was blessed to have been a patient of his for 30 years. He helped to navigate and manage my diagnosis until his retirement. I was truly grateful for his kindness and compassion over the years. Godspeed Dr. Franklin until we meet again .
Lisa Cornelius
August 2, 2018
So sad to hear of Dr. Franklins passing..he literally saved my life many years ago and I always found him a most caring and dedicated doctor. RIP
Judy Hughes
June 8, 2018
My dad, Homer Spear, and Bob were first cousins. I speak for all the Spear Family when I say how much we loved and cared for Bob. We always appreciated how he responded to any health concerns we had and guided us to the best doctors. Even though we had not seen Bob in many years he was in our thoughts. Our love and prayers for Bob's children.
Belinda Spear Makins
June 6, 2018
I am sad to learn about Dr. Franklin passing. I was a patient of his for 18 years. If it was not for Dr. Franklin, I would not be here today. He will be missed.
Claudine Woods
June 6, 2018
I was very sad to see that Dr. Franklin had passed away. I was his patient for 18 years, and am alive today because of Dr. Franklin. He will be missed greatly.
Claudine Woods
June 6, 2018
If t wasn't for him, My mom would not be here today.
Kevin Woods
May 31, 2018
So sorry to hear of Dr Franklin's passing. He was a true gentleman and excellent doctor. I had the honor of taking him goose hunting with his peers in Eagle Lake. Many fond memories of him. His legacy will live on forever. God rest his soul.
Vickie Darsey
April 24, 2018
I'm just now learning of Dr. Franklin's passing. He helped me become a mother of three by performing surgery on me for endometriosis in 1983. He was a kind and compassionate man and he always took his time with me to explain my condition. I will be ever grateful to him for his surgical skills that helped me to become a mother. He was a gentle soul and his kindness will never be forgotten. He loved his practice and his patients. It was unfortunate that Parkinson's forced him into retirement. He loved his wife and grieved for her many years after her passing. Dr. Franklin was a legacy in the field of infertility. I will be forever grateful to him for aiding me in becoming a mother. My deepest sympathies to his family.
Angela Stanford
April 10, 2018
Dr. Robert Franklin was an amazing physician and person! He performed two major surgeries for endometriosis on me . He was a supportive physician that was highly intelligent, had a great smile, and LISTENED. I went on to have six beautiful children after many other doctors said I would never get pregnant .
Dr. Franklin gave his life to the eradication of endometriosis . He will be missed beyond words. A special blessing to his family who shared with us the time of this wonderful man!
Linda Robinson
March 31, 2018
I was thinking about him around his birthday in January. As a colleague and mentor, he taught me how to perform difficult surgeries dealing with endometriosis. He helped me help others with fertility problems. He was very bright, very caring and an extremely gifted teacher to so many students of medicine. We were blessed to have such a man in our lives.
Tim Hart, MD
March 27, 2018
If I had never met Dr. Franklin I wouldn't be alive today. He's work was astounding. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family.
Beverly Hoskins
March 27, 2018
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. He was my first doctor and one of the greats! Close friends of my parents, Dr Morton Adels & Phyllis Adels. May your memories be a blessing. love, Jill Adels Klaff and sisters.
Jill Adels Klaff
March 27, 2018
Dr Franklin was a very kind and caring Dr. I was one of his first fertility patients back in 1962. I was will be forever thankful for him and his expertise. I have 3 children thanks to his knowledge and kindness. He will be missed.
Betty Carpenter
March 26, 2018
Marleen and Philippe Verly
March 25, 2018
Dr. Franklin was a godsend to me when no one else could diagnosis me. I continued going to him for 25 years. He was brilliantly smart and such a kind and caring person. I have not encountered a physician like him since.
Rest in peace Dr. Franklin.
Thank you for taking care of me.
Tina Carter RN
Tina Carter
March 25, 2018
How many children were named Robert in honor of this great man?
My hero!
Barbara Koy
March 25, 2018
My sincere condolences go out to Dr. Franklins entire family. Because of him my husband and I were blessed with two wonderful children - our son is now 23 and our daughter is now 19. He never had any doubt that this would not happen for us. He was such a sweet comforting man!! We will be forever grateful to him!!
DD Baker
March 24, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Franklin . Please know that God cares and will comfort the family during this mournful time . 1st Peter 5 : 7 . May God remember Robert .
Tina Joseph
March 24, 2018
May the God of all peace and comfort be with your family and friends to give you the strength you need to endure during this difficult time Psalms.29 : 11) with deep sympathy
March 22, 2018
Dr. Franklin was my doctor for many years. His wisdom and kindness will be missed by many!
Doris Lentz
March 22, 2018
Our condolences to the family. May God fulfill his promise of binding up the brokenhearted. Isa 61:1
March 22, 2018
My sincere condolences to Dr. Franklin's family. He literally saved my life and I will be forever grateful. I truly loved him like my own grandfather. He was not only an incredible, world-renowned physician (that I was fortunate enough to get to work with for a little while), but an awesome, down-to-earth, sincere person. You are all in my prayers. Til we meet again, Dr. Franklin...
Many blessings,
Darlene Stancik Argo
March 22, 2018
I'm deeply sorry to hear about Mr. Franklin. May the family find comfort at 1 peter 5:6-8.
March 21, 2018
Dr. Franklin was a special man in many ways. Because of his dedication in helping infertility patients, many families were blessed with God's greatest gifts. Our son was truly a miracle 43 years ago and we will always be thankful for this caring man.

J. F. And family
March 21, 2018
Our deepest condolences and prayers are extended to Dr. Franklin's family and loved ones. He is the reason we have two children as he helped me, an endometriosis patient, do what was medically necessary in beating the odds of infertility 23 and 19 years ago. We are indebted to him for these two precious gifts of life (our son and daughter). Thank you for sharing Dr. Franklin with us and again, our deepest sympathies are with you.
Bernice Shaver
March 21, 2018
Deepest Sympathy to the family. Bobby was a very nice man. Dr Robert Debee
March 19, 2018
May the bereaved family be comforted by looking forward to Jesus' promise recorded at John 6:40.
A. L.
March 19, 2018
My sincere condolences for your loss. May precious memories of your dear loved one, along with encouraging words found in bible be of comfort to your family ~ Psalm 20:1,2
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