Lyman C. FranklinMay 24, 1926 ~ October 6, 2017 (age 91)
Lyman Franklin was a World War II veteran and was a member of the fleet in the South Pacific that liberated Guam from the Japanese. He was a Chief Petty Officer and served on six different ships and eight different bases in the US and abroad. He was also in the Korean War and conflict in Laos. Lyman started his naval career as a baker and commissary man. He was the only man to receive the Naval Food Services Excellence Award, twice, of which his picture is hanging today in the mess hall at the Patuxant River Naval Air Station in Maryland. He retired from the navy after 22 years and went to work as the manager of food services at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest until he retired after 20 years. Lyman was a mason, carpenter, taxidermist, leather craftsman, gardener and loved to play the guitar. He was a former Wake Forest Town Commissioner, was on the board of directors for the Wake Forest Fire Department for 25 years and was a deacon at the Glen Royal Baptist Church. Perhaps he is best remembered as the “Rabbit Man”. He owned and operated a rabbitry and supplied rabbits for medical research to major universities and laboratories. He served for 50 years in the North Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association.
Lyman’s wife, Jessie Vee Friar Franklin, predeceased him in 2008 after 62 years of marriage. They were next door neighbors and childhood playmates in Hickory, NC and were married in 1946 when he was on leave from Siapan.
Funeral services for Lyman will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2017 in the Chapel of Bright Funeral Home, Wake Forest. Rev. Robert Faile will officiate. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Cemetery.
Lyman is survived by his two daughters: Shirley Vee Franklin Keith and husband Douglas Gray Keith of Cary, Charlotte Ann Franklin of Arlington, Va.; Grandchildren: Douglas Gray Keith, Jr. and wife Rose Mary Clark Keith, Deborah Vee Keith Fish, David Franklin Keith and wife Jennifer Kay Powell Keith; Great-Grandchildren: Taylor Vee Fish, Jessica Erin Fish, Douglas Gray Keith III, Daniel Franklin Keith, Cassidy Rae Keith, Catherine Powell Keith, David Michael Keith, Krystal Rose Clark, Brian Clark; Sisters: Sadie Melvin and husband Barnie, Margie Lane; 7 nieces and nephews.