Earlie Franks, a truly faithful man of God entered into his heavenly home on June 25, 2018 at Where the Heart Is in Burlington after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s.
He was born an identical twin on a spring day, March 26, 1929 in “Punkin Town” Sylva, North Carolina to John Henry Franks & Leticia Bishop Franks. Times were hard for his family with his Mother passing away when he was young, but he and his siblings were very close which helped them make the best of what they had.
Earlie entered into the Army Airborne in 1951 becoming a Medic Paratrooper. He was very devoted in his strong Christian faith and never once waivered from his Christian path. He worked his whole life as a carpenter on projects from the Mt. Baker Dam to custom homes, and bridges. He was never without work for whatever he built, it was made to last. He was absolutely the most honest, hardworking, sweetest, dearest, and loving man (and quite funny too). After his Honorable discharge, he went NW to Washington making his home in Sedro-Woolley where he first married Jean Gibbs and from that marriage his two children, Ken and Karen were born. In August of 1978, he married Ruie Melton O’Bryan in Clear Lake, and they made their home in Sedro-Woolley for over 34 years. Earlie and Ruie proudly served as foster parents to over 50 children in the valley over the years. One of Earlie’s favorite things was to hike into high lakes and fish. He has hiked all over the North Cascades and it saddened him when his legs would no longer allow him to hike. He loved his big garden and his love of birds showed through with his million and one bird houses that were built to last. A great rook player, you never ever wanted to play checkers with him, for you would never win and he would never just let you win…and he would grin.
Earlie is survived by his children and their spouses, Ken & Mary Franks of Big Lake, Karen & Dave Christensen of Clear Lake; four step children, Merritt “Keith” & Marcie O’Bryan of Clear Lake, Kevin & Vicky O’Bryan of Sedro-Woolley, Mary O’Bryan of South Bristol, Maine, Rita O’Bryan of Bainbridge Island; two adopted children, Naomi Barker of Burlington and Leroy Franks of Marysville; eleven grandchildren, Jason Franks, Jennifer Misner, Christian Leber, Alisa Manley, Kortney Phillips, Dustin O’Bryan, Josh Hoyt, Ian O’Bryan, Tegan Stratton, Zoey & Jacob Barker; six great grandchildren; one brother, Woodrow Franks of North Carolina; three sister-in-law’s Mary Melton, Sharon (Bob) Garcia and Ronda (Mike) Garcia; two brothers-law’s, Ray (Babe) Melton and Roger Melton; numerous nieces, nephews, and his very special friend, his dedicated and loyal side kick that was his legs when he couldn’t walk, and his driver when he couldn’t see, Nancy Parker.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruie Franks; parents, John Henry & Leticia Franks; step mother, Josephine Franks; brothers, Lloyd Franks, Leo Franks, infant twin Pearly Franks; sister, Geneva Ridley; son-in-law, Donald Doran.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, July 6th at 1:00pm at Inspire Church Sedro-Woolley with Pastor Bill Bates officiating. Interment will follow at the Lyman Cemetery with a dessert reception to follow at Inspire Church. Visitations will be available Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 at Lemley Chapel. The family suggests memorials be made to Clear Lake Baptist Church for their Wheel Chair Access Fund at: Clear Lake Baptist Church PO Box 158, Clear Lake,WA 98235.