James J. Franklin
Sunday, January 10, 1943 - Thursday, January 05, 2017

James J. Franklin, 73, of Pontiac, IL passed away on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac with Rev. James O. Wolfe III officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at the funeral home. Burial will follow services on Wednesday at Memorial Park Cemetery in rural Pontiac where military rites will be accorded, Illinois. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pontiac VFW.

James was born January 10, 1943 in Rockford, Illinois a son of Edwin S. and Elles S. (Close) Franklin. He attended the Pontiac schools, graduating in 1961 from Pontiac Township High School. He then served our country in the United States Navy for four years during the Vietnam War. He was an ASW Air crewman (E3) in P3 Orion patrol planes. He was honorably discharged. He continued to serve when he returned through the Pontiac VFW for many years, namely District 7 Commander for two years and the Pontiac American Legion.

He came back to Pontiac after his service and worked at Motorola-Pontiac in quality control until it closed. At that point he went to Seibert, Inc. in Chenoa, IL as a machinist for twenty-four years, retiring in 2002.

James married C. Joy Hendershot on January 8, 1993. They spent thirty wonderful years together. She passed away on December 13, 2012.

He is survived by his son: James J. “Joe” (Kim) Franklin of Evans, GA and his two children: Paul and Victor Franklin; his mother: Ellen Fitzgerald of Pontiac, IL; one half-brother: Richard Soule of Graymont, IL; one half-sister: Kathy Kelly of Pontiac, IL; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife and father.

James was a detail-oriented guy who was a great father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be greatly missed.



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  • Dale Carstens
  • Sunday, January 08, 2017
Sorry to here of your loss. Jim was a good friend to veterans.

As a Past 2 time Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 886 Commander & Past Veterans of Foreign Wars 7th District Commander

Dale L. Carstens
  • Walter & Marsha Bailey
  • Monday, January 09, 2017
Dear James Franklin family, please accept our condolences for Jim's passing. We were in the Navy together and continued our friendship through the years. Jim & Joy hosted a couple mini Navy reunions which we enjoyed. We will miss him in our daily internet messenger get to gathers. He introduced us to the VFW of which I'm grateful. May God Bless you all during this time.

Walter & Marsha Bailey
Spring Mills PA
  • Mike Brazell
  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Joe, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss. Nothing can ever replace a son's father, but look for comfort in the times you shared together and the memories of yesterday. May God bless you and your family.
  • Alan Martin
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2017
I am deeply saddened by the passing of my best friend since grade school. Jim and I had so many fun times together as young boys and the friendship continued throughout our lives as grown men. My wife Susan and I visited him this past December and spent time together reminissing about the fun times we had throughout the years. He always looked out for my dad in Evenglow Lodge assisted living (since I live so far away). Jim's love for his babies (Squirt and Runt) was so special to see.
Jim was such a good man and influenced so many with his passion for the VFW and our fighting men and women.His patriotism was to be admired.
I will miss him every day. We shared a history that will never be forgotten.
Susan and I really enjoyed our times spent with him and Joy.
May he rest in peace and always be remembered as the special man that he was.
Our sincere condolences,
Al and Susan Martin
Cornelius, NC
  • Ralph Pritchard
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Sorry for your loss. May your family find peace and comfort in the days ahead. God Bless you all.
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