Eldon Douglas Franklin of Ladonia, Texas was born March 7, 1944 to Willard Eldon and Lora Aline Eudy Franklin in Greenville, Hunt County, Texas. He passed away January 9, 2021 at Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville from COVID-19.
Doug graduated from Fannindel High School in 1962, then studied physics and chemistry at East Texas State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He later earned his Master of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Texas A & M – Commerce.
He married Peggy Sue Owens August 27, 1965, and they raised two sons: Scott and Shaun. Doug was a devoted husband and loyal and faithful man who tirelessly served his community. He was the mayor of Ladonia in the early 1970’s. He was a member of the Fannindel School Board for many years and a past board president. He was also a co-owner and director of Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Ladonia. He was very active with the Chamber of Commerce, and was also the unofficial historian of Ladonia. He wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper for many years. He had an unmatched knowledge of the history of the area and the local schools, the old timers and the newcomers, the historical houses and who lived where, and the businesses that have come and gone. He loved Ladonia and was constantly seeking opportunities for the community to grow and thrive, now and into the future. For the last several years, his biggest project was helping to bring Lake Ralph Hall to Fannin County. Doug and mayor Leon Hurse spent countless hours promoting the lake project, and when it finally got underway, he spent several years working for the Upper Trinity Regional Water District arranging the land purchase contracts with landowners for the lake location. He retired from the Lake Ralph Hall project in 2019 but remained excited about seeing the lake become a reality.
Doug was a lifelong member and lay leader of the First United Methodist Church. When the original church building flooded and the congregation had to make the difficult decision to tear it down and rebuild, Doug was instrumental in supervising the removal and preservation of as many elements as possible of the historical building, which were then installed in the new building, most importantly the beautiful stained glass windows.
Doug spent the majority of his working career as a director of environmental quality at E-Systems in Greenville. He was also the founder and owner of Northeast Texas Wastewater Laboratories, which tested and verified that treated wastewater was safe to release back into the water supply. He taught science at Ennis High School and industrial technology at TAMU-Commerce. After his first retirement, he earned his real estate license and worked at Century 21. He also became a Texas Master Naturalist. He spent many hours working on projects and events to promote the natural resources and natural areas in northeast Texas, and each year helped organize the annual Fossil Day event held in and near Ladonia.
Doug is survived by his wife Peggy of Ladonia; son Scott and wife Cynthia of Pecan Gap; son Shaun and wife Michelle of Greenville, Texas; and sister Janice and husband Kelly Connell of Pecan Gap. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren: Tyler, Katie, Christopher, Brendan, Lyndsey, Payton, Jace, Brinkley, Luke, and Andrea and two great-granddaughters, Kambrie and Fallon, as well as nephews Jeromy, Michael and Billy and nieces Kacey and Shelley. He was preceded in death by his parents and niece Elisa.
The funeral service will be conducted by Jeromy Connell at 1:30 pm on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at the Fannindel High School football field on Mill Street. If weather is an issue, the service will be moved into the gymnasium. The family is requiring that masks be worn and that attendees practice social distancing. There will be a private interment at Center Point Cemetery in Ladonia.
Pallbearers will be Philip Burnett, Ed Pickard, Mike Duplechan, Cole Hoskison, Kerry Crews, Kris Crews, Alan Fields. and Johnny Crosby. Honorary pallbearers will be Sid Davis, Wayne Bullock, Avos Stancil, Larry Joe Braley, Eddie Frey, Tom Wishard, Joe Albritton, David Duncan, Billy Carl Crews, Derrel Fitzgerald, Randy Fitzgerald, Robert Wayne Milton, Harvey Milton, Clint Norwood, Freddy Hulsey and Tommy Hulsey.