Cover photo for JD Franklin's Obituary
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1937 JD Franklin 2024

JD Franklin

April 18, 1937 — January 13, 2024

Sulphur Springs

Former Mayor and City Council member, Joe Davies "JD" Franklin, age 86, departed this life on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at his cherished home in Sulphur Springs, TX. Born on April 18, 1937, in Sulphur Springs to Zeb D. Franklin and Robbie Ray Kelly.

JD’s legacy is deeply rooted in Sulphur Springs, and he leaves an indelible mark on the community he called home.

 A graduate of Douglas High School in 1956, JD, known as "Ironman," excelled in football and carried his resilience into all aspects of life. On April 18, 1959, he married the love of his life, Gloria Jean Nash, in Sulphur Springs, TX. Together, they raised four children.

 Throughout his life, JD wore many hats. His career journey included roles as a machinist at Crawford Eyewear and Rockwell International, an entrepreneur in the landscape and lawn business, and, in his later years, a dedicated provider of facilities services at Sulphur Springs High School. His commitment to his community extended beyond his professional endeavors. 

 A pillar of faith, JD actively served in many integral roles at Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He served as Chairman of Deacons, Church Treasurer, Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Instructor, and was a member of multiple choirs, including the Male Chorus. 

 A trailblazer in Sulphur Springs, JD Franklin made history by becoming the first Black Mayor of the city in 1978. His civic engagement extended to membership in the Jaycees and serving as past Master of Masonic Columbia Lodge #81 for several decades. A dedicated Mason for over 60 years, JD was a respected figure in the Masonic community. JD also served faithfully as president of the Mel Haven Cemetery for over 40 years.

 Joe Davies "JD" Franklin's legacy echoes through the streets of Sulphur Springs, most notably honored by the street that bears his name. His faith, his contributions to civic life, his unwavering dedication to family, and his lasting impact on the community make him an enduring figure in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

 As we mourn his passing, we celebrate a life well-lived and the profound legacy he leaves behind

 JD is survived by his devoted sons, Gary Franklin (Darcell) of Grand Prairie, TX, Sean Franklin (George) of Brownsville, TX, Jarrod Franklin (Dionne) of Houston, TX, and loving daughter, Daphne Franklin Hunter (Kennith) of Murchinson, TX.

 Cherished grandchildren include Brittany Green, Cordell Franklin, Chayce Franklin, Keylan Hunter, Colby Franklin, Erin Haven, and Jarron Franklin. His great-grandchildren, Jalen, Adrianna, Sariah, Lyric, Cordell Jr., Keidan, Zane, Jayce, Axel, and Atlas, carry his legacy forward. 

 JD is preceded in death by his parents, Zeb Franklin, and Robbie Ray Kelly; beloved wife, Gloria Jean Franklin; son, JD Franklin, Jr.; sister, Bennie Berry; brother, Aubria Franklin; and stepmother, Rose Franklin.

 A Funeral Service to celebrate JD's life will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at 11:00 AM at Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs, TX.

 Interment will follow at Mel Haven Cemetery in Sulphur Springs, TX. Visitation for friends and family will take place on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home, Sulphur Springs, TX.

 A life well lived. 

Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

 Arrangements are under the compassionate direction of Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of JD Franklin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 26, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Murray - Orwosky Funeral Home

876 Wildcat Way, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church

115 Front, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, January 27, 2024

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