Rudolph F. Franks, 86, peacefully entered into eternity Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at his home in Tupelo. Born January 25, 1933 in the Fawn Grove community of Itawamba County to Sula Elizabeth and Alford Ulen Franks, he attended Fawn Grove Elementary, Itawamba Agricultural High School, and Itawamba Community College. He finished his studies at the University of Mississippi with a degree in business administration with emphasis in accounting and eventually became a certified public accountant. He started a long and successful CPA practice ultimately founding the firm Franks, Franks, Wilemon and Hagood, P.A. His accounting career spanned over 58 years, where he served as a financial consultant to many individuals and companies in the Tupelo area, which brought him great joy. Among his significant clients was Tombigbee Electric Power Association where he served as chief accountant for over 50 years.
His childhood sweetheart, Billie Rue Thrasher, eventually became his bride after years of his winking at her at IAHS finally paid off. They were married on December 20, 1955, and celebrated 63 wonderful years together.
He was a long-time member of Parkway Baptist Church serving as deacon, treasurer, Sunday school teacher, and trustee. His joy was found in shepherding the body of Christ, leading with patience, humility, and kindness.
He served in the U.S. Navy during peace time traveling between the California Coast to Japan on a supply ship. He enjoyed reminiscing about serving as the ship’s supply and communications officer and doing tax returns for many of the officers. In his later years, he enjoyed reminiscing with many of his shipmates at their U.S.S. Picator reunions across the country.
Rudolph left this Earth a better place with his quiet, soft-spoken manner and reminded us all to live a life full of grace, generosity, and love for all those we encounter.
He is survived by his wife Billie, two daughters: Rosemary Rutledge (George) of Tupelo and Emily Osborne (George) of Midland, Michigan, six grandchildren: Clay Jarrell, Mary Claire Harris (Patrick), Kathryn Osborne, Holly Cernich (Tim), George Osborne (Heather) and Paul Osborne (Brittney). He is also survived by his sisters-in-law; Sue Blaylock of Shawnee, Kansas and Juanita Knight of Dorsey, Mississippi and a niece and several nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Jeffery Rudolph Franks; an infant daughter, Beth Angela Franks, two brothers, Harvey Franks and Coylen Franks and a sister, Carolyn Franks.
We are thankful for the excellent care he received from the medical community in Tupelo along with his care-givers , Allison Sheffield, Montana Holland, Freddie Bolden, Robbie Fields, Dorothy Henley, Jesse Graham, Tracy Bogan, Deloris Crump, Elise Smith and the staff of Sanctuary Home Hospice that allowed him to remain at home.
A service celebrating his life, with military honors, will be held at 11 AM, Friday, July 26, 2019 at Parkway Baptist Church with Dr. Paul Brashier and Dr. Mark Gregory officiating. A committal service will follow in Fawn Grove Cemetery in Itawamba County. Visitation will be from 5 PM-7 PM today (Thurs) at Holland Funeral Directors, Tupelo Chapel, which is honored to be serving their friends. The family will also receive friends at Parkway at 10 AM, Friday.
Pallbearers will be Perry Franks, Gary Franks, Patrick Harris, Clay Jarrell, Greg Jarrell, George Osborne, George Rutledge and Mark Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be Charlie Williamson and current and former employees of Franks, Franks Wilemon & Hagood P.A.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Parkway Baptist Church, 1301 Lee Street, Tupelo, MS 38801, Sanctuary Hospice, P. O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38802 or the charity of your choice.
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