Born: September 17, 1923
Died: May 26, 2014
Margelene was born on September 17, 1923 in her maternal grandparents’ farmhouse near Polk, Missouri. She was the only child of Wesley Robert and Treva Pearl (Stewart) Hawkins. After her mother died in 1933, Margelene was raised by her father and stepmother, Rose Evelyn (Dooley), in Polk and Springfield, Missouri. After graduating from Springfield’s Greenwood High School in 1941, she attended Drury College, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and did occupational therapy work with war-time servicemen. She graduated in 1945 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Before graduating, at a dance at Drury she met Robert Eldon Franks of Spokane, who was in Springfield for Army Air Force training. At the end of their war-time romance, they were married in Spokane on July 2, 1945 at St. John’s Cathedral. She spent the rest of her life in Spokane. Margelene and Bob raised their six children in the Perry Street neighborhood. All of their children attended Grant Elementary, Lewis & Clark High School, and Washington State University – all of which Margelene “boosted” for years. The family home at 14th & Perry was the setting for family gatherings for over 40 years. Holidays and birthdays were memorable celebrations, with family traditions that continued for decades. Margelene and Bob extended their generous hospitality to many, for both short and long durations.
While raising her family, Margelene also worked in the home as secretary and bookkeeper for the family business, Bob Franks Electric Co., managed the family’s rental properties, and served as volunteer bookkeeper for “The Windfall,” St. John’s Cathedral Perry Street thrift store. She was a long-time member of St. John’s.
In later years she enjoyed traveling, visiting Hawaii, England, Europe, Mexico, and the Holy lands. In 1995 Margelene and Bob celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. After Bob’s death in 1996, she moved from “1408” to a smaller house, and later to Harbor Crest assisted living facility, where she enjoyed the company of the residents and staff. She spent her final three months at an adult care home, where she appreciated the great care of the staff. In her old age and declining health, Margelene would frequently say she was “a blessed old lady.”
She is survived by her six children: Carole Lynn Franks of Washington D.C., twins Kathryn (Bill) Semmler and Suzanne (Steve) Lamanna of Spokane, sons Wesley (Jane) and William (Jody) of Spokane, son Stephen (Renne) of Aloha, Oregon, and five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her memorial service will be held Friday, June 6th at 2:00pm at Christ The King Church, 2103 E. Mission Ave., Spokane, WA 99202.