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Carter "Carter Lee" Franklin '61 December 12, 2018 3:17 PM updated: December 14, 2018 9:01 AM

Sent by family

Carter Lee Franklin, Class of ‘61
May 15, 1938 - December 8, 2018 (Age 80)

Carter Lee Franklin passed away peacefully at home in Houston, Texas, on December 8, 2018. Carter was born in Corsicana, Texas, and was raised on the family cotton farm outside of Corsicana by his grandparents, Calvin Franklin and Leena May, then his Uncle Calvin Jr. and Aunt Ozell Franklin. After graduating from Kerens High School in 1957, Carter was recruited to play football by the legendary Paul William “Bear” Bryant on a full-ride scholarship to Texas A&M. Carter also served in the Army National Guard and Reserves. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Texas A&M in 1962, then attended Stephen F. Austin University, earning a Masters in Education while working as an assistant football coach and recruiter, then coached football at Oklahoma State University. In 1969, Carter moved back to Nacogdoches, Texas, with his wife and young daughter, Tommye Caroline, to teach briefly at SFA before starting a fence construction company in 1970. In 1992, Carter retired from construction to work as a substitute teacher in Franklin, Tennessee, while working on his teacher certification in Biology and Science. He was hired to teach at Fairview High School, Fairview, Tennessee, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1998. In 1999, Carter moved to Houston, Texas, to be near Caroline and her young family, and taught Biology for Spring Branch ISD at Northbrook High School. After retiring from Northbrook, Carter taught Driver’s Education, marshaled at Clear Creak Golf Course, served in the leadership of his Rotary Club, and assisted teaching Sunday School at Houston’s First Baptist Church.

Carter saw life as an adventure. He was always ready with a life lesson to share with others and was a great teacher and role model. Carter was a dedicated Rotarian for 46 years, with almost 43 years of perfect attendance. He strived to live by the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” and his Christian faith. He established student Rotary Interact Clubs in both Fairview High School and at Northbrook High School. He and his wife, Sheila Wolfe Franklin, have been active members of Memorial-Spring Branch Rotary Club, where Carter served as president in 2013-14 and most recently as an Area Membership Chair and Club Fundraising Vice-President.

Carter was preceded in death by his parents, John Thomas Franklin and Lillian Speed Burnett; brothers, Thomas, John and James David Franklin; sister, Paulett McDougle; and Aunt Ozell and Uncle Calvin, Franklin, Jr.

Those left to cherish his memory are: his wife of 13 years, Sheila Wolfe (Knipe) Franklin; daughters, Caroline Caldarera & husband Keven; Cheryl Knipe Andrews & husband Dan; Lea Knipe Roberts & husband Jeff; and Valerie Knipe Freitas & husband Larry; grandchildren, Thomas and Benjamin Caldarera; Daniel Andrews, Renee Andrews Mayes & husband Noel, Jasmine Flores, Jacob Flores & wife Javiara, and great granddaughter Caroline Mayes; sisters, Barbara Burnett, Judy Franklin Morris, Debbie Franklin, Charlotte Troutman, Claudett Johnston; sisters-in-law, Susan H Franklin and Elinor Wolfe; brothers, Jerry Brannon & wife Vicky, and Paul Burnett, Jr.; cousins, Gayle Franklin Henson & husband JR, Gay Franklin Rasco & husband John, Sammy Franklin & wife Peggy; and numerous nieces and nephews, especially (James) David Franklin, Jr., David’s daughters, Lauren Luke and Jenny Franklin, Renee Lee Ann Franklin, Susan A Franklin, Marya Krueger & husband Kirk, Tara Rasco, Shelby Rasco, Stefanie Rasco Benitez & husband Paul, Casey Henson, Shane Henson & wife Jenny, Belinda Brannon Olson, and Jennifer Brannon Cuttino & husband Steven.

The interment of ashes ceremony will be held Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at the Memorial Cemetery of College Station, Aggie Field of Honor Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in honor of Carter Lee Franklin to Texas A&M Foundation Scholarships (online at or to the Carter Franklin Scholarship Fund, Memorial-Spring Branch Rotary Charities, P. O. Box 79172, Houston, Texas 77279 (online at

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