Howard G. Franklin

July 26, 1940 – September 11, 2016

Howard G. Franklin was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1940, to Benjamin J. and Melba R. Franklin. He died at home, surrounded by his loving family, on the night of September 11. Howard is survived by his wife Linda; his daughter AmyLynn and her significant other, Matthew; his older son Matt and his significant other, Mariela; his younger son Nick and his significant other, Parker; his sisters Frenda and Alana; his stepdaughter Wendy and her husband Chris, and their children Devon and Cassandra. 

Howard was one of the most generous, loving, big-hearted individuals to ever grace this earth. Taken from us far too soon, he will be sorely missed by friends and family across the country and around the world. The motto he lived by was to kiss the joy as it flies, from William Blake’s poem “Eternity”: “He who kisses the joy as it flies/Lives in eternity’s sunrise.” And Howard absolutely did live in eternity’s sunrise. Raised in Los Angeles, he received his B.S. in Real Estate and Finance from the University of Southern California, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. From 1968 to 1988, Howard served as a Deputy Public Defender for Los Angeles County, was engaged in the private practice of law, and became a partner in F & F Investment Company. Howard’s passion, though, was writing, and after moving to Oregon in 1991 after the untimely death of his second wife, Patty, he began writing full time while single-parenting Matt and Nick. 

He wrote numerous poems, short stories, and novels, but An Irish Experience, a travel-memoir released in 2008 by Inkwater Press, was Howard’s first published book. Combining his lifelong love of the written word with his unswerving passion for Ireland, it represented for him the realization of a lifelong dream. In addition, he met his current wife Linda during a meeting on his 67th birthday at Inkwater Press, where she was his editor, and they married shortly after the book’s publication. 

In 2011, Linda suggested that Howard rewrite and update his previously penned courtroom novel Gideon’s Children, in view of its timeliness, shining a light on the continuing battle for civil rights. Following a three-year revision, the novel was published by Chamberlain Press in March of 2015, and Howard continued thereafter to work incessantly for the cause of social justice and civil rights.

In an interview with the website Above the Law, Howard wrote: “The current decade, 2010 to 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement’s struggle for freedom and social justice. I wanted to highlight the role of the newly created Public Defenders Offices in fighting to protect individual constitutional rights in pursuit of justice, in particular for persons who are poor and of color, as part of that revolution, and because those very rights are under attack today due to the War on Terrorism which has spawned The Patriot Act, The No-Fly Rule, and virtually unrestricted spying on Americans by the FBI, CIA, and NSA.” 

Howard was most proud of his legacies: his wonderful, accomplished children; his writing and work in the area of the new civil rights movement; and the connections he made with others involved in this most important public discussion.