April 8th, 1941 – January 24, 2021
Franklin Anthony Smalls was born on the 8th of April, 1941 in Harlem, New York to the late Robert and Ima Smalls.
Franklin had a great childhood with his two sisters, Ima and Phyllis, and almost twin brother, Robert Smalls. They were a year apart but born on the same day. While growing up, Franklin also lived in the Bronx and moved to Brooklyn where his mother and stepfather owned a grocery store on Atlantic Ave. By the time he was 17 years old, he decided to join the service. He was initially stationed in Virginia but thereafter was moved to Germany. His experiences in the service were extraordinary to him and he was proud to serve this country. He talked frequently about his experiences in the service and agreed it had a part to do with him being a gracious man.
After being honorably discharged from the Army, Franklin returned to Brooklyn, New York. That is when he met the love of his life Jackey. When he first saw her he asked his friends who is that girl. They confirmed that she was Jill and Tiny’s sister. He approached her at that soda shop and they were inseparable from thereon. Six years later they were married and lived the best life ever with each other. Meanwhile, Frank held several jobs and provided the best home for his wife. They had two children, Tara and Franklin. Being a father to his kids meant the world to him and he did everything in his power to make sure they had the best life. Franklin eventually retired from William Zinnser, Inc. as a Chemist in 2007. After retiring he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina which he loved and was so comfortable. He often stated that his life in the south was something that he wished he took advantage of a long time ago. Charlotte is where he was surrounded by a huge family that adored him. He was thee “UNCLE”.
Franklin was very and extremely knowledgeable about history and current events. You could ask him about anything and he would know the answer. His best hobbies were watching MS NBC and CNN to follow up with what was going on in this world. He had a love for collecting coins and made sure that his brother, son, and grandsons would do the same. He also loved seawater fishing which was something he did most of his life. But lastly, he had a love for children which he embraced while doing foster care. He impacted so many kids’ lives that came through his home that they still would call him grandpa and stayed in touch with him throughout the years.
On Sunday, the 24th of January, 2021 he transitioned to be with his wife which was something he was really looking forward to.
He is survived by his daughter Tara; son Franklin; daughter-in-law Tasha; grandsons Denim and Bryss; granddaughters Jazmine and Reign; brother Robert; sisters-in-law Edith, Jill, and Phyllis; brother-in-law Benjamin; nieces Rhonda, Crystal, Nikki, Tracey, Gina, Serena; nephews Ronald, Robert, Jimmy, Melvin and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, other relatives, and friends.
A funeral service to honor Franklin’s life will be held on Sunday, the 31st of January, 2021 beginning at 1:30 PM in the Historic Morehead Street Chapel of Ellington Funeral Services, 727 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.
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