Anne Theresa Franklin passed away Sunday, Aug. 30 at Westwood Center, Keene, after a nearly lifelong battle with heart disease, complicated by more recent dementia, pneumonia, and an infection. Her first illness was rheumatic fever, contracted when she was just 12 years old; she fell ill with the same disease again at the age of 21. The end result was open heart surgery and a replacement of her heart’s mitral valve about 25 years ago, followed later by implantation of a pacemaker to correct a slow heartbeat that was causing fainting. Nevertheless, she refused to give in to her health problems, including a successful recovery from breast cancer, until the recent illnesses that resulted in her death at age 94.
She was born June 20, 1926 in Boston, Mass., daughter of William J. Kennon Jr. and Mary A. (Bellew) Kennon. A longtime resident of Dorchester, Mass., Mrs. Franklin graduated in 1945 from Jeremiah E. Burke High School and later attended secretarial school. She had a number of employers, including a lawyer and a chemist. Most notably, she worked for Bert of “Bert and I” fame, the Rev. Robert Bryan who founded the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. He was an Episcopal priest and a pilot, and for many years flew his own plane to Labrador every summer to minister to the native peoples of that region. He was widely known as the “flying parson.”
Anne met her husband-to-be John on a blind date in the spring of 1968 and after a whirlwind courtship they married in September of that year in the base chapel at Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Mass., where he was stationed in the U.S. Navy. She was a loyal and supportive Navy wife during her husband’s remaining seven years of a 20-year career that included deployments to Vietnam and the Mideast in 1972 and to the Mediterranean Sea in 1973 during which the Yom Kippur war broke out. Their final duty station was in San Diego, Calif., until John retired from the Navy in 1975 and they returned to his hometown of Peterborough. She was a proud member of Unit 5 American Legion Auxiliary, and of Divine Mercy Parish, both of Peterborough.
Anne is survived by her only remaining sibling, sister Bernadette Cromwell of Vancouver, Wash.; stepchildren Arlene Papapetrou of Dubai and Charles Assimakopoulos of Cyprus, and four step-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents, her twin sister Mary Thibodeau, and her brothers William, Joseph, and John Kennon.
Due to the coronavirus emergency, there are no calling hours and services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Unit 5 American Legion Auxiliary, P.O. Box 172, Peterborough, NH 03458.