Henry H. Franklin

Henry H. Franklin 19141021-20020213 Henry H. Franklin taken 15 June 1981

Henry H. Franklin, recently of Dublin and a long time resident of Peterborough, died peacefully the afternoon of Wednesday, February 13, 2002 following a short illness. He was 88 years old.

He was born October 21, 1913 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the youngest of four children of Charles and Mabel Franklin. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute for three years, then transferred to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, from where he graduated in 1932. Later, he attended law school in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In his undergraduate years, Mr. Franklin was a champion swimmer, winning many New England meets as a representative of both WPI and Bowdoin. He also set a number of individual records. He was invited to be a member of the 1936 Summer Olympic Team, but was unable to participate because he was married.

During World War II, Mr. Franklin was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He joined a law firm in Portland, Maine, in 1946, and in the summer of 1949 formed a partnership with the late Maurice Blodgett in Peterborough. The family moved to town in January 1950 and he practiced here until his retirement in 1991.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Mr. Franklin was the only federal probation officer in the state of Maine. That experience, along with having been the first Eagle Scout in Franklin County, Massachusetts, helped him develop his enthusiasm for the outdoors. He led many wilderness expeditions to northern Canada. He was an early traveler to the Allagash River in Maine and loved camping and hiking. He was also a great cook and his camp meals are legendary among those fortunate enough to have been an expedition member.

Mr. Franklin was a member of the board of directors of the Peterborough Players and had acted in many of its productions over the years. He helped establish the legal framework for the present corporation. He was a member of the Amoskeag Veterans and was the organization’s commander in 1972.

Family members include a son, John Franklin, and a daughter, Susan Oropallo, both of Peterborough; a stepdaughter, Catherine Vaughan of New York City, New York; a stepson, Charles “Toby” Vaughan of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; a daughter, Sarah Franklin of Dublin, with whom Mr. Franklin lived; and a sister, Esther Bourdeau of Texas. He was predeceased by a son, Peter Franklin, of Austin, Texas, and sisters Ruby Bickford and Dorothy Zeiner.

A memorial service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Peterborough Unitarian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a conservation organization of one’s choice.

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