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February 19th, 2012

Alan D. Franklin, 1922–2010

Published on February 19th, 2012 | Edited by: Eileen De Guire


Alan D. Franklin, 87, of Newville passed away peacefully at home on Aug. 27, 2010. Franklin was born on Dec. 10, 1922, in Glenside. He was raised from the age of 7 at Ridgewood Orchards, near Dresher. He attended public schools through Cheltenham High in Elkins Park and then in 1939 went on to Princeton University.

World War II intervened and he left Princeton at the end of his junior year to volunteer in the Army Air Corps. From 1942 through 1945, he served as a photographic officer, the latter part of the time in the 25th Bomber Group in England. Returning to Princeton, he completed the AB degree in chemistry with high honors in 1946 and then the PhD in chemistry in 1950.

In 1943, Alan married Phoebe Taylor. They had two children, Adrienne and Christopher. That marriage ended in divorce. In 1960, Alan was remarried to Katherine (Kit) King. Alan adopted Kit’s daughter, Mary.
Alan worked as a research scientist, first at the Franklin Institute Laboratories in Philadelphia from 1949 to 1955 and then at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) from 1955 to 1981. At NIST, he was chief of the Mineral Products Division.

 

He took a year’s leave in 1963-1964 to work as a visiting scientist at the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment. In 1966-1967, he was on loan to the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, serving as deputy director of the Office of Materials. After retirement from NIST in 1981, Alan was again a visiting scientist in the Physics Department of the University of Maryland from 1983 to 1992, then in the Physics Department at the University of Adelaide in Australia from 1992-1993, in 1995 and again in 1999. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of The American Ceramic Society and a member of the American Chemical Society.

In addition to his scientific work, Alan also carried on the out-of-hours work of giving back to society. He was instrumental in reviving the Civic Association of Brookmont, Md., serving as president in 1961-1963. He led a successful battle to keep high-density development out of the Maryland side of the lower Potomac River Valley. From 1958 to 1981, he served on the board of the Columbia Heights Youth Club, the first integrated youth club in the city, in All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., the last few years as president.

More recently, he was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley in Boiling Springs and served on the Social Action Council as coordinator of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Justice Initiative and as co-chair of the council.

He is survived by his wife, Kit; daughters, Adrienne and Mary; son, Christopher; three grandchildren, Rebecca and Christopher Parker and Ana Franklin; and a sister, Frieda K. Brown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Alan Franklin Memorial Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Justice Initiative Fund, 2 Forge Road, Boiling Springs, PA; Odyssey Healthcare of Harrisburg, 466 Trindle Road, Ste. 204, Camp Hill, PA 17011; or the Green Ridge Village Fund, 210 Big Spring Road, Newville, PA 17241.

 

(Information from The Sentinel)


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