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Dwayne Franklin

May 24, 1954 — March 21, 2024

Pencil Bluff

Dwayne Franklin

Richard Dwayne Franklin, 69 of Sims, AR, went to be with his heavenly father on March 21, 2024 after winning an incredibly brave battle with cancer. He was a loving husband, Daddy, Poppy, brother, uncle, farmer, gardener, chicken tender, beekeeper, truck driver, fixer of everything, and a true jack of all trades. 

Dwayne was born on May 24, 1954, to Thurman and Imodel Franklin of Parks, AR. He loved growing up on his family farm with his sister and earliest friend, Argie Nell, and it was there that he developed his love for the outdoors and strong work ethic. He was a national winner of the elite FFA American Farmer Award and graduated from Waldron High School in 1972.  He went on to study Forestry at the University of Arkansas at Monticello and then proceeded to Mississippi State University where he got his Masters Degree in Biometric Statistics. He held multiple jobs throughout his lifetime, including working for the Cooperative Extension Service in White County and then working for the U.S. Forest Service in both the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, all while also operating a Christmas Tree farm. When he retired from the Forest Service, he chased his dream of being an entrepreneur full time and started a fire supply and consulting company. When he retired yet again, he tapped into his adventurous side and ability to read a map once and know exactly where to go and traveled the country as a truck driver. He also served his community for over 30 years with his local fire department and shared his wealth of knowledge with other rural fire departments.

In 1977, Dwayne met the love of his life, Donna, on a blind date where they both showed up wearing the same color of lime green leisure suit. Notably that was one of the only times in his life he actually wore a suit. They were engaged just two short weeks later and together they raised two daughters, Jennifer Ford and Katie Bailie. He was the absolute best girl dad and raised his daughters to be loving, compassionate and kind, but also strong, independent and maybe even a little stubborn. While he never had biological sons, when his sons-in-laws, Chad Ford and Seth Bailie, entered the picture he adopted and loved them just like they were always his own. He welcomed each of them humorously into the family by making them sign a ‘no returns’ contract on the day of their weddings to his girls. In 2009, he was promoted to one of his absolute favorite titles, “Poppy” with the birth of his first grandchild. His grandchildren, Tanner Bailie, Lauren Bailie, Riley Ford, and Reese Ford were the light of his life in his later years, and he loved orchestrating elaborate nighttime Easter egg hunts across 8 acres each year for them and cheering them on at basketball games and softball games every chance he could attend.

Dwayne was preceded in death by his grandparents, Fonie and Argie Franklin and Fred and Nellie Hawkins; his parents, Thurman and Imodel Franklin; and his in laws, Joe Fred Sr. and Betty Young. He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Donna; daughters Jennifer Ford and Katie Bailie; sons-in-law Chad Ford and Seth Bailie; his precious grandchildren Tanner Bailie, Lauren Bailie, Riley Ford, and Reese Ford; sister and brother-in-law, Argie Nell Nichols and Bobby Jones; and nephew Josh Nichols.

Dwayne will be remembered for his brilliant mind, being a mischievous prankster, the love he had for his family and friends, and his big heart for all animals including his 4-legged best friend, Honey. In his last months he was blessed with many visits from some of the best friends any man could possibly want filled with memories, love and laughter. When asked if he had a final wish he replied simply “No, I have all I need and want.” His life was incredibly full, and we will forever be grateful he was ours. 

A Celebration of Dwayne's life will be 2:00 PM Saturday, March 23, 2024 at Pencil Bluff First Baptist Church with burial to follow at Pencil Bluff Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Chad Ford, Seth Bailie, Tanner Bailie, Josh Nichols, Bobby Jones and Jim Flatte. Honorary Pallbearers are his Pencil Bluff First Baptist Church family and special friends in the community.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute in Hot Springs and Mena Elite Hospice.

Online guestbook can be found at www.smithfamilycares.com
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Saturday, March 23, 2024

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