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Yvonne J. Franklin – December 12, 2017

Yvonne J. Franklin, 97, died Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 16, 2017, at First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson officiating.  Private burial will be in Llano Cemetery by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.
Born on December 23, 1919 in Melrose, Alabama, Yvonne was one of seven children born to Benjamin and Zeddie Jones.  She graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1938 and attended Amarillo College and then New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  While attending NMSU, she met Lt. Willis Bennett (Bill) Hunt, who was a pilot stationed with the 120th Observation Squadron at Biggs Field in El Paso, Texas.  Yvonne and Bill were married on August 28, 1941.  Six weeks later, Bill was killed in a plane crash during a training mission near White Sands, New Mexico.  Yvonne stayed at Biggs Field working as a stenographer, an aircraft dispatcher and as assistant manager of El Paso Municipal Airport during WWII.  She also logged over 50 hours as a pilot but couldn’t qualify for her license because she didn’t weigh enough!  After WWII ended, Yvonne moved to Washington D.C. where she worked in the United States Department of the Navy until 1950.
Upon returning to Amarillo in 1950, Yvonne worked as a secretary for Rip Underwood in the First National Bank Building.  It didn’t take long for her to get noticed by the eligible bachelors working at the bank.  In short order, Robert McCartt asked his friend, James Franklin, to find out who she was and whether she’d be interested in going on a date.  As good friends do, Mr. Franklin did what he was asked but he failed to ever report back to Mr. McCartt.  Instead, James Franklin, who was working as an auditor at the bank, decided to start walking Yvonne home each day and before long, the two were married on August 23, 1951.  James and Yvonne had two daughters, Ann Franklin Austin and Jane Franklin Austin and were married for 58 years until Mr. Franklin’s death on April 29, 2009.
Yvonne loved the Texas Panhandle and its people and served in many civic capacities.  She served on the Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees for twelve years and was a loyal supporter of Wayland’s concert series and music programs.  Mrs. Franklin also served as the President of the Amarillo Symphony Guild and as President of the Amarillo Symphony Board.  She also was a member of the Southwestern Hospitality Board of the Metropolitan Opera of New York City in the 1970’s.
As a couple, James and Yvonne were active members at First Baptist Church in Amarillo where she helped teach in the Second Grade department for nearly 45 years.  In addition to her love for classical music, Yvonne was very interested in history and, as a result, spent much of her time putting various books together about the history of First Baptist Church, the history of the family ranch in Gray County, the history of both sides of her family, as well as several cookbooks which she liked to give away to family and friends.
Whether it was serving her famous fried chicken, having her grandchildren spend the night on the front porch of the ranch Pool House, or going parasailing in the Bahamas when she was almost 80, Yvonne was fun and loved her family – something she showed every chance she had.
The family wishes to thank all the kind people at BSA Hospice and the Ware Living Center for the love and care shown to Yvonne over the last several years.
Yvonne is preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin Robert Jones and Zeddie Turner Jones; six siblings, Troy Franklin Jones, Paul Newton Jones, Benjamin Robert Jones, Jr. (“B.R.”), Freda Grace Caballero, Wanda Louise Burke and Gary Roger Jones; her first husband, Willis Bennett (Bill) Hunt, and her second husband of 58 years, James B. Franklin.
Survivors include her two daughters, Ann and husband Jim Austin; Jane and husband, Dr. Steve Austin, all of Amarillo; five grandchildren, Olivia Mijares and husband Ruben, of Houston; James Austin and wife Lauren, Luke Austin and wife Meredith, all of Amarillo; Tripp Austin and wife, Molly, of Dallas and Liesl Everett, of Amarillo; thirteen great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Friday, December 15th from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home located at 2800 Paramount Blvd. and suggests memorials be made to the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church of Amarillo, 1208 Tyler, Amarillo, Texas 79101 or to the James B. and Yvonne Franklin Scholarship, in care of the Amarillo College Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Amarillo, Texas 79178.


  • Ann Marshall Fry Posted December 14, 2017 10:42 am

    Ann and Jane…….
    Thoughts and prayers to you and your families. I remember your Mom from Wolflin and she was a special lady. Love to all………

  • Don and Caron Babcock Posted December 15, 2017 7:39 pm

    How blessed we have been to call your Mama our friend! We have many special memories through many years of being family at FBC!!
    There is a sweet, sweet spirit in this place! Much love to you all!!

  • Sydney Brainard Posted December 24, 2017 9:29 pm

    ann and jane,
    my prayers are with you. i just read your lovely mother is gone. i remember times at your home growing up and such great times.

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