YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mr. Thomas Edward Franklin, 75, of Youngstown, was reunited with the love of his life on November 6, 2022. His beloved wife of 40 years, Mary Ann (Harris) Franklin, died in 2014. 

Mr. Franklin, affectionately known as “Butch” was born on January 17, 1947 in Girard, Ohio. He was the older son of Henry and Crese (Burnett) Franklin.

He was a 1965 graduate of Girard High School and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Youngstown State University. 

Thomas was a proud and active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity for over 50 years and assumed leadership roles in the fraternity and other civic organizations as his career took the family to several cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Spokane. A Human Resources professional and mentor, Thomas was very active in the National Association of African American Human Resource Professionals (NAAAHR), the YSU Football Alumni Association and the Girard High School classmates. 

Thomas relocated to Youngstown in Spring 2014 to be closer to his mother and enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family. 

He leaves to cherish loving memories, his mother, Crese; five children, Kym Franklin Estis and Kelly N. (Emmett) Shaffer, both of Atlanta, Georgia, Dina A. Franklin of Raleigh, North Carolina and Curtis Jackson and Chad E. Franklin, both of Youngstown; six grandchildren, Erica, Andrew, Ariana, Maxwell, Kelley and Olivia; two great-grandchildren, Gibson R. and Riley G.; his brother, Don (Jackie) Franklin of California and a host of family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Henry. 

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. 

The family requests memorial gifts be made to a YSU scholarship fund Thomas helped set up in the memory of a fraternity brother tragically killed near YSU. Please designate gifts to the Jamail E. Johnson Scholarship at the YSU Foundation, 655 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502. You can also give online at by clicking “Give Now” and following the prompts.

Arrangements are being handled by the L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thoomas Edward Franklin, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Friday, April 7 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.